Ph.D. Student Caleb Ju Receives Premier DOE Fellowship for High Performance Computing

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Caleb Ju, a Ph.D. student in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE) has been awarded a highly competitive Department of Energy Computational Science Graduate Fellowship (DOE CSGF). The DOE CSGF is a four-year-long fellowship that provides robust benefits and opportunities to students pursuing doctoral degrees in fields that use high-performance computing (HPC) to solve complex science and engineering problems. 

Ju’s research interest primarily focuses on creating scalable optimization algorithms with applications to problems such as decision making under uncertainty.

“Since I am interested in both theory and practice, I specifically applied to the math and computer science track of the fellowship,” said Ju. "I enjoy designing algorithms from scratch, analyzing their theoretical properties, and applying those results to software to solve real-world problems."

Most of Ju’s application discussed research from his time spent as an undergraduate student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; he worked to solve large-scale graph problems – some of which included over 200 million edges – using a unique method.

“Instead of solving graph problems using a discrete method, we solved it using continuous optimization, specifically linear programming,” Ju elaborated. “One advantage of our approach is generality. While general solutions are typically slower, our algorithm with an efficient line search becomes competitive with some of the fastest discrete methods. This means users of our software can get the same performance as specialized codes, without needing to spend months developing new algorithms and software.”

While the award emphasizes HPC research, Ju is a nontraditional winner of the fellowship. He originally applied for the funds while a graduate student in Georgia Tech’s College of Computing, planning to research computer science with HPC applications. He has since transferred to ISyE, where he will be advised by A. Russell Chandler III Associate Professor George Lan, with a focus on operations research.

“I often found the algorithms used to solve an optimization problem were not well-suited for today’s supercomputers due to large data movement between processors, lack of parallelism, and so forth,” said Ju. “By transferring to ISyE, I will be able to combine my training in mathematical modeling and optimization, as well as my background in computer science, to design new algorithms cognizant of modern computer architectures to achieve better performance.”

Lan said, “My warmest congratulations go out to Caleb for winning this highly competitive award. With the support of DOE CSFG, Caleb will work with me on the design of efficient dynamic stochastic optimization algorithms that can both exploit problem structures and utilize HPC in an effective manner.”

While he is interested in optimization, generally, Ju also keeps in mind possible applications for his work. One example of this is reinforcement learning.

“In this area, with the use of fast optimization algorithms, machines can outperform humans in video games,” he explained.” I am looking to extend these results to help solve fundamental scientific and engineering problems.

“I try to keep in mind what the application will be, and whether it will be useful to a scientist or engineer,” Ju added.

The original version of this news release was written by Kristen Perez.

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H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

Jeff Wu Receives Sigma Xi’s Monie A. Ferst Award

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Jeff Wu, Coca-Cola Chair in Engineering Statistics and professor in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE), has been honored with Sigma Xi’s Monie A. Ferst Award. This national-level award, sponsored by Georgia Tech’s Sigma Xi chapter, recognizes those who have made "notable contributions to the motivation and encouragement of research through education." Wu joins just a handful of Institute faculty members who have been so recognized since the award’s inception in 1977.

Wu’s dedication to educating future researchers can be seen throughout his distinguished academic career. He has supervised 49 doctoral students, 35 of whom are teaching in major research departments or institutions in statistics, engineering, and business around the globe.

In their award nomination letter, ISyE School Chair Edwin Romeijn, A. Russell Chandler III Professor Roshan Joseph, and Associate Professor Enlu Zhou noted that "[Dr. Wu is considered a visionary in statistics, which is exemplified by his famous 1997 lecture 'Statistics=Data Science?' a term now embraced by people all over the world. ... Dr. Wu has influenced multiple generations of researchers and students through his devoted teaching and mentoring. … More than 1,800 papers are published by his students to date without Dr. Wu being a co-author. Four of his former students have become editors of Technometrics and Journal of Quality Technology, two of the most prominent journals in engineering statistics. His students would agree on one thing: Dr. Wu is more than a research advisor. He remains in their lives as a mentor, friend, and guide even after graduation.”

The Monie A. Ferst Award is not the only prestigious honor Wu has received this spring. He has also been given the Class of 1934 Distinguished Professor Award, the highest honor Georgia Tech can bestow on a faculty member. These two awards are the latest in a long line of accolades for Wu, which include his 2004 election to the National Academy of Engineering as the first academic statistician so chosen. In addition, Wu has won almost all awards given in the field of engineering statistics, including the ENBIS Box Medal and Shewhart Medal.

“This award came as a pleasant surprise and gives me consolation during this difficult time,” said Wu. “Educating and mentoring students is like polishing diamonds – it takes patience and effort, and the whole process is inspiring and rewarding.”

On November, 11, 2021, Wu will be honored for this achievement with an in-person symposium. The proceedings will begin with a continental breakfast, followed by four sessions of 30-minute presentations by colleagues and friends of Wu, and an evening banquet that will wrap up the event. The list of presenters is as follows:

  • Xinwei Deng (Virginia Tech)
  • Derek Bingham (Simon Fraser University, Canada)
  • Jing Li (Georgia Tech)
  • Devon Lin (Queen's University, Canada)
  • Simon Mak (Duke University)
  • Matt Plumlee (Northwestern University)
  • Arman Sabaghi (Purdue University)
  • Rui Tuo (Texas A&M University)
  • Yao Xie (Georgia Tech)
  • Shifeng Xiong (Chinese Academy of Science)

About the Monie A. Ferst Award

The Monie A. Ferst Award is named eponymously for the engineer and businessman who graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering from Georgia Tech in 1911 and helped found the Georgia Tech Research Institute. The award comes with a medal and $10,000. In addition, a day-long symposium is held to showcase the achievements of the winner’s former students.

About Sigma Xi

Founded at Cornell University in 1886, Sigma Xi, the scientific research honor society, is the international honor society of science and engineering. One of the oldest and largest scientific organizations in the world, Sigma Xi has a distinguished history of service to science and society. It has nearly 60,000 members in over 500 chapters around the world.

 

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H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

Christos Alexopoulos Receives I-SIM and WSC Awards

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Christos Alexopoulos, professor in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE) has been recently recognized with two significant awards: the 2020 INFORMS Simulation Society (I-SIM) Distinguished Service Award and the 2020 James R. Wilson WSC Board of Directors Award, given by the Winter Simulation Conference (WSC).

The I-SIM Distinguished Service Award is given to “to recognize individuals who have provided long-standing, exceptional service to the simulation community. …This award is for sustained service to the simulation community over at least 15 to 20 years or longer, and acquitted with distinction.” The WSC Board of Directors Award is given to an individual who has given longstanding exceptional service to the WSC.

Alexopoulos is the first person to receive both accords in a single year. He and ISyE Professor Dave Goldsman were given the 2007 I-SIM Outstanding Simulation Publication Award for their paper “To Batch Or Not To Batch?” which was published in 2004 by ACM Transactions on Modeling and Computer Simulation.

“Winning both awards in the same year is unprecedented. Besides being highly regarded as a researcher, the awards speak to the fact that Christos has been a driving force in the simulation community over his entire career in terms of service; and, in particular, he’s a go-to guy who has played a major role in establishing the Winter Simulation Conference as the premier event in the field,” said Goldsman.

The Board of Directors of the WSC noted, “Christos has participated in the WSC since 1988 in levels of responsibility ranging from session chair to chair of the Board of Directors. During the period of 2008-16, he served on the WSC Board as co-representative of the INFORMS Simulation Society; he held the positions of secretary (2010), vice-chair (2011), chair (2012), and liaison to the WSC (2013). During Christos’ service as chair of the board, WSC met outside the U.S. for the first time; 60% of the attendees to that conference were based outside the U.S.”

Alexopoulos said, “I feel very honored and deeply humbled as a recipient of these awards. WSC is considered the premier conference for the widespread simulation community, and the joint ventures of I-SIM and WSC have been a core service activity for me from the onset of my academic career. I am very proud of my editorial service to the simulation community and my role on the WSC Board of Directors during the design and ratification of the Joint Sponsorship Agreement between the four financial sponsors of WSC, namely INFORMS, ACM, IIE, and the Society for Modeling and Simulation International (SCS).

"This agreement has been an essential tool for the long-term financial viability of WSC and proved its value during the recent pandemic with a very successful virtual conference in December 2020," he added.

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H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

Jeff Wu Delivers 2020 Distinguished Lecture Series in Statistical Sciences

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On September 28th and 29th  Jeff Wu delivered the 2020-21 Distinguished Lecture Series in Statistical Sciences at the Fields Institute. Wu, Coca-Cola Chair in Engineering Statistics and professor in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering, gave the following presentations: “Navier-Stokes, Spatial-Temporal Kriging, and Combustion Stability: A Prominent Example of Physics-Based Analytics,” and “Cmenet: A New Method for Bi-Level Variable Selection of Conditional Main Effects.”

The Fields Institute, located in Ontario, Canada, is a center for mathematical research. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, Wu delivered the lectures virtually.

Wu has received numerous prestigious awards for his eminent research in the theory and application of statistics, but 2020 has been a particularly notable year for him. In addition to the Fields Institute lectures, he has also been honored with the Georgia Tech Class of 1934 Distinguished Professor Award – the Institute’s highest faculty honor – and the Sigma Xi Monie A. Ferst Award, which is a national-level award given by the Georgia Tech Sigma Xi chapter.

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ISyE Faculty and Students Receive Awards at 2017 INFORMS Conference

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ISyE researchers partner with American Red Cross on project that has been selected as a Franz Edelman Award finalist. From left to right: ISyE Ph.D. student Can Zhang, Professor Roshan Vengazhiyil, Schneider National Chair in Transportation and Logistics Chelsea White III, and George Family Foundation Assistant Professor Turgay Ayer

At the annual Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) conference, a number of faculty members and students from Georgia Tech’s Stewart School of Industrial & Systems Engineering (ISyE) received awards for presentations and papers. The conference was held from October 22- 25, 2017, in Houston, Texas.

INFORMS Fellows

Anderson-Interface Chair and Professor Shabbir Ahmed and H. Milton and Carolyn J. Stewart School Chair and Professor Edwin Romeijn were elected as 2017 INFORMS Fellows.

INFORMS Fellows are examples of outstanding lifetime achievement in operations research and the management sciences. They have demonstrated exceptional accomplishments and made significant contributions to the advancement of OR/MS over a period of time.

Elected Position

Coca-Cola Professor Alan Erera has been elected vice president/president-elect of INFORMS’ Transportation Science and Logistics Society (TSL). His term as president of TSL will begin in 2019. TSL is one of INFORMS’ largest societies, with nearly 900 members whose research interests focus on applied operations research and management science for the transportation and logistics sector.

Winners

Anderson-Interface Chair and Professor Shabbir Ahmed, A. Russell Chandler III Chair and Institute Professor George Nemhauser, and Juan Pablo Vielma (Ph.D. IE 09) won the INFORMS Computing Society Prize for their pioneering work on mixed integer linear programming formulations for piece-wise linear functions.

George Family Foundation Early Career Professor and Assistant Professor Turgay Ayer; Schneider National Chair in Transportation and Logistics and Professor Chip White; Ph.D. students Can Zhang and Chenxi Zeng; and Professor Roshan Vengazhiyil won first prize in the MSOM Practice-based Research Competition for their paper “Analysis and Improvement of Blood Collection Operations.”

The paper focused on how the group’s work impacted the American Red Cross’s blood collection operations.

Ph.D. student Rui Gao won the SAS Data Mining Best Paper Award for “Wasserstein Distributional Robustness and Regularization in Statistical Learning,” co-authored by Associate Professor Anton Kleywegt and Xi Chen (NYU).

The paper establishes a close connection between distributionally robust stochastic optimization and regularization in statistical learning. Such connection suggests a systematic way to regularize high-dimensional, non-convex problems, which is demonstrated through the training of generative adversarial networks in deep learning.

Guido Lagos (Ph.D. IE 17), currently a postdoc at the Center for Mathematical Modeling of Universidad de Chile, won the Best Student Paper Award from the INFORMS Applied Probability Society. The award was for his work “On the Euler Discretization Error of Brownian Motion about Random Time.” The paper was co-authored with Lagos’ advisor, Adjunct Associate Professor Ton Dieker.

In the paper, they derive new weak limits on the error of approximating Brownian motion by its Euler discretization about times of extremes and about times of barrier-hits. They then extend these results to give the asymptotic error of approximating Gaussian random walks by Brownian motion. More importantly, though, with this collection of results they clarify the connection between several papers in the literature where a specific constant involving the Riemann zeta function has appeared. These papers cover different areas and span several decades, and the precise connection between them was an intriguing open question until now.

Assistant Professor Siva Theja Maguluri and Rayadurgam Srikant received the Best Publication in Applied Probability Award, which is awarded every two years by the INFORMS Probability Society, for “Heavy Traffic Queue Length Behavior in a Switch Under Max-Weight Algorithm.”

The paper represents a major breakthrough in resource scheduling. It positively settles the conjecture that the max-weight scheduling is delay optimal in the heavy traffic regime in which the system is fully loaded. Furthermore, Maguluri and Srikant establish how the waiting time under the maximum weight scheduling policy scales with the number of input streams when compared with any other scheduling policy in the heavy traffic regime.

Ph.D. student Ethan Mark won the INFORMS Poster Competition for “Reducing Discarded Organs and Improving Physician-patient Decision-making via Decision-support Tools and Systems Optimization,” in collaboration with Professor David Goldsman; William W. George Chair and ADVANCE Professor and Interim Associate Dean for Faculty Development & Scholarship, College of Engineering Pinar Keskinocak; Hannah Smalley (Ph.D. IE 12); Associate Professor Joel Sokol; and Dr. Brian Gurbaxani of the CDC.

The team built an interactive program that can help a transplant recipient choose between accepting an organ that is potentially infected by a disease or waiting for a standard organ. The organs that were considered are the heart, liver, kidney, and lung. The diseases that were considered were hepatitis C, hepatitis B, HIV, and encephalitis.

Assistant Professor Andy Sun, Alvaro Lorca (Ph.D. OR 16), Eugene Litvinov, and Tongxin Zheng won the INFORMS ENRE Best Publication in Energy Award for “Multistage Adaptive Optimization for the Unit Commitment Problem.”

The work proposes a new generation of robust optimization models and efficient algorithms for operating future large-scale power systems with significant penetration of stochastic renewable energy sources. The new models have been implemented and tested on the real system operated by the ISO New England, a leading company in the U.S. electric energy market, and have shown significant advantages in reducing generation cost and increasing reliability of the power system over current industry practice and existing approaches.

Ph.D. student Can Zhang, in collaboration with George Family Foundation Early Career Professor and Assistant Professor Turgay Ayer and Professors Atalay Atasu and Beril Toktay from Scheller College of Business, won first prize in the MSOM Society’s Best Student Paper Competition for “Mechanism Design for Medical Surplus Product Allocation.” The paper also received first prize in the INFORMS-wide Doing Good with Good OR Competition Student Paper Competition.

The MSOM student paper prize is one of the most prestigious awards a Ph.D. student can receive from INFORMS, and the competition drew 87 entrants this year. Winning the Doing Good with Good OR competition is an important indication of the quality and applicability of an academic paper on socially responsible business.

The paper studied how Medshare, a medical surplus recovery organization, matched the medical supply surplus in the U.S. with medical needs in the developing world, and developed novel and implementable solutions for Medshare’s supply and demand match problem through recipient selection.

First Runner-up

Professor Eva Lee and an interdisciplinary team of students that includes ISyE undergraduates Ryan Eckhaus, Shefali Jain, Kevin Kwon, Joe Malecki, and Alan Thomas; ISyE master’s students Chenman Cheng and Kumbit Hwang; and Yuanbo Wong, Autumn Phillips, and Surina Puri were selected as the first runner-up for the NSF Health Organization Transformation Innovation award for “Machine Learning for Evidence-based Practice, Risk Prediction, and Optimal Care Coordination.”

Third-Place

Ph.D. student Xiaowei Yue received third place in the INFORMS Best Poster Presentation Award for “Ultra-high Precision Predictive Assembly of Composite Fuselage Joins via Surrogate Model Based Control.” This is a joint work with Ph.D. student Yuchen Wen and Jeffrey Hunt (Boeing).

Honorable Mentions

Alvaro Lorca (Ph.D. 16), who was advised by Assistant Professor Andy Sun and is now an assistant professor in the Departments of Electrical Engineering and Industrial Engineering at the Catholic University of Chile, received an honorable mention in the INFORMS George B. Dantzig Dissertation Award for his Ph.D. thesis, “Robust Optimization for Renewable Energy Integration in Electrical Power Systems.”

Weijun Xie (Ph.D. OR 17), who was advised by Anderson-Interface Chair and Professor Shabbir Ahmed and is now an assistant professor in the ISE Department at Virginia Tech, received an honorable mention in the George Nicholson Student Paper Competition for “On Deterministic Reformulations of Distributionally Robust Joint Chance Constrained Optimization Problems.”

Finalists

The joint work of George Family Foundation Early Career Professor and Assistant Professor Turgay Ayer; Schneider National Chair in Transportation and Logistics and Professor Chip White; Ph.D. students Can Zhang and Chenxi Zeng; and Professor Roshan Vengazhiyil, “American Red Cross: Analytics-based Methods Improve Blood Collection Operations,” was selected as a finalist for the Franz Edelman Award for Achievement in Operations Research and the Management Sciences.

Ph.D. student Junzhuo Chen was a finalist for the Quality, Statistics, & Reliability Student Paper Award for “S3T: An Efficient Score Statistic for Spatio-temporal Surveillance,” in collaboration with Professor Seong-Hee Kim and Harold R. and Mary Anne Nash Early Career Professor and Assistant Professor Yao Xie.

Ph.D. student Rui Gao’s paper, “Wasserstein Distributional Robustness and Regularization in Statistical Learning,” co-authored by Associate Professor Anton Kleywegt and Xi Chen (NYU), was also a runner-up for the INFORMS Computing Society Student Paper Award.

Joshua Hale (Ph.D. IE 17), Fouts Family Early Career Professor and Associate Professor Enlu Zhou, and Jiming Peng were finalists for the Journal of Global Optimization Best Paper Award, for their work "A Lagrangian Search Method for the P-median Problem."

Fifth-year undergraduate student Chungjae Lee was a finalist for the Undergraduate Operations Research Prize for building on the work of his spring 2017 Senior Design Team, “Contact Tracing Protocol.” The team was co-advised by William W. George Chair and ADVANCE Professor and Interim Associate Dean for Faculty Development & Scholarship, College of Engineering Pinar Keskinocak and Dr. Brian Gurbaxani from the CDC.

Professor Eva Lee and a team including Ph.D. student Xin Wei, Francine Baker (Grady), Michael D. Wright (Grady), and Alexander Quarshie (Morehouse School of Medicine) were finalists for the Daniel H. Wagner Prize for Excellence in Operations Research Practice for their work, "Outcome-driven Personalized Treatment Design for Managing Diabetes."

Lee and Ph.D. student Zhuonan Li, Ling Ling (MS Statistics 12), Ankit Agarwal (MSIE 2013), Michael Wright, and Alexander Quarshie were also finalists for the INFORMS Decision Analysis and Society of Decision Professionals Practice Award for “Reducing Surgical-site Infections.”

Ph.D. student Xiaowei Yue was a finalist for the SAS Data Mining Best Paper Award for “Tensor Mixed Effects Model with Applications in Nanomanufacturing Inspection,” in collaboration with Jin Gyu Park (FSU); Richard Liang (FSU); and Carolyn J. Stewart Chair and Professor Jianjun Shi.

Yue was also a finalist for the Quality, Statistics & Reliability Best Refereed Paper Award for “Effective Model Calibration via Sensible Variable Identification and Adjustment, with Application to Composite Fuselage Simulation,” in collaboration with Rui Tuo (ISyE visiting assistant professor); Jeffrey Hunt (Boeing); Carolyn J. Stewart Chair and Professor Jianjun Shi; and Yan Wang (ISyE visiting scholar).

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Stewart School of Industrial & Systems Engineering

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ISyE’s Jeff Wu Receives the Brumbaugh Award for Best ASQ Published Paper

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Georgia Tech’s Stewart School of Industrial & Systems Engineering (ISyE) announced that Coca-Cola Chair in Engineering Statistics and Professor Jeff Wu has been honored with the American Society for Quality’s (ASQ) 2017 Brumbaugh Award.

According to the ASQ, the Brumbaugh Award, which has been presented since 1949, is given to “the paper making the largest single contribution to the development of industrial application of quality control.” The chosen paper is selected from among publications in the seven journals published by ASQ in a given year.

Wu’s award-winning paper, “CME Analysis: A New Method for Unraveling Aliased Effects in Two-level Fractional Factorial Experiments,” was co-authored by Heng Su (Ph.D. IE 15) and is based on Su’s ISyE dissertation. The paper tackles an important problem called “effect de-aliasing” – the disentangling of interaction effects from designed experimental data. This problem has been widely deemed as unsolvable within the design community since the 1940s. The Su-Wu paper presents a novel method for effect de-aliasing using the new concept of conditional main effects. This innovative approach can have great applicability in many aspects of engineering, allowing for improved understanding and modeling of physical processes from expensive experiments.

Wu will accept the Brumbaugh Award at ASQ’s World Conference, held in Seattle, Washington, at the end of April. This is the second time he has received the award, the first being in 1992.

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ISyE’s Jan Shi Elected to the National Academy of Engineering

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Professor Jianjun “Jan” Shi, who holds the Carolyn J. Stewart Chair in Georgia Tech’s Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE), has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering’s (NAE) Class of 2018. Election to the NAE is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer. 

Two other Tech faculty were included in the 2018 NAE class: Timothy Lieuwen, executive director of Georgia Tech’s Strategic Energy Institute and professor and David S. Lewis Jr. Chair in the Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering; and Gary Mary, current chancellor at University of California Davis and adjunct faculty member at Tech’s School of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

In announcing Shi’s election to the prestigious organization, the NAE commended him “for development of data fusion-based quality methods and their implementation in multistage manufacturing systems.” Shi is an early pioneer in the development and application of data enabled manufacturing. His methodologies integrate system informatics, advanced statistics, and control theory for the design and operational improvements of manufacturing and service systems by fusing engineering systems models with data science methods.

“This is amazing news and a well-deserved honor for Jan,” said Nagi Gebraeel, Georgia Power Early Career Professor and associate professor in ISyE. “His pioneering work in integrating quality data to control manufacturing systems has revolutionized automated multi-stage processes that are omnipresent in key industries like automotive manufacturing, steel casting processes, aircraft assembly, and many others. We are very proud of Jan's achievements, and it's an honor to be his colleague.”

“We all know Jan is a pioneer and leader in his field and an outstanding member of the Stewart School and Georgia Tech community,” said H. Milton and Carolyn J. Stewart School Chair Edwin Romeijn. “I am very proud to have him as a colleague and friend, and I congratulate him on receiving this well-deserved and significant honor.”

“We are delighted that the National Academy of Engineering has recognized our Georgia Tech faculty members for their outstanding contributions to engineering and as leaders in their fields,” said Steve McLaughlin, dean of the College of Engineering and Southern Company Chair. “Jan’s induction is a testament to the quality of our faculty members and their contributions to the engineering profession.”

Shi received his B.S. and M.S. in electrical engineering from the Beijing Institute of Technology in 1984 and 1987, and his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan in 1992. He joined ISyE in 2005.

Upon hearing the news of his NAE election, Shi said, “It is a great honor indeed to be elected to the NAE.  I am very happy to be a member of the Stewart School, with its outstanding faculty and talented students, for the past 10 years. I am thankful to H. Milton and Carolyn J. Stewart for their generous support, which has enabled me to make many innovations happen.”

Shi and the other 82 newly elected members will be formally inducted during a ceremony at the NAE’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C., on September 30, 2018.

Shi joins other ISyE faculty who are already members of the NAE, including John Hunter Chair and Professor Arkadi Nemirovski; A. Russell Chandler III Chair and Institute Professor George Nemhauser; Coca-Cola Chair in Engineering Statistics and Professor Jeff Wu; Regent’s Professor Emeritus H. Donald Ratliff; Professor Emeritus William Rouse; and Professor Emeritus Ellis Johnson.

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Pinar Keskinocak Honored with the Outstanding Professional Education Award

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Professor Pinar Keskinocak

Professor Pinar Keskinocak, the Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering’s William W. George Chair and the College of Engineering ADVANCE Professor, has received the Outstanding Professional Education Award from Georgia Tech. The award recognizes a faculty member for their contribution to the field of professional education at Georgia Tech. The award will be presented at the annual Georgia Tech Faculty and Staff Honors Luncheon on Wednesday, April 11, 2018.

Keskinocak is a co-founder and director of the Center for Health and Humanitarian Systems (CHHS), an interdisciplinary research center at Georgia Tech. CHHS aims to transform health and humanitarian systems through education, outreach and innovative solutions. In bestowing this award, the Faculty Honors Committee recognized Keskinocak’s leadership of CHHS, as well as her efforts to promote health and humanitarian services through the professional education Certificate Program for Health and Humanitarian Supply Chain Management (HHSCM).

Letters from industry, fellow colleagues, and program graduates further underscored the value of these efforts. For example, Marta Wnorowska, supply manager with Doctors Without Borders, said, “Sometimes (especially when working in emergencies), it is not possible to find time, reflect more, and go more into details of the tools, techniques used. Training at Georgia Tech has given me this opportunity: to step back, to think more and to get a more technical approach. Overall, the training has given me an irreplaceable opportunity to improve my skills as a supply manager.”  

Former ISyE colleagues Özlem Ergun and Julie Swann are honorary recipients of the award, as they co-founded CHHS and jointly developed the HHSCM certificate program together with Keskinocak.

Keskinocak expressed her gratitude to The UPS Foundation, Andrea L. Laliberte, Pete Quinones, and Richard E. and Charlene O. Zalesky, for their generosity in providing scholarships to support a select subset of HHSCM participants. Joe Ruiz, the director of the UPS Humanitarian Relief and Resilience Program noted, “By training and mentoring professionals as well as undergraduate and graduate students in the courses and research projects, Professor Keskinocak strives to promote access to quality education in this area to improve health and humanitarian systems and human lives worldwide.”

Keskinocak’s research focuses on the applications of operations research and management science with societal impact, particularly health and humanitarian applications, supply chain management, and logistics/transportation. Her recent work has addressed infectious disease modeling, evaluating intervention strategies, and resource allocation; catch-up scheduling for vaccinations; hospital operations management; disaster preparedness and response (e.g., prepositioning inventory); debris management; and centralized and decentralized price and lead time decisions. She has worked on projects with companies, governmental and non-governmental organizations, and health care providers, including American Red Cross, CARE, Carter Center, CDC, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Emory University, and the Task Force for Global Health.

Keskinocak donated the award prize as a "seed gift" toward creating a permanent endowment in support of CHHS. If you are interested in making a gift toward the fund, in honor of the center's outstanding work, please contact ISyE's Director of Development Nancy Sandlin at nsandlin@isye.gatech.edu.

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ISyE Faculty and Students Receive Awards at 2019 INFORMS Conference

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William W. George Chair and Professor Pinar Keskinocak was inducted as the president of INFORMS.

At the annual Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) conference, a number of faculty members and students from Georgia Tech’s H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE) received awards for their research. The conference was held from October 20-23, 2019, in Seattle, Washington.

William W. George Chair and Professor Pinar Keskinocak was installed as the president of INFORMS.

In addition, A. Russell Chandler III Chair and Professor Pascal Van Hentenryck gave a keynote address with outgoing INFORMS President President Ramayya Krishnan on "AI Strategy: Opportunities at the Intersection of AI and Operations Research."

George Family Foundation Early Career Professor and Associate Professor Turgay Ayer was selected as one of the Health Applications Society Distinguished Speakers and gave a talk, Perspectives On Successful Healthcare Analytics Projects,” as part of the Distinguished Speakers Series.

First Place

Turgay Ayer, along with former advisee Can Zhang (Ph.D. 18) and Atalay Atasu and Beril Toktay (both from Scheller College of Business), won the MSOM Responsible Research in OM Award for “Truthful Mechanisms for Medical Surplus Product Allocation.”

Burak Kocuk (Ph.D. 16), along with his former advisors A. Russell Chandler III Professor Santanu Dey and Anderson-Interface Early Career Professor and Associate Professor Andy Sun, won the ENRE Best Publication Award in Energy for “Strong SOCP Relaxations for the Optimal Power Flow Problem.”

Assistant Professor He Wang received first place in the MSOM Student Paper Competition for the work “Dynamic Learning and Pricing with Model Misspecification,” coauthored with Mila Nambiar (MIT Ph.D. student) and David Simchi-Levi (MIT).

Ph.D. student Zhen Zhong received first place in the QSR Best Student Paper Competition for “Image-based Feedback Control using Tensor Analysis,” co-authored with his advisors, Carolyn J. Stewart Chair and Professor Jan Shi and Fouts Family Early Career Professor and Associate Professor Kamran Paynabar.

Second Place

Shixiang Zhu received second place in the “Doing Good with Good OR” Student Paper Competition for “Atlanta Police Zone Redesign: A Data-driven Optimization Approach,” co-authored with his advisor, Harold R. and Mary Anne Nash Early Career Professor and Associate Professor Yao Xie, and Assistant Professor He Wang.

Finalists

Ph.D. student Yufeng Cao was a finalist for the Aviation Applications Section (AAS) Best Student Presentation Competition for the work “Network Revenue Management Under a Spiked Multinomial Logit Choice Model,” coauthored with his advisors, Associate Professor Anton Kleywegt and Assistant Professor He Wang.

Ph.D. student Zhehui Chen was a finalist for the Data Mining Best Student Paper Competition for the paper, “A Hierarchical Expected Improvement Method for Effective Bayesian Optimization,” co-authored with Coca-Cola Chair in Engineering Statistics and Professor Jeff Wu and Simon Mak (Ph.D. 18). His advisors are Wu and Assistant Professor Tuo Zhao.

Ph.D. student Amanda Chu, Pinar Keskinocak, and Monica Villarreal (Ph.D. 14) were finalists for the Daniel H. Wagner Prize for Excellence in Operations Research Practice for the project “Empowering Denver Public Schools System to Optimize School Bus Operations.”

Ph.D. student Zhaowei She was a finalist for the MSOM Student Paper Competition for the paper, “Can Big Data Cure Risk Selection in Healthcare Capitation Programs?,” co-authored with his advisor Turgay Ayer and Daniel Montanera (Georgia State University).

SIAC Ph.D. student Andi Wang was a finalist for the Data Mining Section Best Paper Award for “Ranking Features to Promote Diversity: An Approach Based on Sparse Distance Correlation,” co-authored with his advisor, Jan Shi.

Liyan Xie was a finalist for the QSR Best Student Paper Competition for “Optimal Sequential Subspace Change-point Detection,” co-authored with her advisor, Yao Xie, and George Moustakides (Rutgers University).

Runner-up

ACO Ph.D. student Sebastian Perez was runner-up in the Computing Society Student Paper Prize for “Dynamic Resource Allocation in the Cloud with Near-optimal Efficiency” co-authored with his advisors, H. Milton Stewart Early Career Professor and Associate Professor Mohit Singh and Leo and Louise Benatar Early Career Professor and Associate Professor Alejandro Toriello, and Ishai Menache (Microsoft Research).

Liyan Xie was runner-up in the Computing Society Student Paper Prize for "Robust Hypothesis Testing with Wasserstein Uncertainty Sets," co-authored with her advisor, Yao Xie, and Rui Gao (Ph.D. 18).

Honorable Mention

Can Zhang (Ph.D. 18), co-advised by Turgay Ayer and Schneider National Chair in Transportation and Logistics and Professor Chip White, received an honorable mention for the George B. Dantzig Dissertation Award.

Location

Atlanta, GA

Email

swundersmith3@gatech.edu

Contact

Shelley Wunder-Smith

H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

ISyE's Alexander Shapiro Elected to the National Academy of Engineering

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A. Russell Chandler III Chair and Professor Alex Shapiro has been elected to the NAE's Class of 2020.

Professor Alexander Shapiro, who holds an A. Russell Chandler III Chair in Georgia Tech’s H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE), has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering’s (NAE) as part of the Class of 2020. Election to the NAE is among the highest professional distinctions accorded an engineer. 

In announcing Shapiro’s election to the prestigious organization, the NAE commended him for “contributions to the theory, computation, and application of stochastic programming.”

“We are delighted that Alex’s extraordinary career and contributions to the field have been recognized with his induction into the NAE. He has been a pioneer in optimization, and this honor is testament to his research work and accomplishments,” stated Steve McLaughlin, dean of the College of Engineering and Southern Company Chair.

“Congratulations to Alexander on this outstanding professional achievement,” said ISyE School Chair Edwin Romeijn. “This well-deserved recognition and honor confirms his leadership in the field of stochastic programming. We are proud to have him as a member of the ISyE and Georgia Tech communities, and I know he will continue to make noteworthy contributions to our field in the future.”

An example of application of Shapiro’s research is the work he did a few years ago with Operador Nacional do Sistema Eletrico (ONS) in Brazil, described in an issue of Georgia Tech publication Research Horizons.

Brazilian power system generation is dominated by hydroelectric sources using large reservoirs. ONS uses a complex computer algorithm that models the system to help ensure that electricity generation meets the demand at minimum expected cost, planning the generation of power based on such information as electricity demand forecast and water inflow scenarios based on the historical data. To improve the system, ONS decided to develop a methodology for adding a risk aversion criterion to the planning model. It contacted Shapiro because of his expertise in optimizing systems using stochastic programming, a technique useful for modeling complex systems when not all input parameters can be known.

The system presented a classic optimization challenge concerning the use of a resource whose future availability could not be determined with accuracy. Shapiro worked with ONS to understand the problem formulation and suggested some modifications that would reduce the risk of energy supply failures. The changes he made rely on stochastic programming, which is often used for modeling optimization programs that involve uncertainty.

In addition to his work on optimization and stochastic programming, Shapiro's research interests also focus on risk analysis, sensitivity analysis of nonlinear programs, and multivariate statistical analysis.

Shapiro has received other notable accolades for his research. In 2004, he joined the list of ISI Highly Cited Researchers. He was awarded the INFORMS Optimization Society’s Khachiyan Prize for lifetime achievements in optimization in 2013. In 2018 Shapiro received the George B. Dantzig Prize, awarded by the Mathematical Optimization Society and Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics.

“I am honored to be elected to the NAE. This came as a complete surprise to me. Joining our outstanding faculty members of NAE makes me proud,” said Shapiro.

Shapiro received his Ph.D. in applied mathematics-statistics from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (Israel) in 1981. He joined ISyE in 1991.

He and the other 86 newly elected members will be formally inducted at NAE's annual meeting in Washington, D.C., on October 4, 2020. Three other faculty members from Georgia Tech were also selected as Class of 2020 members: Wallace H. Coulter Chair Professor Susan Margulies in the Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering; HUSCO/Ramirez Distinguished Chair in Fluid Power and Motion Control and Professor Tim Kurfess; and Regents' Professor and Brook Byers Professor of Sustainable Systems Marilyn Brown in the School of Public Policy.

Shapiro joins other ISyE faculty who are already members of the NAE, including Carolyn J. Stewart Chair and Professor Jan Shi (2018); John Hunter Chair and Professor Arkadi Nemirovski (2017); Coca-Cola Chair in Engineering Statistics and Professor Jeff Wu (2004); Regent’s Professor Emeritus H. Donald Ratliff (1996); Professor Emeritus William Rouse (1991); and Professor Emeritus Ellis Johnson (1988); and  A. Russell Chandler III Chair and Institute Professor George Nemhauser (1986).

Location

Atlanta, GA

Email

swundersmith3@gatech.edu

Contact

Shelley Wunder-Smith

H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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