Retsef Levi


Retsef Levi

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Retsef Levi is the J. Spencer Standish (1945) Professor of Operations Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management. He is a member of the Operations Management Group at MIT Sloan and affiliated with the MIT Operations Research Center. Levi also serves as the Faculty Co-Director of the MIT Leaders for Global Operations (LGO).

Before coming to MIT, he spent a year in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center as the holder of the Goldstine Postdoctoral Fellowship. He received a Bachelor's degree in Mathematics from Tel-Aviv University (Israel) in 2001, and a PhD in Operations Research from Cornell University in 2005. Levi spent almost 12 years in the Israeli Defense Forces as an officer in the Intelligence Wing and was designated as an Extra Merit Officer. After leaving the Military, Levi joined an emerging new Israeli hi-tech company as a Business Development Consultant.   Levi's current research is focused on the design of analytical data-driven decision support models and tools addressing complex business and system design decisions under uncertainty in areas such as health and healthcare management, supply chain, procurement and inventory management, revenue management, pricing optimization and logistics. He is interested in the theory underlying these models and algorithms, as well as their computational and organizational applicability in practical settings.  Levi has been leading several industry-based collaborative research efforts with some of the major academic hospitals in the Boston area, such as Mass General Hospital (MGH), Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), Children’s Hospital, and across the U.S. (e.g., Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, NYC Presbyterian Hospital System and the American Association of Medical Colleges). Levi was the PI on an MIT contract with the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) to develop systematic risk management approach to address risk related to economically motivated adulterations of food manufactured in global supply chains. With a multi-million award from the Walmart Foundation, Levi currently leads a multi-year U.S.-China collaborative effort to develop new predictive risk analytics tools and testing technologies and platforms to address core food safety challenges in China. Levi has also been involved in developing operational risk and process safety management methodologies for various organizations in the healthcare, pharmaceutical and oil industries. Levi received the NSF Faculty Early Career Development award, the 2008 INFORMS Optimization Prize for Young Researchers, the 2013 Daniel H. Wagner Prize and the 2016 Harold W. Kuhn Award. Levi teaches regularly courses on operations management, analytics, risk management, system thinking and healthcare to students from various degree and non-degree programs including MBA, Executive MBA, PhD, Master and Undergraduate students as well as Executive Education programs. His Healthcare Lab course attracts students from across the MIT campus and engages major industry partners and leaders. Levi has graduated 10 PhD students, 34 Master students and 6 postdoctoral fellows. He was also awarded several prestigious teaching awards.


Levi and Magnanti win Kuhn Award

Levi's paper wins Wagner Prize

Retsef Levi has received a National Science Foundation Career Grant

Levi and Zheng win MSOM award

Retsef Levi and co-authors were chosen to receive the INFORMS Optimization Society Young Researcher Prize


"Evaluation and Implementation of a Just-In-Time Bed-Assignment Strategy to Reduce Wait Times for Surgical Inpatients."

Braaksma, Aleida, Martin S. Copenhaver, Ana C. Zenteno, Elizabeth Ugarph, Retsef Levi, Bethany J. Daily, Benjamin Orcutt, Kathryn M. Turcotte, and Peter F. Dunn. Health Care Management Science. Forthcoming.

"Scheduling with Testing of Heterogeneous Jobs."

Levi, Retsef, Yaron Shaposhnik and Thomas Magnanti. Management Science. Forthcoming.

"The Limits to Learning a Diffusion Model."

Baek, Jackie, Vivek F. Farias, Andreea Georgescu, Retsef Levi, Tianyi Peng, Deeksha Sinha, Joshua Wilde, and Andrew Zheng. Management Science. Forthcoming. arXiv Preprint.

"Care Coordination for Healthcare Referrals under a Shared-savings Program."

Bravo, Fernanda, Retsef Levi, Georgia Perakis, and Gonzalo Romero. Production and Operations Management Vol. 32, No. 1 (2023): 189-206. Download Paper.

"Improving Farmers’ Income on Online Agri-platforms: Evidence from the Field."

Levi, Retsef, Manoj Rajan, Somya Singhvi, and Y. Karen Zheng (Under second revision in Management Science), Working Paper. September 2022.

"Low Volume Bowel Preparation is Associated with Reduced Time to Colonoscopy in Hospitalized Patients: A Propensity Matched Analysis."

Sun, Christopher, Darrick Li, Ana Cecilia Zenteno, Marjory Bravard, Peter Carolan, Bethany Daily, Sami Elamin, Jasmine Ha, Amber Moore, Kyan Safavi, Brian Yun, Peter Dunn, Retsef Levi, and James Richter. Clinical and Translational Gastroenterology Vol. 13, No. 7 (2022): e00482.

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Ideas Made to Matter

Accelerated research about generative AI

Emerging insights suggest road maps, policy recommendations, and calls for action regarding generative artificial intelligence.

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Solving Food and Agriculture Challenges

Professors Retsef Levi and Karen Zheng discussed their work in addressing food and agriculture issues across the globe at MIT Sloan Reunion 2023.

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Executive Education

Executive Education Course

Building Organizational Resilience

Our organizations – designed for optimal performance — work well under normal conditions, but are vulnerable to failure when the unexpected occurs. How do we design systems that work efficiently under typical conditions, yet respond resiliently to “unknown unknowns”? This new course, Building Organizational Resilience, provides business leaders with a practical approach to assess and build organizational resiliency. Learn how systems thinking and continuous improvement can help your team identify problems before they occur and fundamentally alter your organization’s ability to effectively respond when they do. Understand the role hidden factories and irregular operations play in contributing to catastrophic events, and how this knowledge can be leveraged to reverse their effects. Leave with a playbook for improving the resilience of your company.

  • Nov 14-15, 2023
  • May 8-10, 2024
  • Nov 12-13, 2024
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