Mary E. Helander  Mary E. Helander photo         

contact information

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


Professional Associations

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


Dr. Mary Helander is a computer scientist with expertise in network algorithms, discrete event transaction processing and stochastic simulation, as well as related data structures and OR problem solving.  She received a B.A. (CIS; Math) from SUNY Potsdam, and M.S. and Ph.D. (Industrial Engineering & Operations Research) from Syracuse University and the University at Buffalo respectively. Prior to her current position as a senior research scientist and software architect in IBM Research, Mary was a professor (Dept. of Computer and Information Science) and research fellow (Dept. of Mechanical Engineering/Quality Technology) at Linköping University, in Sweden. She has researched and worked on algorithms to study HIV transmission dynamics; hazardous material routing; geographically distributed team coordination; the intrinsic value of administrative assistants in the workforce; sustainability and greenhouse gas emission minimization; tracking food ingredients; testing raw materials for contaminants; and a few other more standard topics in transportation, manufacturing, and distribution. 

Throughout her career, Mary has sought out research topics that leverage computer science and math to solve difficult problems. Her current project work involves modeling and revealing best practices of emergency food aid and assistance to the impoverished, a partnership between the IBM Research's Science for Social Good Program and St. John Bread and Life, a non-profit agency working to alleviate hunger and poverty in Brooklyn and Queens.  Mary has published in the Journal of Food Protection, Interfaces, Networks, Transportation Science, IBM Journal of R&D, IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, Software Quality Journal, Empirical Software Engineering, Journal of Revenue and Pricing Management, Computers and Operations Research and Computers and Industrial Engineering.  She is an INFORMS Franz Edelman Laureate, as well as the 2013 recipient of SUNY Potsdam Alumni Association's Minerva Award--the highest honor that a SUNY Potsdam graduate can receive from the association. 

A native of central New York and graduate of John C. Birdlebough High School in Phoenix, in her free time, Mary is a percussionist in the Lesbian & Gay Big Apple Corps Band, in New York City, and plays competitive tennis on various USTA league teams.