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College of Management

Dr. Baichun Xiao, Chairman and Senior Professor
Department of Management, College of Management

Doing the Math for the Airlines

Baichun XiaoMany people think of food as a perishable product, but service industries such as airlines, hotels and movie theaters also deal in perishables. Once a flight takes off, for instance, empty seats can't be held for future sale.

"If an airplane has 200 seats and you sell only 100, the unsold seats will lose their value forever," said Dr. Baichun Xiao of LIU's Post College of Management. "Unlike computers or cars, if you can't sell them before the deadline, you can't sell them tomorrow," he adds.

Hotel rooms, empty movie theater seats, advertising positions on search engine web pages, and many others also fit this category.

The goal of Dr. Xiao's research is to develop models to manage perishable products through price, inventory and overbooking control and to optimize revenues. Dr. Xiao, an expert in management science and operations research, uses mathematical models to demonstrate how to improve revenues in many service industries where perishable products are often encountered. He has published scholarly papers about his work in the top-tier journals, "Management Science" and "Operations Research."

He has received national recognition with a Fulbright Senior Specialist Program candidacy for the next five years. He is currently visiting MIT-Zaragoza Logistics Center in Spain during a sabbatical leave in 2012.