Georgia Tech’s ISyE Faculty and Students Receive Top Honors at 2015 INFORMS Conference

Nov 9, 2015 | Atlanta, GA

Several faculty members and Ph.D. students in Georgia Tech’s Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE) have been the recipients of prestigious awards at this year’s INFORMS conference from November 1st-November 4th, 2015 in Philadelphia, PA.


INFORMS Fellows exemplify 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. Their service to the profession and to INFORMS has culminated in election to the INFORMS Fellow Award. Two of the eight awarded fellowships went to ISyE faculty members.

Pinar Keskinocak, ISyE William W. George Chair and ADVANCE Professor, has been elected an INFORMS Fellow as part of the 2015 class. She is the co-founder and co-director of the Center for Health and Humanitarian Systems at Georgia Tech.

Eva Lee, ISyE professor, was also elected a 2015 INFORMS Fellow. Lee directs the Center for Operations Research in Medicine and HealthCare, a collaborative center established through funds from the National Science Foundation and the Whitaker Foundation. Lee is a Distinguished Scholar in Health Systems at the Health Systems Institute of Emory University School of Medicine and Georgia Tech.


Eva Lee, ISyE professor, along with Fan Yuan, Georgia Institute of Technology; Bali Pulendran, Helder Nakaya, and Troy Querec of Emory University; and Ferdinand Pietz, Bernard Benecke, and Greg Burel of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have been awarded the prestigious INFORMS Daniel H. Wagner award for "Machine Learning for Predicting Vaccine Immunity.” The team created a model that uses genetic signatures to predict the efficacy of vaccines on an individual by individual basis. 

Valerie Thomas, ISyE Anderson Interface Professor of Natural Systems, along with Vishal Agrawal, assistant professor at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business; Mark Ferguson, Wilbur S. Smith Professor of Management Science at the University of South Carolina's Darla Moore School of Business; and Beril Toktay, Professor of Operations Management, Brady Family Chair, and ADVANCE Professor at Georgia Tech’s Scheller College of Business, have had their paper selected as the best operations management paper in the INFORMS journal Management Science. Their paper is entitled “Is Leasing Greener Than Selling?”

Linwei Xin won the 2015 George E. Nicholson Student Paper Award, the top student paper honor at INFORMS. The award-winning paper was entitled “Asymptotic Optimality of Tailored Base-surge Policies in Dual-sourcing Inventory Systems," co-authored with ISyE assistant professor David A. Goldberg. Xin and Goldberg studied dual-sourcing inventory systems, in which one supplier is faster and more costly, while the other is slower and cheaper. Such systems are common in practice, yet notoriously difficult to optimize. Recently, Tailored Base-surge (TBS) policies have been proposed as a heuristic for such models, and shown numerically to perform well as the lead time difference between the two suppliers grows large. This paper provides a theoretical foundation for this phenomenon by proving that a TBS policy is asymptotically optimal as the lead time of the slow supplier grows large. 

Xin graduated with his Ph.D. in OR from ISyE (2015), co-advised by Goldberg and Professor Alexander Shapiro; he is now an assistant professor of Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Hao Yan, ISyE Ph.D. student, along with assistant professor Kamran Paynabar and Carolyn J. Stewart Chair and professor Jianjun (Jan) Shi, won the Quality, Statistics and Reliability Refereed Track Best Paper Competition at INFORMS. Their paper is entitled “Real-time Monitoring and Diagnosis of High-Dimensional Data Streams via Spatio-Temporal Smooth Sparse Decomposition.”

Chenxi Zeng won the 2015 Doing Good with Good OR Student Paper Competition with his paper, “Improving Blood Collection Policies for Cryoprecipitate.” Zeng is the first Ph.D. student from Georgia Tech to win this award. To Zeng’s knowledge, this work has built the first analytical model and decision support tool to improve blood collection policies for cryoprecipitate. This work also has the impact in practice: the American Red Cross (ARC) Southern blood service center has used our decision support tool to change their blood collection strategies.

Collaborators on this paper include ISyE’s  Chelsea White III, professor and Schneider National Chair in Transportation and Logistics, and Turgay Ayer, assistant professor and research director for medical decision-making in Georgia Tech’s Center for Health & Humanitarian Systems; John DeShane, ARC Director of Blood Manufacturing; and Zeynep Ozkaynak, ARC Director of Blood Collections; Professor Roshan Vengazhiyil, who helped with statistical analysis; and Associate Professor Anton Kleywegt, who helped with solving a large-scale MDP model.

 2nd Place

David Goldberg, ISyE assistant professor, and Linwei Xin, recent ISyE Ph.D. graduate and assistant professor at the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign, earned second place in the INFORMS Junior Faculty Interest Group Paper Competition for their paper, "Asymptotic Optimality of Tailored Base-surge Policies in Dual-sourcing Inventory Systems."

Honorable Mention

Andy Sun, ISyE assistant professor, has won the honorable mention in the INFORMS ENRE Best Paper Competition. The paper is entitled "Adaptive Robust Optimzation for the Security Constrained Unit Commitment Problem," co-written with Professor Dimitris Bertsimas of MIT’s Sloan School of Management, and Eugene Litvinov, Jinye Zhao, and Tongxin Zheng, all of ISO New England, Inc.


Can Zhang was a finalist for the 2015 George E. Nicholson Student Paper Award with “2-Approximation Policies for Fixed-lifetime Perishable Inventory Control.” A fourth-year ISyE Ph.D. student, he works with ISyE’s Chelsea White III, professor and Schneider National Chair in Transportation and Logistics, and Turgay Ayer, assistant professor and research director for medical decision-making in Georgia Tech’s Center for Health & Humanitarian. Their research focuses on stochastic dynamic models with applications in inventory control and health care operations.

ISyE Ph.D. student Ran Li and Professor Spyros Reveliotis and their poster, “Optimized Scheduling of Sequential Resource Allocation Systems,” placed as finalists in the Poster Competition.

ISyE Ph.D. student Murat Yildirim's paper, "Sensor Driven Condition Based Generation Maintenance and Operations Scheduling" was selected as a finalist in the INFORMS 2015 Data Mining Best Student Paper Award. Yildirim is co-advised by ISyE Chandler Family Associate Professor Nagi Gebraeel and Andy Sun, assistant professor.

The paper “Ebola Treatment Facility Location Planning in Guinea (Analysis for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)” was a finalist in the Doing Good with Good OR Student Paper Competition. Contributors include ISyE graduates Kimberly Adelaar, Charmaine Chan, Matt Daniels, Javeria Javeria, Caleb Mbuvi, Chu Qian, Ivan Renaldi, and Jonathan Sutomo. The faculty advisor was Harold R. and Mary Anne Nash Professor Julie Swann.

The paper “Infusion Center Process Improvement and Patient Wait Time Reduction” was a finalist in the Doing Good with Good OR Student Paper Competition. Contributors include ISyE graduates Sung Keun Baek, Xiaoyang Li, Allen Liu, James Micali, Jisu Park, Mengnan Shen, Yunjie Sun, and Emilie Wurmser. The faculty advisor was William W. George Chair and ADVANCE Professor Pinar Keskinocak.