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 senior research scientist and software architect in the Data Science Group at the IBM T. J. Watson Research Center.  She received a B.A. (CIS; Math) from SUNY Potsdam, an M.S. (Industrial Engineering & Operations Research) from Syracuse University, and a Ph.D. (Industrial Engineering, Operations Research) from the University of Buffalo. Prior to her current position, Dr. Helander was a research fellow and faculty member at Linköping University, in Sweden. She has researched and worked on algorithm and solution development 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 related to transportation, manufacturing and distribution.  Throughout her career, Dr. Helander has been an advocate of fact based decision and policy making, with a passion for topics that leverage science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to further social fairness and equity. 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.


Dr. Helander has published in the Journal of Food Protection, Interfaces, Networks, Transportation Science, IBM Journal of Research and Development, 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, presented annually to an alumnus or alumna who has demonstrated outstanding professional achievement in his or her field. The Minerva Award is 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, Dr. Helander is a drummer for the Lesbian & Gay Big Apple Corps Band, in New York City, and plays competitive tennis on various USTA league teams.