PhD Student Anthony Zhenhuan Zhang Wins Runner-Up in Best Paper Competition

ISyE Ph.D. student Anthony Zhenhuan Zhang won runner-up at the Best Paper Award Competition held by the Production and Operations Management Society's College of Humanitarian Operations and Crisis Management (HOCM).

Zhang's paper, "No Panic in Pandemic: The Impact of Individual Choice on Public Health Policy and Vaccine Priority," studied public health interventions and their effects based on COVID-19 data from Minnesota. Zhang found lockdowns and social distancing policies to be more effective when the disease prevalence is not at its peak. Additionally, social distancing was determined to be more effective than lockdowns. While the vaccine priority to the elderly group is most effective in reducing total deaths, it has to be accompanied with more stringent social distancing policies, Zhang found. The full report can be read here.

In their comments, HOCM judges found Zhang's paper to be a "technically well-done paper that is well-written, and interesting," while offering "excellent and unique methodological applications" that "attempts to answer a question in everybody’s mind today."

Zhang's paper was co-written by ISyE Assistant Professor Ying Cui, Miao Bai (University of Connecticut), and Guangwen Kong (Temple University).