Ton Dieker, assistant professor in the Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE), won the prestigious Erlang Prize at the 2012 INFORMS Annual Conference in Phoenix, AZ on October 15. The Prize, which is awarded every two years by the Applied Probability Society, recognizes Dieker’s outstanding contributions to several areas, including the theory of stochastic processes, stochastic networks, and stochastic analysis of algorithms.
Ton has achieved major breakthroughs in several extremely challenging and longstanding open problems in probability. Most notable among these are his contributions to resolving a longstanding conjecture regarding the rates of convergence to stationarity in Markov chains. Ton's work has also tackled notable open problems in the areas of Gaussian processes, stochastic network theory, and queueing. Ton's work stands out in his ability to combine and bring to bear key ideas and technical machinery from quite disparate areas, including combinatorics, random matrix theory and control theory. The breadth and depth of Ton's contributions and the fearless manner by which he has tackled notoriously difficult problems with such great success, have already established him as a leader in the applied probability community.
Dieker earned his master's degree in Operations Research from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in 2002. He carried out his Ph.D. research at the Center for Mathematics and Computer Science in Amsterdam, and defended his Ph.D. thesis Extremes and fluid queues at the University of Amsterdam in 2006. He came to Georgia Tech from the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center. Prior to that, he worked at the University College Cork, Ireland, as a postdoctoral researcher.
Dieker is the third ISyE faculty member to receive this honor. Past recipients of the Erlang Prize include Jim Dai, Edenfield Professor in ISyE, in 1998, and Bert Zwart, adjunct associate professor in ISyE, in 2008.
Industrial and Systems Engineering