Hari Jagannathan Balasubramanian


Publications; Students; CV

Non-academic stuff: Blog and Essays for 3 Quarks Daily


I teach Industrial Engineering at the University of Massachusetts (UMass) at Amherst. I joined UMass in the Fall of 2008. I obtained my PhD in Industrial Engineering at Arizona State University in August 2006. My dissertation work was on scheduling problems broadly motivated by the wafer fabrication stage of semiconductor manufacturing. I was advised by John Fowler and Ahmet Keha.

From Aug 2006-August 2008, I worked as a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Health Sciences Research at the Mayo Clinic, an academic medical institution in Rochester, Minnesota. I found the position by chance; it was one of those unplanned events that changed my research focus completely, although the scheduling algorithms and methodologies I had learned as a graduate student still turned out to be very useful in healthcare. I worked with Brian Denton, who was then at Mayo Clinic, and is now at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

As a result, my primary research themes now revolve around operations research applied to healthcare delivery. Some examples: I've worked on planning and scheduling of outpatient primary care appointments; scheduling surgeries; optimization of prostate cancer screening decisions; improving emergency room operations and inpatient capacity planning. Generally, the focus has been to improve patient access to healthcare providers and resources, by reducing patient wait time (which can mean various things depending on the healthcare context). Recently, I've begun looking at patterns of healthcare use that can be inferred using longitduinal individual-level data on healthcare encounters.

In addressing these problems, I've had the good fortune of working with a number healthcare institutions/practices: 1. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota; 2. Baystate Health, Springfield, Massachusetts (western campus of Tufts Medicine) 3. University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, Massachusetts 4. Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA; 5. The Atkinson Family Practice, Amherst MA. This collaborative kind of healthcare engineering work has been funded by the National Science Foundation and the Agency of Healthcare Research and Quality.

I have taught five classes: Linear Programming (MIE 620); Operations Research in Healthcare (MIE 597C), an elective for both graduate and undergraduate students; Probability and Statistics for Engineers (MIE 273/CEE 260) at the sophomore level; Introduction to Simulation Methods (MIE 373) for industrial engineering juniors; and Markov Models (MIE 380).

If you'd like to know my interests outside of academia -- and I have a lot such interests, often exerting a pull much stronger than academic research -- feel free to peruse my humanities focused blog, Thirty Letters in My Name. These days, my blog is inactive because most of my energy is directed towards monthly columns for the science and humanities website 3 Quarks Daily. Links to the columns are here.

Contact: hbalasubraman at ecs dot umass dot edu