Seminar Series: Kayse Maass, Northeastern University

Tuesday, November 12, 2019 at 4:30pm to 5:30pm

Mohler Laboratory, 453
200 W Packer Ave., Bethlehem, PA 18015

Title: A Systems Approach to Disrupting Human Trafficking


Human trafficking is a prevalent and malicious global human rights issue, with an estimated 24 million victims currently being exploited worldwide. A major challenge to its disruption is the fact that human trafficking is a complex system interwoven with other illegal and legal networks, both cyber and physical. Efforts to disrupt human trafficking must understand these complexities and the ways in which a disruption to one portion of the network affects other network components. As such, industrial and systems engineering models are uniquely positioned to address the challenges facing anti-human trafficking efforts. This presentation will discuss ongoing interdisciplinary antihuman trafficking efforts focusing on prevention, network disruption, and survivor empowerment. Specifically, we will discuss 1) the adaptions to current network interdiction models that are necessary for adequately representing human trafficking contexts and 2) a budget-constrained optimization model that maximizes the societal value of locating additional shelters for human trafficking survivors.

Bio sketch

Kayse Lee Maass is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering and leads the Operations Research and Social Justice lab at Northeastern University. She also currently holds a research appointment with the Information and Decision Engineering Program at Mayo Clinic. Dr. Maass’s research focuses on the application of operations research methodology to social justice, access, and equity issues within human trafficking, mental health, housing, and supply chain contexts. Her work is supported my multiple National Science Foundation grants, centers interdisciplinary survivor-informed expertise, and has been used to inform policy and operational decisions at the local, national, and international levels. Dr. Maass earned a PhD in Industrial and Operations Engineering (IOE) from the University of Michigan and completed her postdoctoral studies as a Research Associate in the Department of Health Sciences Research at the Mayo Clinic. She is a recipient of multiple awards, including: the INFORMS Judith Liebman Award, NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program Award, INFORMS Section on Location Analysis Dissertation AwardRunner Up. Dr. Maass currently serves as the INFORMS Section on Location Analysis Treasurer and is a member of the H.E.A.L. Trafficking Research Committee.


Academics & Colleges

Target Audience

Undergrad Students, Graduate Students, Faculty


Industrial and Systems Engineering Department
Contact Information

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