Culverhouse Team Selected as Finalist for INFORMS Innovative Applications in Analytics Award

Medicaid Video Still

Using Analytics to Understand and Improve Provider Accessibility for a State Medicaid Agency, a joint project between the Alabama Medicaid Agency and the Culverhouse College’s Institute of Data and Analytics, was selected as one of six finalists from forty-five entries for the prestigious 2021 INFORMS Innovative Applications in Analytics Award (IAAA) competition. The team includes Barry Cambron and Kumari Seetala of the Alabama Medicaid Agency and Dwight Lewis Jr., Jason Parton, Matthew Hudnall, Nick Freeman, Irem Orgut, Xin Yang, Thomas English, Steven Samsel, Ryan Tramp, and Jim Cochran of The University of Alabama.

The IAAA, which is given annually if a suitable project is nominated, recognizes creative and unique application of a combination of analytical techniques in new areas. The prize promotes the awareness and value of the creative blend of advanced analytics in unusual applications to provide insights and business value. One can watch the video above or at the link here.

The other five finalists are:

  • Operations Research Improves Biomanufacturing Efficiency at MSD Animal Health, Tugce Martagan, Eindhoven University of Technology; Bram van Ravenstein, Oscar Repping, and Marc Baaijens, MSD Animal Health
  • Personalized Recommender System Design for an Online B2B Platform, Vishal Gaur and Xiaoyan Liu, Cornell University; Gaurang Manchanda, IndiaMART
  • Using Machine Learning to Improve Public Reporting on U.S. Government Contracts, William A. Muir and Roger H. Westermeyer, U.S. Air Force Installation Contracting Center; Daniel Reich, Naval Postgraduate
  • Data-driven COVID-19 Vaccine Development for Janssen, Dimitris Bertsimas, Michael Lingzhi Li, Omar Skali Lami, and Hamza Tazi Bouardi, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Jennings Xu, Jose Zamalloa, Amir Hashemi, Ankit Lodha, Yuqi Shang, Kris Standish, Shi-hua Yu, Levon Demirdjian, Xiaoying Wu, Sid Jain, and Najat Khan, Janssen Pharmaceuticals
  • Predictive Analytics for Detection of Metastatic Cancer, Selin Merdan, Christine Barnett, David Miller, James Montie, and Brian Denton, University of Michigan

The strong slate of finalist teams competed on April 13 during the Virtual 2021 INFORMS Business Analytics Conference, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology/Janssen Pharmaceuticals team was awarded the 2021 IAAA at the conference’s closing plenary session on April 14.

The joint Alabama Medicaid Agency/Institute of Data and Analytics project has been instrumental in identifying underserved populations at increased odds of inadequate care due to poor physical access to healthcare providers. One key finding in this study is the number of youth in rural areas who are reliant on aged-dentists for oral care, which led to policy changes and ongoing planning management within the state to promote access to dental services should these aged dentists retire.


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