Bill Cook, George Nemhauser and Bo Zhang Among ISyE Faculty/Students Honored at INFORMS Annual Meeting

Dec 15, 2010 | Atlanta, GA

Each year at its annual meeting, the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) honors deserving members by electing them as Fellows and recognizes outstanding research and life-time achievement through its various and highly prized awards. Among the most prestigious of these are the George Nicholson Student Paper award and the newly created Khachiyan Prize. Two faculty members and one graduate student from the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE) were among those receiving these prestigious honors and join other ISyE faculty and students recognized at the meeting.

George Nemhauser, the A. Russell Chandler Chaired Professor, was honored as the first recipient of the newly established Khachiyan Prize, created to recognize an individual or a team for life-time achievements in the area of optimization. The award, named for Leonid Khachiyan, serves as an esteemed recognition of innovativeness and impact in the area of optimization, including theory and applications.

Nemhauser’s remarkable academic career spans nearly a half-century, during which time he has grown into one of the world's foremost experts in discrete optimization and become one of the most recognized members of the INFORMs community. The basis for Nemhauser’s outstanding position as an operations research scientist is his fundamental contributions to the theory and practice of integer programming and combinatorial optimization.

Bill Cook, Chandler Family Chair and professor, is another ISyE faculty member honored at this year’s meeting. Cook was elected INFORMS Fellow, an honor reserved for distinguished individuals who have demonstrated outstanding and exceptional accomplishments and experience in operations research and the management sciences. Their service to the profession and to INFORMS has culminated in election to the INFORMS Fellow Award. Cook, known widely for his work with the Traveling Salesman Problem and his research in combinatorial optimization and integer programming, was elected for his research contributions in both areas. Cook joins a distinguished list, including twelve other ISyE faculty members who have achieved this recognition.

The George Nicholson Student Paper Competition, arguably the most prestigious student award in the operations research community, was awarded to ISyE PhD student Bo Zhang. The George Nicholson Student Paper Competition is held each year to honor outstanding student papers in the field of operations research and the management sciences. Zhang received the Nicholson Award for his paper, “Refined Square-Root Staffing for Call Centers with Impatient Customers,” which he co-authored with Johan van Leeuwaarden and Bert Zwart, ISyE adjunct associate professor and Zhang’s thesis advisor.

Other ISyE faculty and students who received recognition for their outstanding work include:

Li Xu, a third-year PhD student, won the 2010 INFORMS Energy, Natural Resources and the Environment best student paper competition for his paper, "Carbon Emission Permit Price Volatility Mitigation via Financial Options." Xu’s thesis advisor is Shijie Deng.

Pinar Keskinocak, Harold R. and Mary Anne Nash professor and co-director of the Center for Health and Humanitarian Logistics, and PhD student Hannah Smalley were finalists for the Daniel H. Wagner Prize for Excellence in Operations Research Practice for their paper, "Universal Tool for Vaccine Scheduling - Applications for Children and Adults." Keskinocak and Smalley co-authored the paper with Dr. Larry Pickering of the Centers for Disease Control and Faramroze Engineer (PhD IE 2009).

PhD student Ran Jin was a finalist for the best student paper award of Quality, Statistics and Reliability section of INFORMS. Ran worked with Jan Shi, the Carolyn J. Stewart Chair professor.

Ozlem Ergun and Julie Swann, associate professors and co-directors of the Center for Health and Humanitarian Logistics; Keskinocak; and PhD students Monica Villarreal and Paul Kerl won third place at the INFORM-ED Case Competition for their paper, "A Leader Home Improvement Retailer Commitment to Disaster Response."  Former students Matthew J. Drake (MS IE 2005, PhD IE 2006) and Gonca Karakus (MS IE 2008) co-authored the paper.

PhD student Kelly Bartlett won the Monday poster session for her poster titled, “Asset Allocation and Routing in a Recruiting Organization.” Bartlett’s advisors are George Nemhauser and Joel Sokol.

Undergraduate students Rene Alvarenga, Dani Slaton, and Jordan Stone won second place in the INFORMS' “Doing Good with Good OR” student competition. Ergun was the advisor.

James Wade (IE 2010) won an honorable mention in the INFORMS undergraduate student paper competition for his paper "Supply Chain Improvements for the World Food Programme."  Ozlem Ergun was the advisor.

INFORMS, the largest professional society in the world for professionals in the field of operations research, management science, and business analytics, serves the scientific and professional needs of operations researchers and those in the management sciences including educators, scientists, students, managers, and consultants. The Institute serves as a focal point for operations research professionals, permitting them to communicate with each other and reach out to other professional societies, as well as the varied clientele of the profession's research and practice.

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Barbara Christopher
Industrial and Systems Engineering