Zhi-Long Chen Directory Page

Zhi-Long Chen

Zhi-Long Chen

Dean's Chair in Management Science

Orkand Corporation Professor of Management Science

Ph.D., Princeton University


4321 Van Munching Hall

Dr. Chen received his PhD degree in Operations Research from Princeton University in 1997. He worked as an assistant professor of systems engineering at University of Pennsylvania for four years before joining the Robert H. Smith School of Business in 2001. He is currently Orkand Corporation Professor of Management Science, and Professor of Operations Management at the Smith School.

Dr. Chen's research interests cover supply chain scheduling, production and transportation operations, fulfillment operations, and dynamic pricing. Dr. Chen has worked on many research projects in these areas, some of which were funded by grants from funding agencies such as NSF or from industry. He has also worked on several real-world projects with companies, one of which was awarded as a finalist of the INFORMS Franz Edelman Award Competition in 2013.  Dr. Chen has served or is currently serving as an associate editor of various journals, including OR, POM, IISE Transactions, NRL, Networks, and Journal of Scheduling. Dr. Chen has taught a number of undergraduate, graduate, and executive courses on supply chain management, operations management, and optimization. He has received several teaching awards from the Smith School for his teaching excellence, including the prestigious Allen J. Krowe Award in 2015.


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Why In-store Pickup Isn’t As Seamless As It Seems for Retailers

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A Look Into the Future of Business Operations

New Article Explores How AI, Machine Learning Will Change Things

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Why Companies are Leaving Money on the Table

Researchers’ Book Sheds Light on How Firms can use Mathematical Models for Supply Chain Scheduling to Improve Performance and Minimize Costs

Read the article : Why Companies are Leaving Money on the Table


The Global Pulse: A Coronavirus Video Series

Insights on a pandemic, from logistics to ethics to technology

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Please visit my Google Scholar page to see a full list of my publications.

Research Interests

  • Applications: (1) Supply chain scheduling (production & distribution scheduling integration, coordination between different parties of a supply chain); (2) Production and transportation operations (production & capacity planning, routing/scheduling of logistics operations, ride sharing); (3) Fulfillment operations (last mile delivery, warehouse / fulfillment centers); (4) Dynamic pricing (markdown pricing, robust pricing).
  • Methodologies: (1) Combinatorial optimization (complexity analysis, dynamic/integer programming); (2) Large-scale optimization (column generation, Benders decomposition); (3) Optimization under uncertainty (stochastic programming with recourse); (4) Heuristic analysis.

Current Research Projects

  • “Offline and online supply chain scheduling problems”. There are a variety of applications that can be viewed as offline or online production and distribution scheduling problems. This project studies various new integrated production and distribution scheduling problems that arise in fulfillment operations and last-mile delivery.
  • "Integrated learning and optimization for joint routing and loading decisions in automobile shipping ”. Jointly with Yanshuo Sun of Florida State University. This project developed an integrated machine learning and optimization approach to solve a joint routing and loading optimization problem that arises in automobile shipping.
  • “Surgery scheduling”. Jointly with Guohua Wan of Shanghai Jiaotong University. This project involves finding schedules for a given set of operating rooms for elective surgeries where patients have time window preferences.

Representative Publications (Last 10 Years)

Z.-L. Chen. Online integrated production and distribution scheduling: Review of literature and extensions. INFORMS Journal on Computing. Forthcoming.

S. Kirtonia, Y. Sun, and Z.-L. Chen. Selection of auto-carrier loading policy in automobile shipping. IISE Transactions. (Published online, January 2024)

M. Chen and Z.-L. Chen. Stop clicking around and book direct: impact of best rate guarantee on hotel pricing. European Journal of Operational Research , 313(3), 2024, 1088 – 1104.

Z. Xu, F. Li, and Z.-L. Chen. Shipment consolidation with nonlinear cost structures. Forthcoming, Management Science. (Published online: June 2023)

S. Mithas, Z.-L. Chen, T. Saldanha, A.D.O. Silveira. How will artificial intelligence and Industry 4.0 emerging technologies transform operations management? Production and Operations Management. 31 (2022), 4475 – 4487.

Z.-L. Chen, N.G. Hall, Supply Chain Scheduling, Springer Nature, Switzerland AG, 2022. 688 pages. [ISBN-13: 978-3030903725, ISBN-10: 3030903729].

X. Wu, Z.-L. Chen. Fulfillment scheduling for buy-online-pickup-in-store orders. Production and Operations Management. 31 (2022), 2982 – 3003.

Y. Sun, S. Kirtonia, Z.-L. Chen. Automobile shipping optimization problem: A critique of literature and prospective research. Transportation Research, Part E. 149 (2021): 102302.

F. Li, Z. Xu and Z.-L. Chen. Production and transportation integration with commit-to-delivery mode with general shipping costs. INFORMS Journal on Computing. 32 (2020), 1012-1029.

Y. Sun, Z.-L. Chen, L. Zhang. Nonprofit peer-to-peer ridesharing optimization. Transportation Research, Part E. 142 (2020), 1 – 26.

Q. Yue, Z.-L. Chen, G. Wan. Integrated dynamic pricing and production scheduling of multiple customized products with a common base product. IIE Transactions, 51 (2019), 1383 – 1401.

L. Tang, F. Li and Z.-L. Chen, Integrated scheduling of production and two-stage delivery of make-to-order products: Offline and online algorithms. INFORMS Journal on Computing. 31 (2019), 493 – 514. [Part of the Project that won Franz Edelman Finalist Award]

M. Chen, Z.-L. Chen. Dynamic pricing with a fare-lock option. Transportation Research, Part E. 125 (2019) 1 – 26.

Y. Wang*, F. Chen and Z.-L. Chen, Pickup and delivery of automobiles from warehouses to dealers. Transportation Research, Part B. 117 (2018), 412 – 430.

M. Chen* and Z.-L. Chen, Robust pricing with two substitutable products. Manufacturing & Service Operations Management. 20 (2018), No. 2, 249 – 268.

F. Li*, Z.-L. Chen, L. Tang. Integrated production, inventory and delivery problems: Complexity and algorithms. INFORMS Journal on Computing, 29(2) (2017), 232 – 250. [Part of the Project that won Franz Edelman Finalist Award]

Z.-L. Chen and N.G. Hall, Dynamic pricing to minimize maximum regret. Production and Operations Management, 26(1) (2017), 47 – 63.

L. Tang, Y. Meng, Z.-L. Chen and J. Liu, Coil batching in the batch annealing operations of steel production. Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, 18(2) (2016), 262-279. [Part of the Project that won Franz Edelman Finalist Award]

M. Chen and Z.-L. Chen, Recent developments in dynamic pricing research: Multiple products, competition, and limited demand information. Production and Operations Management, 24 (2015), Issue 5, 704-731.

M. Chen, Z.-L. Chen, G. Pundoor, S. Acharya, and J. Yi, Integrated inventory allocation and markdown pricing at multiple stores. IIE Transactions, 47 (2015), 84-108. [This research was featured in Industrial Engineer, the magazine for IISE, in the December 2014 issue] 

L. Tang, G. Wang and Z.-L. Chen, Integrated charge batching and casting width selection at Baosteel. Operations Research, 62 (2014), 772 – 787. [Part of the Project that won Franz Edelman Finalist Award]

L. Tang, Y. Meng, G. Wang, Z.-L. Chen, J. Liu, G. Hu, L. Chen, B. Zhang, Operations Research transforms Baosteel’s operations. Interfaces, 44 (2014), 22-38. [This paper summarizes the project that won the Franz Edelman Finalist Award] 

Teaching Awards Received:

  • Allen J. Krowe Award for Teaching Excellence, Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland, 2015.
  • Top 15% Faculty Award for MBA core courses, Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland, 2011, 2008, 2002.

Courses Taught at University of Pennsylvania (1997–2001)

(1) SYS304, “Optimization of Systems”, Undergraduate Level, University of Pennsylvania

(2) SYS650, “Advanced Logistics”, Graduate Level, University of Pennsylvania

Courses Taught at Smith School, University of Maryland (2001–present)

(1) BMGT 833, “Integer Programming , PhD Elective, University of Maryland. A couple of times.

(2) BUDT 758V “Operations Analytics”, MS in Business Analytics. Every year since 2018.

(3) BUSM 751 / BUSM 758D / BUDT 758R, “ Managing Supply Chains: Models and Analysis”, Full-time and Part-time MBA elective. Various years in the part-time program; every year in the full-time program, since 2016.

(4) BUSI 634 / BUSM 624, “Operations Management, This is a core MBA course since the summer 2008 for both full-time and part-time programs. Various years in the full-time program; almost every year in the part-time program. Also taught it in the MS/Supply Chain Management program for two years when it was a required course in that program.

(5) BUDT 724, “Operations Management, MBA Elective prior to 2008. A couple of years.

(6) EMBA634 / EMBA 694 / EMBA 758F, “Operations Management, Required course for EMBA Programs in College Park and Beijing, China. Various years between 2005 and 2016.

(7) BUSI788C / BUSI798C “Doing Business in China,Doing Business in China and Vietnam, MBA elective (open to all programs including full-time, part-time, online, and executive programs). Taught almost every year since 2009.

(8) BMGT671 / BUSI671, “ Supply Chain Logistics and Operations Management, MBA & EMBA Core Course prior to 2008. Every year when it was offered.

(9) BMGT 385, “Operations Management, Required course for undergraduate OMBA major, 2020.

(10) BMGT498D “Doing Business in China, Undergraduate Level. 2010.

(11) BMGT434, “Introduction to Optimization”, Undergraduate Level, required course for OM major. Taught every year between 2004 and 2009.

Ph.D. Students Supervised:

1. Ming Chen – University of Maryland. Graduate in May 2011. Ph.D. Thesis title: “ Solving practical dynamic pricing problems with limited demand information ”. Placement: California State University – Long Beach.

2. Guruprasad Pundoor – University of Maryland. Graduated in May 2005. Ph.D. thesis title: “ Integrated Production and Distribution Scheduling in Supply Chains ”. Placement: FedEx.

Winner of the R.H. Smith School Abraham Golub Memorial Dissertation Proposal Prize, 2005.

3. Hang Xu – University of Pennsylvania. Graduated in June 2002. Ph.D. thesis title: “Models and Algorithms for Practical Vehicle Routing ”. Placement: Manugistics.

4. Denny Cho – University of Pennsylvania. Jointly supervised by Prof. Ed Morlok and me. Graduated in May 2002. Ph.D. thesis title: “ Three Papers on Measuring the Reliability and Flexibility of Transportation System Capacity ”. Placement: Boeing.

PhD Students Co-supervised:

1. Weiya Zhong – Zhejiang University, China, 2010; currently Associate Prof at the School of Management, Shanghai University, Shanghai, China.

2. Feng Li – Northeastern University, China, 2013-15; currently Associate Prof at School of Management, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, China

3. Qing Yue – Shanghai Jiaotong University, China, 2013-14; currently assistant professor at the Department of Business Management and Economics, Shanghai University of International Business and Economics. Shanghai, China.

4. Yu Wang – Shanghai Jiaotong University, China, 2015-16; currently assistant professor at Shanghai Maritime University, Shanghai, China.

5. Xueqi Wu – Shanghai Jiaotong University, China, 2019-21.

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