Zinal Winter School on

Data Science, Optimization and Operations Research

January 14 - 19, 2024

Hotel Europe, Zinal, Switzerland

Jordi Castro

Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Dept. of Statistics and Operations Research


Jordi Castro is full professor of the Dept. of Statistics and Operations Research of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (Barcelona, Catalonia). He is author of more than 70 publications appeared in most optimization and operations research journals (e.g., Math. Program., SIAM J. Optim., Oper. Res., Manag. Sci., J. Optim. Theory Appl, INFORMS J. Comput., Eur. J. Oper. Res., Networks, Comput. Optim. Appl., Comput. Oper. Res., Ann. Oper. Res., Optim. Meth. Soft., etc). Jordi has been the leading researcher of eight national research projects, two European Union funded projects, and nine contracts with companies. He is currently associate editor of Transactions on Data Privacy, and TOP; and technical editor of Mathematical Programming Computation.

Marie-Eve Rancourt

HEC Montréal


Marie-Ève Rancourt is an associate professor of Logistics and Operations Management at HEC Montréal. She holds the Canada Research Chair in Humanitarian Supply Chain Analytics, and is a member of the Interuniversity Research Center on Enterprise Networks, Logistics and Transportation (CIRRELT). Her research interests lie in the areas of humanitarian logistics, supply chain design, and transportation management using methodologies rooted in data science to support data-driven decision- and policy-making. Her contributions have been recognized with awards such as the AACSB Innovations That Inspire Challenge and have led to prize-winning articles, including two SEIO-BBVA Foundation prizes and three POMS HOCM Best Paper awards. She has published in top-tier journals such as Production and Operations Management and Transportation Science. Her recent work focuses on the use of mathematical modeling to solve applied problems with societal implications, particularly logistics problems related with relief operations, food security and healthcare delivery in developing countries (e.g., Kenya, Ethiopia, Liberia, Haiti, and Nepal). Collaborating with organizations like the World Food Programme, Red Cross Societies (including Canadian and Austrian branches), the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, the World Bank, and the Quebec Food Bank, she develops analytical strategies to manage humanitarian supply chains and reach vulnerable or underserved populations.

Transport and Mobility Laboratory

The course is organized by the Transport and Mobility Laboratory, EPFL.



Venue and accommodation

The winter school will take place at Hotel Europe in Zinal.

  • Welcome cocktail on Sunday at 18:30: main restaurant of the hotel.
  • Lectures and workshops: level -2 of the hotel, in the sport hall.
  • Coffee breaks: main restaurant of the hotel.
  • Banquet dinner on Thursday: main restaurant of the hotel.
  • We recommend the participants to stay at the hotel Europe. Book directly at the hotel, and mention that you are participating to the seminar. If you are not staying at Hotel Europe, you may want to join us for dinner. In that case, please mention it to the hotel.


The course is worth 2 ECTS credits. The students who need to be evaluated to obtain the credit must inform the organizer during registration. In order to obtain the credit, the students must participate to the lectures, participate to the workshops, provide an oral presentation, submit a report. The students will be organized by groups. A scientific paper authored by one of the lecturers will be assigned to each group. During the workshops, the students will have the opportunity to interact with the author of the paper. An oral presentation of the paper by the group will be organized.

After the course, each student will prepare a technical report on a topic related to the course. The topic cannot be associated with the same lecturer as the paper presented during the workshop. This is personal work, and the topic should be approved by the lecturer during the workshop. The report should summarize the topic, provide a literature review, and a personal discussion about the topic (strengths and weaknesses, potential applications, possible extensions, etc.) The objective is to show that the students have understood the concepts, and are able to be critical about it. The report does not need to be long (about 10-15 pages).

The workload for the course is 15 hours of lectures, 8 hours of workshop, preparation of the presentations, report writing.

Lectures schedule

From To Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
8:30 10:00 Jordi Marie-Eve Jordi Marie-Eve Jordi
10:00 10:30 Coffee break
10:30 12:00 Marie-Eve Jordi Marie-Eve Jordi Marie-Eve
12:00 17:00 Sport and discussions
17:00 19:00 Workshop Workshop Presentations Free
19:00 Dinner

List of participants

  1. Gianluca Covini, Università degli studi di Pavia (IT)
  2. Tomarchio Barbara, EPFL (CH)
  3. Varone Sacha, Haute Ecole de Gestion de Genève (CH)
  4. GHERNAOUT Nadia, Université d'Angers (FR)
  5. Kane Aissata, University of Bern, Switzerland (CH)
  6. De Boeck Jérôme, HEC, Université de Liège (BE)
  7. Yang Shaohui, EPFL LA3 (CH)
  8. Schwan Roland, EPFL (CH)
  9. Forr Austnes Pål, EPFL (CH)
  10. Yi Qi, EPFL (CH)
  11. Godfred Badu, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (GH)
  12. Lurkin Virginie, University of Lausanne (CH)
  13. Abdolhamidi Dorsa, University of Lausanne (CH)
  14. Mansouri Ehsan, EPFL (CH)
  15. Pierrejean Lucien, EPFL (CH)
  16. Wei Xinyi, EPFL (CH)
  17. Kuhn Daniel, EPFL (CH)
  18. Gajda Mikele, University of Lausanne (CH)
  19. Gallay Olivier, University of Lausanne (CH)
  20. Haering Tom, EPFL (CH)
  21. Baumann Philipp, University of Bern (CH)
  22. cortes balcells cloe, epfl (CH)
  23. Rychener Yves, EPFL (CH)
  24. Ortelli Nicola, HEIG-VD / EPFL (CH)
  25. Zhang Ru, EPFL (CH)
  26. Widmer Marino, Université de Fribourg - DIUF (CH)
  27. Ries Bernard, University of Fribourg (CH)
  28. Schindl David, University of Fribourg and HEG Genève (CH)
  29. Fischer Vera, University of Fribourg (CH)
  30. Hu Yifan, EPFL (CH)
  31. Sen Buse, EPFL (CH)
  32. Addo Samuel Nana Kwame, Tomboli Ghana Limited (GH)
  33. Bou zeid Mathis Issa , Grenoble INP \ Renault (FR)
  34. Bangerter Elise, Université de Fribourg (CH)
  35. Jacobs Matthieu, EPFL (CH)
  36. Figini Enea, EPFL (CH)
  37. NI Tingting, EPFL (CH)
  38. Rottner Cécile , EDF R&D (FR)
  39. Marija Kukic, EPFL (CH)
  40. Paschalidis Evangelos, EPFL (CH)
  41. Bender Mila, Transp-or (CH)
  42. Ilinov Pavel, EPFL (CH)
  43. Boveroux Laurie, University of Liège (BE)
  44. Minda Zhao, EPFL (CH)
  45. Arabizadeh Negar, Kit (DE)
  46. Bröchin Manuel, SBB (CH)
  47. Ricard Léa, EPFL (CH)
  48. Bessemans Pauline, University of Liège (BE)
  49. Moroni Jean-Armand, EDF (FR)
  50. Ranit Sinha Ranit, University of Luxembourg (LU)
  51. Bierlaire Michel, EPFL (CH)
  52. Virginillo Dawn, EPFL (CH)
  53. Chen Dawei, Eindhoven university of technology (NL)
  54. Le Boudec Elias, EPFL (CH)
  55. Bhoir Shubham, EPFL (CH)
  56. Ali Mona, German University in Cairo (EG)
  57. Buckley Maxwell, ETH (CH)
  58. Stauffer Gautier, HEC Lausanne (CH)
  59. Aissaoui Sammy, ECAM-EPMI (FR)
  60. Umberto Junior Mele Umberto, Dalle Molle Institute for Artificial Intelligence (CH)
  61. Pougala Janody, EPFL (CH)
  62. Fauduet Alex, EDF (FR)
  63. Aboutorabi Atin, EPFL (CH)
  64. Jordi Castro, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (ES)
  65. Rancourt Marie-Eve, HEC Montréal (CA)
  66. Meritxell Pacheco Paneque, DS&OR (Université de Fribourg) (CH)
  67. HUANG Pihua, FA Co.,Ltd (CN)
  68. Umberto Mele, Università della Svizzera italiana (CH)
  69. Wang Wenbin, EPFL (CH)