Turgay Ayer

Virginia C. and Joseph C. Mello Chair


  • Ph.D./M.Sc. Industrial and Systems Engineering, Minor in Mathematics (2011), University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • B.S. Manufacturing Systems Engineering, Minor in Mathematics (2006), Sabanci University, Istanbul, Turkey


  • Operations Research
  • Data Science and Machine Learning
  • Dynamic Programming and Reinforcement Learning
  • Economic Modeling
  • Empirical Analysis
  • Healthcare Analytics
  • Practice-Focused Research


Turgay Ayer is a Virginia C. and Joseph C. Mello Chair and a professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Georgia Tech. Ayer also serves as the research director for healthcare analytics and business intelligence in the Center for Health & Humanitarian Systems at Georgia Tech and holds a courtesy appointment at Emory Medical School.

His research focuses on healthcare analytics and socially responsible business analytics with a particular emphasis on practice-focused research. His research papers have been published in top tier management, engineering, and medical journals, and covered by popular media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, U.S. News, and NPR.

Ayer has received over $2.5 million grant funding and several awards for his work, including an NSF CAREER Award (2015), first place in MSOM Responsible Research in Operations Management (2019), first place in the MSOM Best Practice-Based Research Competition (2017), INFORMS Franz Edelman Laureate Award (2017), and Society for Medical Decision Making Lee Lusted Award (2009).

Ayer serves an associate editor for Operations Research, Management Science, and MSOM, and is a past president of the INFORMS Health Application Society. He received a B.S. in industrial engineering from Sabanci University in Istanbul, Turkey, and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in industrial and systems engineering from the University of Wisconsin - Madison.

Awards and Honors

  • Career Award, National Science Foundation 2015
  • Seth Bonder Foundation Research Award 2012
  • First Prize, INFORMS Doing Good with Good OR Competition 2011
  • Second Prize, INFORMS MSOM Society Student Paper Competition 2011
  • Finalist in INFORMS Decision Analysis Society Student Paper Competition 2011
  • Recipient of the INFORMS Bonder Scholarship for Applied Operations Research in Health Services 2010
  • Selected for the 2010 INFORMS Doctoral Colloquium 2010
  • Recipient of the Society of Medical Decision Making Lee B. Lusted Award 2009
  • Recipient of the INFORMS Interactive Session Award 2009
  • Outstanding Presentation Award in the Informatics Session of 2008 Annual Meeting of Radiological Society of North America (invited for publication in RadioGraphics) 2008
  • Paul Carbone Prize for Best Poster in Cancer Control during 2nd Annual UW Carbone Comprehensive Cancer Center (UWCCC) Research Retreat 2008