Research meetup 14 – Got (optimal) milk?





Got (Optimal) Milk?

Human donor milk is considered the ideal nutrition for millions of infants that are born preterm each year. The macronutrient content of donor milk is directly linked to infant brain development but can vary substantially across donations, which is why multiple donations are typically pooled together to create a final product. We propose a data-driven framework combining machine learning and optimization to predict macronutrient content of deposits and then optimally combine them in pools, respectively. In collaboration with our partner milk bank, we collect a data set of milk to train our predictive models. We rigorously simulate milk bank practices to fine-tune our optimization models. Finally, we conduct a yearlong trial implementation, where we observe the current nurse-led pooling practices followed by our intervention. Pools created by our approach meet clinical macronutrient targets approximately 31% more often than the baseline, while taking 60% less recipe creation time.

Introducing Timothy Chan

Timothy Chan is the Associate Vice-President and Vice-Provost, Strategic Initiatives at the University of Toronto, the Canada Research Chair in Novel Optimization and Analytics in Health, a Professor in the department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, and a Senior Fellow of Massey College. His primary research interests are in operations research, optimization, and applied machine learning, with applications in healthcare, medicine, sustainability, and sports. He received his B.Sc. in Applied Mathematics from the University of British Columbia (2002), and his Ph.D. in Operations Research from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2007). Before coming to Toronto, he was an Associate in the Chicago office of McKinsey and Company (2007-2009), a global management consulting firm. During that time, he advised leading companies in the fields of medical device technology, travel and hospitality, telecommunications, and energy on issues of strategy, organization, technology and operations.

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