ISyE Faculty, Ph.D. Students Win Honors at 2016 INFORMS Conference

Once again, a number of faculty members, as well as current and former Ph.D. students, in Georgia Tech’s Stewart School of Industrial & Systems Engineering (ISyE) have received awards at this year’s INFORMS conference, held from November 13 to November 16, 2016 in Nashville, TN.

INFORMS Fellow

Jeff Linderoth, Professor and Department Chair at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an ISyE Ph.D. alumnus (1998) advised by James C. Edenfield Chair and Professor Martin Savelsbergh, was chosen as an INFORMS Fellow. 

INFORMS Fellows are examples of 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 over a period of time.

Chairperson

Assistant Professor Kamran Paynabar has been elected the new chair of the Quality, Statistics, and Reliability section of INFORMS.

Winners

Paul Brooks, a Ph.D. student at Virginia Commonwealth University advised by Professor Eva Lee, and Jose Dula won the SAS Data Mining Best Paper Award for “Robust PCA via L1-Norm Line Fitting.”

Ph.D. student Qiushi Chen; George Family Foundation Assistant Professor Turgay Ayer; and Jagpreet Chhatwal of Harvard Medical School and MGH won first prize in the  INFORMS Decision Analysis Society Student Paper Competition for “Optimal Liver Cancer Surveillance In Hepatitis C Infected Population.” The team developed a novel modeling framework to determine the optimal policy for liver cancer screening, which balances the health and cost outcomes in the most cost-effective way and also has practical structures for policy implementation.

Ph.D. student Xiaolei Fang, co-advised by Assistant Professor Kamran Paynabar and Georgia Power Associate Professor Nagi Gebraeel, received the SAS Data Mining Best Paper Award for “Residual Useful Lifetime Prediction Using a Degradation Image Stream.” This paper proposes a new methodology for residual useful lifetime prediction of a system using a sequence of degradation images.

Virginia C. and Joseph C. Mello Chair and Professor Paul Griffin and former Penn State Ph.D. student Nathaniel Bastian are winners of the Koopman Prize, given to the outstanding publication in military operations research of the previous year, for “The AMEDD Uses Goal Programming to Optimize Workforce Planning Decisions.” The mission of the Army Medical Department (AMEDD) is to provide medical and health care delivery for the U.S. Army. Given the large number of medical specialties in the AMEDD, determining the appropriate number of hires and promotions for each medical specialty is a complex task. Griffin and Bastian developed an objective force model to project the number of hires, promotions, and personnel inventory for each medical specialty across the AMEDD to support a 30-year life cycle.

Ph.D. student Simon Mak and Professor Roshan Vengazhiyil won the Quality, Statistics, and Reliability section’s Best Student Paper Competition for “Support Points.” In this paper, Mak and Vengazhiyil discuss how support points are a new way to compact a probability distribution into optimal sampling points. Being optimal, these points can provide significant improvements to many quality and reliability fields by reducing monetary and computation costs in simulation.

Ph.D. students Chitta Ranjan and Samaneh Ebrahimi, advised by Assistant Professor Kamran Paynabar, received the SAS Data Mining Best Paper Award for the paper “Sequence Graph Transform (SGT): A Feature Extraction Function for Sequence Data Mining.” Ranjan and Ebrahimi developed the SGT method, which captures any amount of short- to long-term pattern (regulated by one parameter) without any increase in computation. It removes the computation shackles and leaves it on us to keep as much long-term patterns as required for the data analysis. SGT is a paradigm shift in sequence mining—flat computation and higher accuracy.

Josh Reed, an alumnus of the ISyE Ph.D. program (2007), was awarded the Erlang Prize of the Applied Probability Society of INFORMS. The prize was awarded for his many outstanding contributions to the analysis of stochastic systems, but most notably for his resolution of a long-standing conjecture regarding the scaling of a fundamental model which arises in the study of queues. In particular, Reed showed that under very general assumptions, the number waiting in queue scales like the square root of the number of servers for a family of stochastic models which arises frequently in the study of service systems such as large-scale call centers. This answered a long-standing conjecture of one of the leaders in the field, Ward Whitt, who (along with Shlomo Halfin) proved in 1981 that this scaling is correct for the special case of exponentially distributed service times.  To prove this result, Reed developed many new tools in the theory of stochastic processes, especially so-called measure valued processes, which are required to deal with the complex mathematics of general service time distributions in many-server systems. He now joins the ranks of many associated with Georgia Tech who have won this prize in the past, including Ton Dieker, Bert Zwart, and Jim Dai.

Tuo Zhao, who will join ISyE as an assistant professor in January 2017, received the SAS Data Mining Best Paper Award for “Calibrated Multivariate Regression with Application to Neural Semantic Basis Discovery.” Zhao’s paper proposes a novel sparse learning method for adaptively estimating high-dimensional multivariate regression models in a neural semantic basis discovery experiment.

Second Place

William W. George Chair and ADVANCE Professor Pinar Keskinocak and Associate Professor Joel Sokol; ISyE graduates Hannah Smalley, Nishi Anand, Dylan Buczek, Tim Lin, Tanay Rajore, and Muriel Wacker; and Sridhar Basavaraju, Brian Gurbaxani, Teresa Hammett, and Matthew Kuehnert from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, received second place in the INFORMS Poster Competition for “Identification and Allocation of Increased-risk Encephalitis Organs.”

Honorable Mention

Ph.D. student Qiushi Chen; George Family Foundation Assistant Professor Turgay Ayer; and Jagpreet Chhatwal of Harvard Medical School and MGH received an honorable mention in the Public Sector Operations Research (PSOR) Best Paper Award Competition for “Optimal Liver Cancer Surveillance In Hepatitis C Infected Population.”

 Finalists

George Family Foundation Assistant Professor Turgay Ayer; Ph.D. students Anthony Bonifonte and Can Zhang; Anne Spaulding of Emory University; and Jagpreet Chhatwal of Harvard Medical School are finalists in the INFORMS Health Applications Society Best Paper Competition Award (Pierskalla Award) for “Prioritizing Hepatitis C Treatment in U.S. Prisons.”

George Family Foundation Assistant Professor Turgay Ayer and William W. George Chair and ADVANCE Professor Pinar Keskinocak; Ph.D. student Jia Yan; and Aaron Caughey from Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine, are finalists in the INFORMS Poster Competition for “Incorporating Fairness and Women's Preferences into Down Syndrome Diagnosis Decisions.” 

Ph.D. student Xiaolei Fang, Assistant Professor Kamran Paynabar, and Georgia Power Associate Professor Nagi Gebraeel are finalists for the INFORMS Quality, Statistics, and Reliability Section’s Best Refereed Paper Finalist Award for “Residual Useful Lifetime Prediction Using a Degradation Image Stream.”

Ph.D. student Rui Gao, is a finalist for the George. E. Nicholson Student Paper Competition for "Distributionally Robust Stochastic Optimization with Wasserstein Distance," co-authored by Associate Professor Anton Kleywegt

Alvaro Lorca, former Ph.D student (now assistant professor at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile), and Assistant Professor Andy Sun are finalists for the ENRE Student Paper Travel Award for "The Adaptive Robust Multi-Period Alternating Current Optimal Power Flow Problem,” given by the INFORMS Section on Energy, Natural Resources, and the Environment.

Ph.D. student Hao Yan, Assistant Professor Kamran Paynabar, and Carolyn J. Stewart Chair and Professor Jan Shi are finalists for the INFORMS Quality, Statistics, and Reliability Best Student Paper Competition, for “AKM2D: Adaptive Sensing for Online Anomaly Detection.”

Post-doctoral researcher Murat Yildirium, Assistant Professor Andy Sun, and Georgia Power Associate Professor Nagi Gebraeel are finalists for the INFORMS Quality, Statistics, and Reliability Best Student Paper Competition, for “Sensor-driven Condition-based Maintenance and Operations Scheduling of Power Plants in Electricity Systems.”

Related Media

Click on image(s) to view larger version(s)

  • Jeff Linderoth

  • Kamran Paynabar

  • Qiushi Chen

  • Xiaolei Fang

  • Paul Griffin

  • Simon Mak

  • Chitta Ranjan

  • Samaneh Ebrahimi

  • Josh Reed

  • Tuo Zhao

For More Information Contact

Shelley Wunder-Smith

Stewart School of Industrial & Systems Engineering

404.385.4745