Author Archives: Eric

Rounding the Bases 20170728

17776: What Football Will Look Like in the Future.
Thoughts: How am I just now seeing this? This is so good. It’s a “serialized speculative fiction multimedia narrative by Jon Bois published online through SB Nation”, so just go with it.

The Trade Deadline Doesn’t Matter As Much This Year.

The Yankees are still the worst.

MLS offered huge television contract if they’ll consider promotion/relegation. I’m of the opinion that this would make soccer in the US more interesting, but I also understand the entrenched interest that MLS owners have in preventing it. I give it a 5% chance of happening.

Breaking down Kyrie Irving’s game.

Andrew Hawkins, former Bengal and Brown WR, to pursue Ph.D. in business/economics.

Eric, where have you been?!?

So, it’s been over two months since I got married and a month and a half since I got married again. Since early May, I haven’t been in one place for more than three weeks. I guess it’s time to recap the journey so far.

Early May: I formally proposed my dissertation topic. My thoughts then moved quickly to our upcoming nuptials.
May 19: Maria and I flew to Denver. We picked up our marriage license!

The building for the marriage license was Webb Municipal Office Building; good sign, right?

Right before we got to Denver, they got a bunch of snow. So our 4 days there involved lots of snowy adventures. We hiked a glacier.

We scouted out a site for our marriage ceremony.

And we got married! We held a small ceremony at Echo Lake near the trailhead for Mt. Evans. Initially, we were hoping to get married ON Mt. Evans, because it was initially named Mt. Rosalie, who was Albert Bierstadt’s wife, and we got engaged on Mt. Bierstadt. However, the snowfall prior to our arrival made that impractical.

Our ceremony was Monday, May 22, 2017 (exactly 7 years after we officially started dating and exactly 3 years after we got engaged). We held a sunrise ceremony around 5:30am mountain time and were officially married before 6:00am.

And then we got into the freezing cold Echo Lake!

And then we climbed Chief Mountain, an 11709′ peak. Maria did it in her wedding dress. Proof at the top:

May 23: We said goodbye to the handful of friends that were with us in Denver and headed on our first honeymoon. We flew into Reno, NV. We toured the Nevada capitol in Carson City and headed to our destination: Lake Tahoe.

In Tahoe, we spent 2 nights on the north shore and 2 nights on the south shore. We went on a chilly boat tour.

We went paddle boarding.

May 27: We drove down to Yosemite National Park. Yosemite was having spectacular waterfall displays after record snowfall. We first went to Hetch Hetchy, which has spectacular views that rival Yosemite Valley, while being much less trafficked. Here is a view from the dam there.

Later, we tried to do the Valley Loop Trail, but were stymied by excessive water runoff causing new rivers across the trail.

We ended up fording at least 2 rivers (we lost all our oxen) and walking about 17 miles. On future days, we climbed up to see Yosemite Falls:

On the way out of California, we stopped to tour the capitol in Sacramento.

May 31: We flew back to Indiana over night. Southwest lost one of our four bags. We began 2nd wedding ceremony plans in full earnest. This ceremony had been occupying us since around November, but now was crunch time. We were expecting around 200-230 guests at an outdoor venue near Bloomington on June 10.

June 9: We had a rehearsal dinner at Irish Lion, by invitation, and then drinks at the downstairs area of The Tap, open to all. We filled that room at The Tap and had a bit too much fun.

June 10: We got married! Again! This time in front of a lot more people. We got married at Solsberry Hill in Solsberry, Indiana around 4:30pm on Saturday, June 10, 2017. We’re still awaiting pictures from our photographer, but here is a picture from one of my friend’s cameras. It showcases our escape from the wedding amphitheater via escape rowboat.

The ceremony and reception were awesome. We had cookie cake, music (hand chosen by yours truly), s’mores, cornhole, and lots of fun interactions. Thanks to everyone who made it out. I know most people were gone by then, but about 30 hangers-on got to see me jump in the lake in my formal attire around 11pm.

June 11: We really wanted a wedding weekend, not just a wedding, so we kept the party going on Sunday. We had brunch at the Indiana Memorial Union with friends and family. Then we rented a double-decker boat (with a slide) at Lake Monroe and spent the day cruising and swimming. Weather was great and everyone seemed to have a good time. Group photo:

June 12: We left for our second honeymoon. This time, we went to Newfoundland, Canada! This was the perfect time of year to see icebergs, whales, and puffins. We succeeded at seeing 2 of the 3. After landing in St. John’s early on the 13th (after 2 transfers), we saw the sunrise at the easternmost point of the continent. At the first couple cities we visited, we were not able to take iceberg tours, because there was so much ice in the harbors that boats could not get out. We visited Gros Morne (Canadian) National Park, which has some awesome scenery. Here is us at the top of one of the hikes:

We also saw a couple really cool geological sites. And we took a boat tour into a freshwater fjord (very rare):

On the way back toward St. John’s to fly out, we stopped one night in Trinity. We were able to take a boat tour to get close to icebergs there:

We also ended up parking that boat in the middle of a group of 4-6 humpback whales, which kept surfacing. One even jumped out of the water (breached), landing with a big splash. We didn’t get a picture of that because it was too fast, but it was very close to us, probably 100-200 feet.

June 18: We overcame the inefficient Toronto airport to fly to Chapel Hill, NC. I attended the annual MSOM conference, one of my main academic conferences. It was back on UNC’s campus, where Maria and I first lived together, back in 2011. Maria got to tour around town while I attended the conference and presented my paper.

June 21: Back to Bloomington. Things settled down briefly while we recovered and tried to put our house back into order.

July 2: Took another boat tour of Lake Monroe with friends again. Got sunburned.

July 4: Hosted a 4th of July party with friends. Lots of grilling out, cornhole, and sparklers.

July 8: Left for a month in southwest US. Maria and I decided to spend some significant time away from Bloomington over the summer to explore a new area. We saw a St. Louis Cardinal’s game (bleh!) on the way toward Oklahoma City the first night. We toured the Oklahoma capitol. Then we headed to New Mexico. We had booked an Airbnb in Algodones for a week, but it had multiple issues. So we scrambled and found a place in Albuquerque. On the way there, we toured the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History.

In Albuquerque, I sequestered myself inside to work on my many neglected papers, and Maria toured the town. On July 17, we headed toward Taos, where our second Airbnb was. On the way, we toured the New Mexico capitol in Santa Fe. We will be here until July 31. Here is our view every morning:

I continue to work on my projects while Maria gets to do infinite fun things. I’m trying to get everything together for the academic job market this Fall, and I need to make up for lost time earlier in the year. I’ll be pretty busy for the rest of this year. Here the rest of our travel schedule:
July 31: Staying with Bryan Wallace, one of my groomsmen and high school friend, in Denver
August 1: Staying with Kyle Bradley, who just graduated from IU and took a job at Kansas State, and family in Manhattan, KS
Aug 2-5: Staying with Tim Pennings, friend and former internship advisor, in Au Train, MI. Upper peninsula.
Aug 5-7: Staying with my mom in Sandusky, OH.

Then back to Bloomington. Over 3 months (mid-May to mid-August), we will have slept in 9 states and 1 province, visited attractions in 2 other states, driven through 4 other states, and spent too long in Toronto’s airport. I hope you’re enjoying your summer as well!

Talks I Attended at MSOM 2017

Documented mostly for my future reference.

-Peak Load Energy Management by Direct Load Control Contracts, by Ali Fattahi, Sriram Dasu, Reza Ahmadi
-Is electricity storage green? A study on the commercial sector, by Yangfang Zhou (Helen)
-Promotion Planning of Network Goods, by Saed Alizamir, Ningyuan Chen, Vahideh Manshadi

-Seeking to Belong, by Bradley Staats, Paul Green, Francesca Gino
-Familiarity in Creative Teams: The Effect of Task Nature, by Murat Unal, Karthik Ramachandran, Necati Tereyagoglu
-Designing Sustainable Products under Co-Production Technology, by Yen-Ting Lin, Shouqiang Wang, Haoying Sun

-That’s Not Fair – Tariff Structures for Electricity Markets with Rooftop Solar, by Siddharth Prakash Singh, Alan Scheller-Wolf
-Mind the Gap: Coordinating Energy Efficiency and Demand Response, by Eric Webb, Owen Wu, Kyle Cattani
-Using Transparency to Manage the Sourcing of Complex Non-routine Litigation, by Jacob Chestnut, Damian Bell

-Environmentally Friendly Contract in a Supply Chain: Stimulating Supplier’s Environmental Innovation for a Manufacturer under Emission Tax, by Kun Soo Park
-Multi-agent Mechanism Design without Money, by Santiago Balseiro, Huseyin Gurkan, Peng Sun
-Payment for Results: Funding Non-Profit Operations, by Sripad Devalkar, Milind Sohoni, Neha Sharma

-Designing Incentives for Startup Teams: Form and timing of Equity Contracting, by Evgeny Kagan, Stephen Leider, William Lovejoy
-Integrating Managerial Insight and Optimal Algorithms, by Blair Flicker, Elena Katok
-Modeling Newsvendor Behavior: A Prospect Theory Approach, by Bhavani Shanker Uppari, Sameer Hasija

-Last Place Aversion in Queue, by Ryan Buell, Michael Norton, Jay Chakraborty
-Learning Preferences and User Engagement Using Choice and Time Data, by Tauhid Zaman, Zhengli Wang
-Relative Performance Transparency: Effects on Sustainable Purchase and Consumption Behavior, by Ryan Buell, Shwetha Mariadassou, Yanchong Zheng

Successfully Passed Proposal Defense

A week ago, I passed my dissertation proposal defense. I proposed two essays in energy operations management for my dissertation. I will have to defend the thesis writeup next spring. Thanks to my committee: Owen Wu, Gil Souza, Kyle Cattani, and Kurt Bretthauer, and to the external members of my examination committee: John Maxwell and Shibo Li.

Finalist for POMS College of Sustainable Operations Best Student Paper

Kyle Cattani, one of my co-authors, was left off the original announcement. I have added him below.

Announcement sent out via Tim Kraft and Yannis Bellos:

On behalf of the awards committee, we are pleased to congratulate the finalist for the 2017 POMS College of Sustainable Operations Best Student Paper Competition. The finalist in alphabetical order are:

Karthik Balasubramanian (Harvard Business School)
Inventory Models for Mobile Money Agents in the Developing World
Co-author: David Drake

Eric Webb (Indiana University)
Mind the Gap: Coordinating Energy Efficiency and Demand Response
Coauthor: Owen Wu, Kyle Cattani

Can Zhang (Georgia Tech)
Truth-inducing Mechanisms for Medical Surplus Product Allocation
Coauthors: Atalay Atasu, Turgay Ayer, Beril Toktay

The winning paper will be announced during the College of Sustainable Operations business meeting on Saturday, May 6th at this year’s POMS Annual Conference in Seattle. Thank you to all those who submitted. We had a record number of entries this year with 24 submissions, all of which were of high quality.

Book Review – Micro Cogeneration

Micro Cogeneration: Towards Decentralized Energy Systems
by Martin Pehnt, Martin Cames, Corinna Fischer, Barbara Praetorius, Lambert Schneider, Katja Schumacher, and Jan-Peter Vob, 2006

This book describes efforts to improve the adoption of small-scale cogeneration, or combined heat and power plants. I wrote a bit about CHP plants here.

This book is written for the German market, but describes the situation in the US, Europe, and Japan as well.

I didn’t read the whole book, as many of the chapters were overly technical for my interest-level. I’m mostly interested in the economic situation of CHP plants. Here are the chapters I read:
2. Dynamics of Socio-Technical Change: Micro Cogeneration in Energy System Transformation Scenarios
3. The Future Heating Market and the Potential for Micro Cogeneration
4. Economics of Micro Cogeneration
9. Embedding Micro Cogeneration in the Energy Supply System
11. Micro Cogeneration in North America
15. Summary and Conclusions

I think this quote sums up the difficulty of embracing decentralized CHP well:

Micro cogeneration… faces a selection environment that is geared towards central generation and long-distance transmission of electricity combined with separate heat production. The existing “regime” of energy provision may indeed represent a fundamental barrier for the widespread application of micro cogeneration technology, because it more or less subtly works towards the preservation of the existing structure: to which vested interests, actor networks, traditions, established mind sets, sunk costs, and more are attached.

My CHP project is looking at economic situations and policy levers in which utility ownership of CHP will be more favored.