The Optimization Edge

A Blog for Business Executives and Advanced Analytics Practitioners

Technologies: Data Science, Big Data, Optimization, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Predictive Analytics, Forecasting

Applications: Operations, Supply Chain, Finance, Health Care, Workforce, Sales and Marketing
February 21, 2024

Following are excerpts from Steve's Jan. 25 webinar hosted by Gurobi Optimization.

The AI optimization success lifecycle—from the charter to the harvest—represents a wonderful world. However, today we will get away from the “wonderful” and talk about what really happens in the field. Often, colleagues and I see that a chasm forms between the early win and the scale-up. In the early win, a Proof of Concept (PoC) is in production at a pilot site, but the organization has been unable or unwilling to scale it across the enterprise.

January 17, 2024

Steve recently gave a guest lecture to Professor Shruti Sharma’s introductory class on optimization for graduate students at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering, in the Technology Management and Innovation Department. Following are lightly edited excerpts.

November 14, 2023

What optimization solvers, programming and modeling languages do professors, students and industry practitioners use? Do they align? At the INFORMS Annual Meeting in October in Phoenix, Princeton Consultants asked attendees to see what has changed since 2017, the last time we conducted the survey.

October 9, 2023

Following are lightly edited excerpts from Steve’s recent presentation in a Gurobi Optimization webinar. Watch the recording here.

If optimization is so powerful, why do top executives need convincing to invest in it? Well, they are constantly pitched, by internal colleagues and external advisors, to spend money in many different areas. They learn to say no to anything that isn’t focused on accomplishing their business strategy.

September 1, 2023

I was recently interviewed on “Tech Leaders Unplugged,” a podcast for businesspeople that covers “the latest technology trends and innovations from AI to the blockchain, fintech to health tech.” Watch or listen to the 30-minute interview here. Here are some lightly edited excerpts.

Wade Erickson: A lot of our listeners come from the tech space. We’ve seen quite a frenzy around AI. Can you talk a little bit about the process that’s involved when you’re presented a project—how optimization goes into the design thinking and the evaluation of the current workflows in the application? Where do you insert your background and intellect into that process? How does that show up in the software development teams to insert the new algorithms, and the new models and methods to optimize?

July 13, 2023

Irv was interviewed by Lityx CEO Paul Maiste for the Data Stories podcast. Following are lightly edited excerpts. Listen to the full conversation here.

June 9, 2023

In manufacturing, there is often a competition between mass production and custom artisanship: produce vast quantities of product at low cost or produce it in tiny amounts at high fit. Can you achieve low unit cost and scalability from mass production, and the high necessary fit for each consumer from custom artisanship?



May 4, 2023

Following is an excerpt from Steve’s 3/31 presentation to transportation and logistics executives, hosted by Stifel’s equity research group.

There are rail executives who talk about disruption because, starting around 2011, the railroads started to lose massive market share to trucking. The gap is presently widening. If rail transportation costs less and improves supply chain resiliency versus a truck-only strategy, and if it is more energy efficient and emits lower greenhouse gases than trucking does, why is it losing share?


April 7, 2023

On April 6, Steve Sashihara returned to Road Dog Trucking Radio to discuss trucking and emerging technology. Following are excerpts of his conversation with host Mark Willis.

February 7, 2023

Princeton Consultants Optimization Principal Dr. Irv Lustig has been nominated for the position of Vice President of Marketing, Communications, and Outreach (VPMCO) for INFORMS. The election will take place this summer. The volunteer role includes serving as an advocate for INFORMS and as a trusted O.R. and Analytics subject matter expert, as well as speaking about INFORMS and technical subject matters with external audiences, including decision-makers in government and other organizations and businesses.

Irv said, “I’m honored to be nominated for VP of Marketing, Communications and Outreach for INFORMS in the next election cycle. I look forward to sharing my views on how INFORMS can achieve its strategic goal of how we can best champion our profession and our brand.”