Daan Rutten, a Ph.D. student in Operations Research at the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering, was selected as a finalist in the Nicholson Student Paper Competition.  

The George Nicholson Committee Competition is held each year to identify and honor outstanding papers in the field of operations research and management sciences written by a student. This year they received a record number of 139 submissions and only six were selected as finalists.  

All finalists are invited to present their papers in the Nicholson Student Paper special sessions at the INFORMS Annual Meeting in Phoenix, AZ. The winner(s) will be announced at the Awards Ceremony at the Annual Meeting. 

The paper, “Mean-field Analysis for Load Balancing on Spatial Graphs,” solves a long-standing open problem in load balancing, which dates back to the 90s. The paper introduces a novel approach to establish a mean-field approximation for systems which have data locality constraints between tasks and servers. The paper extends the applicability of mean-field analysis far beyond traditional assumptions. 

Daan received his B.S. in Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics and his M.S. in Computer Science and Applied Mathematics from Eindhoven, University of Technology. His Ph.D. research focuses on the performance of large-scale systems and the optimization thereof by incorporating machine learning algorithms and making smart design decisions.  

His previous work has studied how to structure cloud networks in the presence of task-server constraints, how to implement machine learning predictions while maintaining robustness and how to learn optimal decision policies in dynamic environments. He is a recipient of the Stewart Fellowship, the ARC-TRIAD Fellowship, a finalist for the Alice and John Jarvis Ph.D. Student Research Award and the INFORMS Junior Faculty Paper Award and has been awarded the ACM SIGMETRICS Best Paper Award.

Daan Rutten

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Nat M. Esparza, Communications Officer II