Mary E. Helander  Mary E. Helander photo       

contact information

Senior Research Scientist and Software Architect
Thomas J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights, NY USA
  +1dash914dash945dash2019

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Professional Associations

Professional Associations:  ACM  |  IEEE   |  INFORMS  |  Society of Women Engineers


2006-present:  Board of Trustees:  State University of New York, Potsdam, College Foundation

2010-2016:  INFORMS Conf on Business Analytics & Operations Research:  Selects Committee

2015-present:  Associate Editor: Interfaces

2016-present:  Associate Editor:  Socio-Economic Planning Sciences

2016:  Guest Editor:  IBM Journal of Research and Development:  Special Issue on Food Safety, Security and Defense, volume 60, number 5/6, September/November, 2016

The special issue of the IBM Journal of Research and Development, on Food Safety, Security and Defense (v 60, n 5/6, Sept/Nov 2016), is now published – concluding a process that began with the special issue’s proposal in late 2013. Co-guest editor Anna Topol and I are grateful to Cliff Pickover, the journal’s Editor-in-Chief, for his wisdom, experience and dedication in working with us on this project.  James Kaufman, Christine Kretz, Gary Rodrigue and Robin Lougee had various involvements in planning and getting the word out to food systems communities through the call for papers. At various points in the special issue planning, Jeff Wesler, Chid Apte, Robert Morris, Ajay Royyuru, Harold Schmitz and David Crean gave executive doses of encourage - special thanks for those contributions.

The journey for this special issue began with a conversation inspired by Bob Baker, Global Head of Technical Food Safety Development at Mars Incorporated, and Ramesh Natarajan, former IBM Research Staff Member and colleague who is now at Amazon. The result, with gratitude to Bob and Ramesh for “planting the original idea seed,” is a collection of papers connecting key technology and science in a single volume, addressing:

  • Food Safety, reducing and eliminating hazards that may cause harm;
  • Food Security; physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food; and
  • Food Defense; protecting against risk of malicious, criminal, or terrorist actions on the food supply.

The issue’s author affiliations collectively represent an array of researchers from academia and industry. Our sincere gratitude goes out to all of special issue authors, not only for their diligence and hard work in writing papers, but for their on-going dedication to these important topics.


Mary Helander and Anna Topol, October 16, 2016
Guest editors for IBM Jo. of R&D Special Issue on "Food Safety, Security and Defense"