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Applying Math, Saving Lives

An expert on supply and demand, a Carnegie Mellon professor has done the math and found an effective and cheaper way to match dying patients with new kidneys faster—private jets.

Can math really save lives? According to Dr. Sridhar Tayur of Carnegie Mellon—you bet.

There are over 90,000 people hoping for a new kidney because they’re dying from end-stage renal disease. This costly and tragic disease can be cured through kidney transplants, but for many, the odds and circumstances of receiving a transplant are far too bleak.

It’s a simple question of supply and demand. Patients in any given city receive kidneys that have been donated in that city. Geographical location has blocked patients from healthy kidneys for years. Many wealthy patients can do what is called “multiple listing,” placing their names on waiting lists in multiple hospitals around the country and promising to be there in time to be eligible for the kidney. But this is not an option for everyone.

That’s where Dr. Sridhar Tayur steps in. An expert on supply and demand, this Carnegie Mellon professor has done the math and found an effective and cheaper way to match dying patients with new kidneys faster—private jets.

Dr. Tayur got his idea after reading about Steve Jobs, who received a kidney transplant in 2009 in Tennessee—a place far from his home in California. There’s something unfair about knowing that the difference between life and death for some people is their access to a private jet.

“To ameliorate this inequity,” said Dr. Tayur, “we propose an operational solution that offers affordable jet services to patients on the transplant waiting list, allowing them to multiple list in different and possibly very distant donation service areas of their choosing.”

Dr. Tayur started a charity organization called OrganJet Corporation in 2011, dedicated to helping those who need kidney transplants have access to private jets.

Having already started the software company SmartOps Corporation in 2000 as well as the RAGS Charitable Foundation to combat Human Trafficking, his experience with marketing is impressive.

Dr. Tayur’s economic counseling is much sought after, having consulted for such companies as Caterpillar, General Electric, Kellogg’s and Microsoft.

And now, Dr. Tayur is going to give a seminar entitled “Operations Management in Practice” at BYU on Tuesday, January 22 at 4:00 pm in the James E. Talmage Building (TMCB) room 1170. The public is invited to attend.

His three major topics in the seminar will be on how the software market performs, how American-run industries can combat Chinese underpriced competition, and how his own company plans to help kidney patients receive kidneys more quickly.

He invites questions on how to avoid trading predators, combat human trafficking, understand the role of independent films in social awareness, and comprehend new brain repair therapy through RNAi.

He is also holding a workshop on launching high-tech companies, entitled “Bringing advanced analytics to market” on January 22 at 1:50 p.m. in room 301 of the James E. Talmage Building (TMCB). Both the lecture and the workshop are sponsored by the BYU Department of Mathematics.

A mathematical genius who teaches at a prestigious university, runs two business, and gives financial counseling for some of the biggest companies in the world—we’re honored that Dr. Tayur would take the time out of his busy schedule to come and lecture at our beloved university.