Olga Bountali

Olga Bountali

Monday, February 24, 2020 - 9:10am

POSITION: Assistant Professor, Tenure Stream

ACADEMIC UNIT:  Institute of Communication, Culture, Information & Technology; Department of Management


JOINED UTM FACULTY: 2018                                                                            

“I like to see the impact of my work at the societal or community level.”

Olga Bountali, an assistant professor of operations management, moved from Greece to North America when she accepted a postdoctoral fellowship in Texas.

“Research brought me here,” she says. “I was interested in trying to apply operations management to health care.”

Bountali decided to pursue an academic career “so I could combine research with teaching, and enjoy the pleasure that comes with talking about my work.” She chose U of T because it was the right fit: “a fruitful research environment, nice colleagues, a well-organized community and a beautiful city.”

Her research uses technical mathematical tools and economic concepts to better understand – and potentially improve – how systems such as emergency rooms or production processes operate. Currently, she is working on a project examining undocumented U.S. immigrants who need, but struggle to receive, kidney dialysis. She hopes to undertake a similar study of Canadians to compare findings.

“I like to see the impact of my work at the societal or community level,” Bountali says. “I like to bring a result or improve something that isn’t technical, by using technical concepts.”

Bountali, who has taught operations management courses to fourth-year students, says they arrive in her classroom from different programs and with differing levels of knowledge but all are motivated and keen to learn. She takes her cues from them, and customizes her lectures accordingly.

 “I enjoy the challenge of explaining very technical concepts in a non-technical way so that I alleviate the natural fear that comes to students with the use of mathematics.”

Selected Publications:

  1. Bountali O. and Economou A. (2018) Equilibrium threshold joining strategies in partially observable batch service queueing systems. Annals of Operations Research, 1-23.
  2. Bountali O. and Economou A. (2017) Equilibrium joining strategies in batch-service queueing systems. European Journal of Operational Research, 260(3), 1142-1151.
  3. Boudali O. and Economou A. (2013) The effect of catastrophes on the strategic customer behaviour in queueing systems. Naval Research Logistics 60, 571-587.

Read about other new faculty members at UTM.