<![CDATA[Student Spotlight: Kiran Rampersad: From Trinidad & Tobago to Georgia Tech]]> 28766 Kiran Rampersad is the first Georgia Tech student to be awarded the prestigious Southeastern Writing Center Association Undergraduate Peer Tutor of the Year award. He will accept the award in February 2016 at SWCA’s annual conference in Columbus, GA.

“Kiran is an exceptional tutor who has fully committed himself to our center, even though it is not a place he ever expected to be as an industrial and systems engineering student at Georgia Tech. His systems engineering background is one of his greatest assets, and not just for the content knowledge he brings to his tutoring sessions with other engineering students,” said Karen J. Head, who is the Communication Center’s director and an assistant professor in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication.

“Kiran is also one of our most popular tutors. Without question this is a reaction to his congenial disposition and his competence as a tutor. Students who have worked with Kiran are quick to say how much he has encouraged and helped them — even the graduate students who sometimes bristle when they learn their tutor is an undergraduate take the time to say how glad they are to have worked with him.”

In this interview, Rampersad talks about his work as a peer tutor, and how his industrial engineering focus helps with that role, his involvement with the Caribbean Students Association, and how it felt to win the SWCA award.

Why did you select Georgia Tech for your university experience, and industrial engineering as your major?

Georgia Tech is one of the most prominent universities for engineering. I am from the beautiful twin-island republic of Trinidad & Tobago, where I have lived all my life. I never envisioned myself studying abroad, but here I am!

The school’s close proximity to the bustling city of Atlanta creates the ideal setting for me to meet new people and have exciting experiences. Above all, Georgia Tech’s Industrial & Systems Engineering program is ranked No. 1 in the U.S.

I chose IE because it is such a versatile field. An IE graduate can find a job in almost any industry, from manufacturing to insurance. I have always loved math and finance, so my focus is on economic and financial systems. I am also pursuing a minor in economics, which complements my IE concentration.

What made you want to become an undergraduate peer tutor at the Communication Center?

Prior to attending Georgia Tech, I tutored high school students and volunteered to teach kids at an underprivileged children’s home in Trinidad. After doing both activities for a year, I grew to love tutoring and helping my peers. I was nominated to work at the Georgia Tech Communication Center by my English professor, Dr. Rebecca Weaver, from whom I took both English 1101 and 1102. I saw this as an excellent opportunity to help my fellow students and to positively contribute to the Georgia Tech community.

What is your favorite part of the experience of being a peer tutor?

I see peer tutoring as a two-way street: Students get help and guidance on their projects, while tutors learn both from the students they help and from the activity of tutoring itself. For me, that is the best part of being a peer tutor. Another wonderful part of this experience is receiving gratitude from students you have helped and seeing them reach their goals and be successful.

What has been the most challenging aspect of being a peer tutor?

At the Communication Center, we tutor both graduate and undergraduate students in any writing- and communication-based projects. Thus, I have worked with students on academic essays, research papers, dissertations, resumes, cover letters, mock job interviews, presentations, poster design, and public speaking. The challenge is to be versed and knowledgeable in all areas, so as to adequately guide students with any one of those various projects

I know you’re involved in other campus organizations, such as being vice president of the Caribbean Students Association. Describe your role there.

I have been heavily involved with the Caribbean Students Association (CaribSA) since I was a freshman. During my first two years at Georgia Tech, I served as treasurer, and now I am the vice president. CaribSA’s two primary roles are to provide a space where Caribbean students can meet, socialize, and network, and to promote our diverse and unique Caribbean culture on Georgia Tech’s campus through food, music, history, and art. As the vice president, I oversee all of the organization’s activities and domestic affairs. These include general weekly meetings, as well as cultural events and social gatherings that we host. I work closely with other student-run clubs and on-campus departments to promote our activities.

Describe a typical day for you. How do you find time for everything?

A typical day for me involves waking up early, attending all of my classes, meeting groups to work on projects for classes or having CaribSA meetings, tutoring at the Communication Center, completing all of my assigned homework, studying for upcoming exams and quizzes, going to the gym at night, and ensuring that I get an adequate amount of sleep.

I usually schedule everything in my head a day in advance for the following day’s activities, and try to stick to that plan. However, it is extremely tough to balance my time among my five classes, working at the Comm Lab, and serving in CaribSA. It’s almost like two full-time jobs.

How did you feel when you heard that you had received the Southeastern Writing Center Association Undergraduate Peer Tutor of the Year award?

I felt like all of my hard work over the past year and a half had paid off. I was particularly excited because I am the first Georgia Tech student to win this prestigious award. I will also be co-presenting at the 2016 SWCA Annual Conference with Peter Fontaine, the associate director of our center.

How do your IE studies help you in your tutoring role?

IE has helped me in terms of analyzing students’ work and organizing my sessions effectively to help my tutees. Since I do a lot of analysis in my IE classes, I am better able to examine a paper or project and give meaningful feedback and useful suggestions.

What does the future look like for you?

I would like to go back home after I graduate and work to improve some system(s) in Trinidad. Moreover, since I enjoy both tutoring and IE, I wouldn’t mind teaching industrial engineering, given the opportunity.

]]> Shelley Wunder-Smith 1 1448894514 2015-11-30 14:41:54 1475896808 2016-10-08 03:20:08 0 0 news 2015-11-30T00:00:00-05:00 2015-11-30T00:00:00-05:00 2015-11-30 00:00:00 Shelley Wunder-Smith

Stewart School of Industrial & Systems Engineering


473911 473961 473941 473971 473911 image <![CDATA[Kiran Rampersad Tutoring a Fellow Student]]> image/jpeg 1449257190 2015-12-04 19:26:30 1475895223 2016-10-08 02:53:43 473961 image <![CDATA[Kiran Rampersad Explaining a Concept During a Tutoring Session]]> image/jpeg 1449257202 2015-12-04 19:26:42 1475895225 2016-10-08 02:53:45 473941 image <![CDATA[Kiran Rampersad with the Trinidad & Tobago National Flag]]> image/jpeg 1449257202 2015-12-04 19:26:42 1475895225 2016-10-08 02:53:45 473971 image <![CDATA[Kiran Rampersad with Fellow CaribSA Members]]> image/jpeg 1449257202 2015-12-04 19:26:42 1475895225 2016-10-08 02:53:45
<![CDATA[Student Spotlight: Basketball + Analytics = Passion and Purpose]]> 28766 Chris Mast is a senior who will graduate this December from Georgia Tech’s Stewart School of Industrial & Systems Engineering (ISyE) with a focus on economic and financial systems. During his time in school, he has started a basketball analytics company, Lean Basketball Analytics, LLC (LBA) and after graduation plans to devote his attention full-time to furthering the reach of his company. In this interview, Mast talks about balancing school and entrepreneurship, his inspiration for LBA, and the company’s current and future prospects.

Why did you choose IE as your major and Georgia Tech as the place to pursue it?

When I was 16 and a junior in high school, my mom took me to the annual Sports Analytics Conference held at MIT. At the conference, I heard Daryl Morey, general manager of the NBA’s Houston Rockets, speak. During his sessions, he spoke about applying advanced mathematics to the sport of basketball to make better decisions about team lineups, player acquisitions, and much, much more. It blew my mind that people were applying my favorite subject, math, to my favorite hobby, basketball. From that moment on, I have wanted to become a general manager of a NBA team, and so I've modeled my academic career after him. Morey studied statistics at Northwestern; I went to Georgia Tech for its No.1-ranked industrial engineering program.

Which came first – your desire to be an entrepreneur or your idea for Lean Basketball Analytics (LBA)?

 The idea came first. My idea was generated because I believed that basketball coaches were not playing their players optimally. So, I created a method that helps coaches make better in-game decisions. After successfully testing the program with Georgia Tech, I decided to pursue creating a company. The IE program teaches optimization; I transferred that to my favorite sport.

What inspired you to pursue developing LBA into a company, particularly while you’re in school?

The success of my method at Georgia Tech. Trent Angelluci, the video-coordinator for Georgia Tech at the time, was my contact during the 2013-2014 season. He thought my idea was fantastic, and that it really had the ability to help teams and coaches. His endorsement to my idea ignited my pursuit.

Take us through the timeline and process of turning LBA from an idea into a company.

I had the idea in October 2013. Coincidentally, [Georgia Tech basketball] Coach Brian Gregory came and talked to my fraternity the same day I had this idea – talk about fate! So, I pitched my idea to Gregory, and he thought it could be useful.

From there, I created the [data] insight for Georgia Tech by myself on Excel during the 2013-2014 season. I gave Angelluci my first batch of data on the day of the home game against UNC in January 2014. On the phone, I walked him through the spreadsheet and how to obtain the insight. At the end [of the conversation,] he asked if I had any recommendations.

I told Angelluci, “You're not going to believe this, but [then-redshirt sophomore] Corey Heyward is in seven of your top 10 scoring and four of your top five rebounding lineups. Heyward doesn't have any personal flashy stats, but when he's on the court, your team succeeds."

Angelluci remarked, “That's what I've been saying!” That was a great endorsement to the methodology.

I talked with two of my fraternity brothers, Matt Creatore and Mason Dimarco, about forming a company. Creatore is an ISyE major here at Tech graduating in spring 2017, and Dimarco is a senior computer science major who transferred to Brown during his sophomore year. We formed an LLC in late 2014, and then beta-tested our software we created during the 2014-2015 season with teams such as UNC, Notre Dame, Stanford, Texas, Georgetown, and more. Their testimonies backed up our ambitions.

Take us through a typical day for you. How do you balance running/promoting LBA with your school responsibilities?

 It's hard. But LBA is a huge passion of mine, so I don't view it as work. It's fun. Overall, I have to map out my days to ensure I have enough time to tackle my responsibilities for both LBA and school. Sometimes the times can conflict, and in those situations, I have to do what's best for my future.

What does the future hold for LBA, both in the immediate and the long-term?

 We are innovating our ClinchTM software each and every day. We are making our software something that teams ranging from high school to college to even the professional leagues won't want to miss out on. This 2015-2016 season, we have about 25 Division 1 teams on board. If all goes well, other teams will follow suit. But I don't believe we will ever stop innovating our software. Currently, this is my career. I graduate in December 2015 and am not seeking a full-time job opportunity. If I'm going to fail, it's because I tried and nothing else.

How do you see IE and entrepreneurship fitting together? For example, what does IE enable you to do that you might not be able to do with another major?

IE teaches you how to think with an efficiency-oriented outlook. IE has taught me to accomplish tasks as quickly and as best as possible. Bottom line: The IE major at this school teaches one how to think. My analytical- and efficiency-driven perspective has blossomed at this school, and that's what allows me to run this company and handle my other responsibilities as well.

]]> Shelley Wunder-Smith 1 1447330340 2015-11-12 12:12:20 1475896798 2016-10-08 03:19:58 0 0 news 2015-11-12T00:00:00-05:00 2015-11-12T00:00:00-05:00 2015-11-12 00:00:00 Shelley Wunder-Smith

Stewart School of Industrial & Systems Engineering


469281 469271 469281 image <![CDATA[LBA Team Members: Mason Dimarco (Chief Technology Officer), Chris Mast (CEO and founder), and Matt Creatore (Chief Revenue Officer)]]> image/jpeg 1449257160 2015-12-04 19:26:00 1475895218 2016-10-08 02:53:38 469271 image <![CDATA[Lean Basketball Analytics]]> image/jpeg 1449257160 2015-12-04 19:26:00 1475895218 2016-10-08 02:53:38
<![CDATA[Alumni Spotlight: New Advisory Board Members Bring Fresh Insights and Expertise to ISyE]]> 28766 Reed Baker, IE 1985, Michele Etheredge, IE 1986, JohnMarshall, IE 1996, JimMcClelland, IE 1966, and Major General (Ret.) Kelly McKeague, IE 1981, MSIE 1987, joined the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial & Systems Engineering Advisory Board in the spring of 2015. These five alumni are joining 15 other distinguished professionals and community leaders, serving as a sounding board for the School Chair in an advisory capacity as well as assisting with the School’s development goals.  Each member brings extensive industry knowledge and unique expertise to this role and will serve a four-year term (2015-2019).

Reed Baker is currently senior vice president and principal of Advantage Industrial Automation based in Atlanta, Georgia. Advantage Industrial Automation provides OEMs, industrial end-users, and system integrators with intelligent manufacturing solutions by adding value to the leading products in factory automation and controls. After graduating from ISyE, Baker’s first position was with Square D Company (now Schneider Electric) as a field engineer. He is married to Angie Baker, IMGT 1985, and has two children currently attending Georgia Tech.

Michele Etheredge retired in 1998 after a successful career with CAPS Logistics and Frito-Lay as a project manager implementing supply chain solutions. Etheredge has also raised funds for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and is currently assisting the Boy Scouts of America locally. She received her Georgia Tech degree with honors. She and her husband, Jimmy, IE 1985, have three children. Their oldest son is now a student in ISyE. They presently reside in Atlanta, Georgia, but enjoyed living in Surrey, England for six years.

John Marshall is the co-founder of AirWatch. Under his leadership, AirWatch became the largest enterprise mobility management provider in the world, with more than $200 million in 2014 bookings. AirWatch has more than 18,000 customers, including four of the top five global Fortune companies. VMware acquired AirWatch for $1.54 billion in 2014, the largest acquisition to-date for VMware. Marshall was named the 2013 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year for the Southeast and the Atlanta Business Chronicle selected him as one of “Atlanta’s Most Admired CEOs in 2014.” Marshall is also a board member of the Georgia Tech Information Security Center Industry Advisory Board.

Jim McClelland recently retired as president and chief executive officer of Goodwill Industries in Central Indiana.  McClelland has been active in the international development efforts of Goodwill Industries International and was heavily involvedin starting new Goodwills in South Korea. He serves on the Dean’s Council of the Indiana University Kelley School of Business – Indianapolis, the Georgia Tech Grand Challenges Advisory Board, the Board of Governors of the Economic Club of Indiana, the Executive Committee of the Central Indiana Education Alliance, and the Urban Areas Commission of the Indiana University Public Policy Institute. McClelland earned his MBA from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University.

Major General (Ret.) Kelly McKeague is transitioning from the military to the civilian sector. He most recently served as deputy director of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, which has worldwide responsibility for the analysis and investigation, search and recovery, and forensic laboratory operations to account for Americans missing from World War II to the first Persian Gulf War. After receiving his commission from Georgia Tech’s Air Force ROTC program, he began his 34- year career as an industrial engineer and served in a variety of engineering and legislative assignments. He and his wife, Nancy, reside in Alexandria, VA.

]]> Shelley Wunder-Smith 1 1447151114 2015-11-10 10:25:14 1475896798 2016-10-08 03:19:58 0 0 news 2015-12-08T00:00:00-05:00 2015-12-08T00:00:00-05:00 2015-12-08 00:00:00 Shelley Wunder-Smith

Stewart School of Industrial & Systems Engineering


467311 467311 image <![CDATA[New ISyE Advisory Board Members]]> image/jpeg 1449257147 2015-12-04 19:25:47 1475895216 2016-10-08 02:53:36
<![CDATA[Student Spotlight: From Mission Possible to Endless Possibilities]]> 28766 In 2013, during the summer before my senior year in high school, I attended Mission Possible, an ISyE program designed to introduce high school students to the field of industrial engineering. My dad earned his Ph.D. in industrial engineering at Purdue and encouraged me to try out this major. I Google-searched “Georgia Tech industrial engineering camps for high school students” and found Mission Possible. While it was only for five days, Mission Possible completely changed me from thinking, “Georgia Tech is a top engineering school” to “This is exactly where I belong.”

At the camp, we explored campus and received an overview of industrial engineering through hands-on activities and field trips. We interacted with professors  and several current ISyE students. As a high school student, I really looked up to these incredibly intelligent and motivated people who were only a couple years older than me. This motivated me to push myself to the limit to achieve my goals.

One of the many people who stood out to me during Mission Possible was Stephanie Kalman, IE 2009 and MBA 2015. We walked across the street from campus to visit the Coca-Cola Company headquarters, where Kalman co-oped as an undergraduate and then joined full-time after she graduated. She gave us a presentation of what she did as an industrial engineer at Coca-Cola.  I was inspired by her career path, and I knew that I had found the perfect school and major for me.

I have finished my first year at ISyE and am now in my sophomore year.  It has been an amazing experience so far. One of my favorite things about industrial engineering is its endless career possibilities and how it helps me build a mindset to make systems more efficient and effective for people in everyday life. While the program is not  easy, Georgia Tech offers plenty of resources for students to succeed, such as the TA help desk, one-on- one tutoring, and group tutoring sessions. In only one year, my mind, my attitudes, and my social skills have all been challenged.

Georgia Tech’s ISyE program has given me new perspectives and many opportunities. I have maintained contact with Kalman, keeping her in the loop about my freshman year and future plans. It is astounding how two years ago, during my first time at Georgia Tech, I was inspired to pursue an industrial engineering degree from visiting the Coca-Cola headquarters. Now I am very excited to have received a co-op offer at Coca-Cola, and I will start working there this fall for the next three alternating semesters.

I am very thankful to have attended Mission Possible and for its positive impact on me. I hope future high school participants take advantage of this program and have the same great experience I did or better. It’s truly an honor to be at Georgia Tech, especially the No. 1-ranked school for industrial and systems engineering.

]]> Shelley Wunder-Smith 1 1446717562 2015-11-05 09:59:22 1475896794 2016-10-08 03:19:54 0 0 news 2015-12-01T00:00:00-05:00 2015-12-01T00:00:00-05:00 2015-12-01 00:00:00 Shelley Wunder-Smith

Stewart School of Industrial & Systems Engineering


466281 466281 image <![CDATA[Hannah Chen, Sophomore ISyE Student]]> image/jpeg 1449257138 2015-12-04 19:25:38 1475895213 2016-10-08 02:53:33
<![CDATA[Student Spotlight: Senior Design Project Implemented, Makes Difference for Patients]]> 28766 ISyE’s Senior Design course is designed to help undergraduate students kickstart their careers. During this intense semester-long course, ISyE students form teams to work with a business or organization on a specific issue. By addressing complex problems, students learn about project management, problem solving, team building, and get a chance to hone their professional communication skills.

No doubt, working on real-world problems adds value to a student’s education, but when the project is actually implemented, the broader impact of the work is something worth talking about.

In one such case, a team of eight ISyE students, pictured on the next page with faculty advisor Pinar Keskinocak, worked with the Emory Winship Cancer Institute’s Ambulatory Infusion Center (AIC) during the fall semester of 2014. AIC wanted to shorten the amount of time patients waited before being taken to their infusion chair, to help reduce stress and anxiety for their cancer patients. The ISyE team focused on identifying the causes of delays and finding practical ways to curtail them.

After interviewing and shadowing staff and patients, collecting data, and conducting time studies, the ISyE team proposed that improved workflow, increased ability to know where patients were located during the various phases of the treatments, and a better system to notify nurses when chairs were available would shorten patient wait times.

The team then developed a Real-time Visibility Tool, a web- based app that allows the Infusion Center to communicate with and notify each other throughout the steps of the process. They also developed a comprehensive simulation model with a user interface enabling them to modify flow and observe results as well as a list of recommendations to improve AIC’s process flow.

AIC, impressed with the tool and recommendations, implemented the project.

“The impact of this [project] has been huge,” said Catherine Parker RN, MSN, OCN, the unit director at the Infusion Center. “The development and implementation of the visibility tool has helped the triage RNs significantly by providing a technological solution for what was extremely manual and inefficient. The tool has also made it possible on extremely short-staffed days to utilize only one triage RN, which helped the overall staffing for the team by adding the second triage RN back to direct care. This is substantial for the staff and patient flow.”

One of the implemented recommendations involved changes in the check-in process. Previously at check-in, paperwork was placed in a rack until one of the triage RNs could retrieve it. After implementing the ISyE team’s recommendations, the front-desk staff member delivered the paperwork to the triage office immediately after patient check-in.

 AIC patients have reported to AIC that wait times have decreased due to this change.

“The Real-time Visibility Tool created by the Georgia Tech students has been one of the best tools I have ever worked with here at Winship,” said Claudia Giddings, RN. “As a triage nurse, it has cut down on time by more than 30-40 percent.”

]]> Shelley Wunder-Smith 1 1446730376 2015-11-05 13:32:56 1475896794 2016-10-08 03:19:54 0 0 news 2015-12-07T00:00:00-05:00 2015-12-07T00:00:00-05:00 2015-12-07 00:00:00 Shelley Wunder-Smith

Stewart School of Industrial & Systems Engineering


466771 466781 466771 image <![CDATA[ISyE Senior Design Team -- Emory Winship Cancer Institute]]> image/jpeg 1449257138 2015-12-04 19:25:38 1475895213 2016-10-08 02:53:33 466781 image <![CDATA[Emory Winship Triage nurse using the Real-time Visibility Tool to seat a patient.]]> image/jpeg 1449257138 2015-12-04 19:25:38 1475895213 2016-10-08 02:53:33
<![CDATA[Student Spotlight: Creating Their Own Future: Student Entrepreneurs at ISyE]]> 28766 We all know about Silicon Valley as the place for startup ventures. That said, Georgia Tech now offers a variety of ways for students to gain entrepreneurial experience: The InVenture Prize and VentureLab are already well known for helping students get their new businesses up and running, but attracting increasing attention is CREATE-X.

“CREATE-X is an initiative to instill entrepreneurial confidence in our undergraduate students.” says CREATE-X director Raghupathy Sivakumar, also Wayne J. Holman Chair Professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

CREATE-X is an umbrella program that encourages students to learn about starting their own business, make their product, and then launch their own startups. In particular, Startup Summer is the “launch” portion of CREATE-X. Each startup team is given seed money, legal guidance, and hands-on help to get their businesses going. Recently, two ISyE students participated in Startup Summer on two different teams, and both students are living different versions of the startup life.

In Frederick Grimm’s case (BSIE 2014), he came to Georgia Tech specifically because he was interested in entrepreneurship. However, Grimm’s path to his current startup, FIXD, did not take a direct route. He originally participated in Startup Summer 2014 with a team called Sucette, which developed temperature-sensitive pacifiers. Due to development complications, he and his partner, Rachel Ford (BSBME 2015), are pursuing a patent for Sucette but have otherwise put the company on hold.

At the time, Grimm had graduated and planned to work for McKinsey in August 2015, but that left a gap of eight months to fill, so when he was invited to join FIXD – another Startup Summer team on which Ford was also working – he took the opportunity. Grimm has been with FIXD ever since.

The FIXD team – four of whom are Georgia Tech alums and two of whom are current students – has developed a diagnostic sensor that plugs in below a car’s steering column, and then connects via Bluetooth with an app they created. Once the app is opened, if the car’s check-engine light is on, the app will identify the problem and its severity, and translate this information back to the operator in comprehensible English. “We’re trying to help people better understand and maintain their cars,” explains Grimm. “You can leave the sensor plugged in and whenever you have a problem, it’s like a roadside assistant or a mechanic in your car.”

When asked how his background in IE helps support the rest of the FIXD team, Grimm says, “My role right now at FIXD is business strategies; we’re looking at forming a lot of larger partnerships that can help us distribute our product and increase our revenue. We have mechanical engineers, computer science majors, electrical engineers, and they’re very much concerned with building the product.” In the longer term, Grimm very much sees an IE component for FIXD: He gives the example of aggregating data from customers to create a knowledge base for when specific parts will be needed based on a car’s mileage, make, and model. This will enable auto-parts stores to carry certain parts at certain times. He describes this as a way to “better manage the supply chain.”

Grimm is fully committed to helping FIXD take off and getting the product into the hands of consumers. Having decided not to pursue his job at McKinsey, he’s living the full-time startup life: “It’s a lot of work. You wake up in the morning and talk to people all day and try to get your product off the ground – there’s not a lot of separation between work life and [personal life] right now. It’s fun because I enjoy it. That helps a lot.” He adds, “I don’t want to make it sound like it’s the easiest path ever – all the profits we’re making we’re reinvesting back in the company, so we’re not taking a salary at the moment, just drawing off savings. We’re going through the investment process right now.”

In fact, in terms of funding, FIXD has taken the path of many startups – by launching its own Kickstarter campaign in September 2014. The campaign was 100 percent funded and attracted the attention of such tech-oriented websites as Mashable and Engadget, as well as support from the Georgia Tech community. And, as Grimm noted, the campaign verified that FIXD is creating a product that consumers want and need.

Grimm recommends CREATE-X – and specifically, the Startup Summer program – for fellow IEs without reservation: “I feel like sometimes ISyE students feel like they’re at a disadvantage in terms of these startup programs because we’re not taught to build physical objects. But that doesn’t mean we don’t have value on a startup team. ISyE students are very entrepreneurial themselves. I feel like I can see an idea and see the potential in it. A lot of classes teach [you to consider] how from a theoretical perspective can I optimize this? How can I take this from a small idea and make it huge potentially? If you have a team of all MEs, eventually they’re going to face roadblocks that IEs could help them solve.”

Ricardo De Andrade, who is currently a junior in ISyE with a double major in computer science, also went through the Startup Summer process this past summer, with the Shortweb team. Shortweb, as he describes it, “makes it extremely easy for people to do research by allowing them to search, aggregate, and reference the information they care about. We're making a research engine that delivers content that you can aggregate into relevant topics. We take it a step further than Google. Our search results aren't web pages, they are highlights of the relevant web page's content. Ranking of search results is based on content relevance and not page relevance.”

Although both companies were launched via Startup Summer, Shortweb’s development took a slightly different route than did FIXD. First, the Shortweb team participated in HackGT, Georgia Tech’s national hackathon, and then in the University of Michigan’s equivalent, MHacks. Ultimately, Shortweb reached the finals for GT’s 2015 InVenture Prize – all of which was encouraging. So, when summer arrived, De Andrade had a decision to make: study abroad in France, while co-founder Miguel Oller (BSME 2015) interned on Wall Street, or together spend the summer developing Shortweb. In the end, he says, “We decided to apply to Startup Summer because we though that being part of an accelerator was going to bring a lot of value to the company, which it did. We managed to finish a usable product by the end of summer.”

De Andrade is currently balancing the demands of starting his own company with being a full-time student. He typically wakes up between 2 and 4 AM and works on Shortweb until lunchtime. After lunch, he goes to class and takes care of school responsibilities such as homework until 8 PM. Then, work on Shortweb begins again until midnight, which is when he finally sleeps. When asked what drives him to keep such a demanding pace, De Andrade explains, “Learning. One of the things that I like the most about entrepreneurship is how much one can learn in such a small amount of time. For example, during the summer, Miguel and I taught ourselves a new computer language, and we built the whole app with it. With Shortweb, I feel that I have learned so much, not only technical stuff, but also in business, legal, marketing, and many other fields.”

Shortweb is evolving quickly, he adds. It started out as a Google Chrome extension that let people highlight stuff in any website. De Andrade and Oller have further tweaked the idea, and they are building a research engine that will help people find relevant content online. Anyone from bloggers to students can benefit from this.

Like Grimm, De Andrade talks about how Georgia Tech encourages entrepreneurship in its students, and how IE fits in well with business: “When I arrived to Tech, I was not thinking at all about building my own company. As time passed, I became aware of the entrepreneurship environment that was flourishing on campus. With Shortweb I have learned that entrepreneurship is what I really want to do, because it is what I am really passionate about. IE may sometimes teach concepts focused in big, well-established companies, but almost everything that is learned during the degree can actually be applied to one’s company. IE and entrepreneurship are not mutually exclusive.”

Sanjay Parekh, Associate Director of CREATE-X, has plenty to say about nurturing entrepreneurship in Georgia Tech’s students. “This is really the next frontier for universities; we’re educating them to get jobs but we need to educate them to be able to create jobs. This is really going to change the face of Georgia Tech. I can’t wait for the day when there are kids saying, ‘I want to go to Georgia Tech because I want to be an entrepreneur, and they have this great program. That’s going to couple with the engineering that I know I want to do, so I can start this great company.’”

Silicon Valley, watch out.

]]> Shelley Wunder-Smith 1 1446126186 2015-10-29 13:43:06 1475896791 2016-10-08 03:19:51 0 0 news 2015-10-29T00:00:00-04:00 2015-10-29T00:00:00-04:00 2015-10-29 00:00:00 Shelley Wunder-Smith

Stewart School of Industrial & Systems Engineering


464161 464171 464181 464161 image <![CDATA[FIXD Sensor]]> image/jpeg 1449256385 2015-12-04 19:13:05 1475895209 2016-10-08 02:53:29 464171 image <![CDATA[Frederick Grimm of the FIXD Team]]> image/jpeg 1449256385 2015-12-04 19:13:05 1475895209 2016-10-08 02:53:29 464181 image <![CDATA[Miguel Oller and Ricardo De Andrade of Shortweb]]> image/jpeg 1449256385 2015-12-04 19:13:05 1475895209 2016-10-08 02:53:29
<![CDATA[Alumni Spotlight: The Virtual Worlds of Guy Primus]]> 28766 Vision

Story by Van Jensen

The virtual worlds of Guy Primus—engineer, entrepreneur and Hollywood revolutionary


This kid grew up in the 1970s and ’80s in east Pittsburgh, a blue-collar neighborhood. His mom was a teacher; his dad worked the late shift. They named their son Guy—Guy Primus—and with a name like that, it’s no wonder the kid had dreams.

In high school, Guy worked at his cousin’s convenience store. Saturday would come, and he’d pick up his $20 for the week and head down the street to Stedeford’s Record Shop, where he dropped every last cent to buy four 12-inch singles.

Guy dreamed of music. He wanted to be a DJ, so he built up his record collection, bought a turntable, taught himself to spin. But he wasn’t content to be just another DJ. He wanted to be great.

So Guy built his own setup, decked everything out with fabric and lights. He disassembled a telephone handset and rebuilt it to be his earpiece, a little touch of style to set him apart.

As much as Guy loved the music, the mechanics of the equipment fascinated him even more. His turntable broke, so he picked it apart, fixed it. Same with the TV at home—well, except he never could get that working again.

His dreams changed, and he saw himself designing and building speakers, a scientist with style, just like Amar G. Bose, the MIT professor whose eponymous company was overtaking the sound system industry.

So Guy would be a physicist. And to excel at that, he’d have to head south, to Georgia Tech. It was 1987, and fresh out of high school, he moved away from Pittsburgh for the first time—off to Atlanta.

He stepped onto campus, just another freshman. But he had conviction. He believed he would do something great. He had imagined it, and now he would set about the work of making it so.


Suspension of disbelief.

The British poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge first coined the phrase in the early 1800s. Writers of the era were obsessed with reality, believing readers couldn’t possibly engage with fiction featuring supernatural or fantastical elements.

Coleridge disagreed. Reality couldn’t contain his imagination, and he focused his efforts into building new realities. But Coleridge knew he must invite his readers to cross into the world of his mind, that he must make his work familiar and true.

He must “procure for these shadows of imagination that willing suspension of disbelief for the moment, which constitutes poetic faith.”

The onus is not on the audience to set aside its skepticism. It is the visionary who bears the responsibility for guiding others into his dreams.


The office is in old Hollywood, an unassuming high-rise, built maybe in the 1920s. You walk through, and you can still almost hear the clack of typewriters echoing off the tile—forgotten screenwriters creating the golden age of movies one keystroke at a time.

You take the elevator to the ninth floor, past the offices of production companies where people are hard at work on the latest superhero movie, or the next episode of Dance Moms.

You step into the office, and the first thing that hits you is the view, a vista of downtown Los Angeles rising from the city’s unending expanse. But the office feels more tech startup than Hollywood. Ikea desks sit in tight formation, holding computers and other high-tech gear. A whiteboard along one wall seems to sag, it’s so laden with diagrams and equations labeled with phrases like “cross-collateralized.”

Guy Primus stands over a desk, next to a colleague, scanning data on a screen. He sees you, walks over, shakes your hand.

Guy is in his 40s now, his hair graying, but otherwise with the same tall build, the broad, bright smile. He welcomes you to his latest venture, The Virtual Reality Company, which is creating some of the first content for the nascent VR devices that soon will be widely available to consumers for the first time. He is now the company’s chief executive officer.

Guy has worked at some of the largest companies—Starbucks, Microsoft—and with some of the largest names—Will Smith, Sean Combs—in the world. He has enjoyed success beyond what some can fathom. But, as he says, “I wasn’t going to establish a legacy, working for someone else.”

So he’s taking what is just the latest in a long series of risks, building up an industry that doesn’t yet exist.

“Virtual reality is revolutionary,” Guy says. “There is no seminal work of VR. Being there at such an early, foundational stage is daunting, but it’s a great place to be at. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”

Guy asks you to imagine the future of entertainment, a world transformed, of revolutionary technology partnered with world-class content.

But you don’t have to imagine it. You can see it.


The vision grew hazy, obscured. It wasn’t so simple as just learning to build the world’s best speakers. Most physics majors ended up working in the federal government, not a path Guy wanted to walk.

Guy struggled to stay interested in his classes, and he questioned himself, his vision of the future. He didn’t know what he’d do. Then he heard the song.

“I’m a Ramblin’ Wreck from Georgia Tech and a hell of an engineer.”

What the hell was he doing at Georgia Tech if he wasn’t going to be an engineer? He cast around, examining schools, programs. Industrial and systems engineering struck his interest.

“Industrial engineers don’t really create things, but they like to work with people, not stuck in a lab all day,” he says. “Optimization was really appealing.”

During the first quarter of his senior year, he enrolled in a distributions systems class under Don Ratliff, now the Regents’ Professor Emeritus of ISyE. Even among some fifty students, Guy stood out, “by far the best student in the class,” Ratliff remembers.

One day they talked, and Guy revealed he wasn’t sure what to do after graduation. He told Ratliff that the course was the first one he’d really liked. Ratliff suggested graduate school, but Guy worried his grades weren’t good enough. “I said, ‘That doesn’t make sense. You’re the brightest guy in the class, the top score on everything,’” Ratliff says.

The grades were subpar, but Guy had been involved in more organizations and activities than Ratliff could count, and was a leader in many of them. Ratliff saw that Guy could succeed when he was working on something he was passionate about, so he went to the head of graduate studies and lobbied for Guy’s admission.

“Normally, I didn’t do anything like this,” Ratliff says. “But I thought this guy was special. I personally vouched for him. They let him in, and he did great; he made all A’s.”

After graduate school, Guy joined Ratliff’s software company, Caps Logistics. During his two years there, Guy saw a new world open up, one beyond the blue-collar setting of his youth. He also felt the familiar tug of ambition, to explore the world of management.

He took a job as a consultant at A.T. Kearney, solving business problems using analytics. The firm offered to send him to business school, and he went to Harvard. There, he remembers talking to famed professor Carl Sloane, who told him, “You’re at the West Point of capitalism. You can do anything you want to do. Follow your passion, and the money will come.”

Guy realized he’d gotten away from his first love—music—thinking he had to choose between entertainment or a career in business.

“I stepped back and said I had always wanted to work in entertainment, but I had this analytical bent,” Guy says. “So how could I combine them?”

He set his imagination to work, combining his passions. While others saw the worlds of art and technology as wholly separate, he saw a way to unite them. He would be a bridge.


On one desk sit a pair of what looks almost like ski goggles—it’s a brand-new pair of Rift virtual reality glasses built by Silicon Valley darling Oculus. Guy picks them up, hands them to you.

You pull on headphones, then the glasses. The world goes black, disappears.

Then it reappears, but, no, this isn’t the same world. You tilt your head left and right, up and down. You stand on an island. And the island floats in the sky. In the near distance are other islands. A whale rises suddenly from the ether, and you instinctively reach out to touch it as it flies past.

You’re in a dream, except it’s real. No matter how hard you look for a crack, a seam, you find none. There’s a rustle of wind in your ear, and the knee-high grass undulates with the breeze.

You follow a small girl, running from something now, something dark. She leads you out onto a rickety wooden pier, which extends out into the sky, then stops. The girl leaps, disappears.

You’re at the edge of the pier. You have to jump, or the dark thing will catch you. You look down at the drop, down and down forever.

You’re afraid of heights. Your whole body tenses. Your stomach churns. But the momentum takes you. You leap into the blue.

Then the glasses come off, and the old world returns. And you wish you could go back, to see what comes next.


Out of business school, Guy began using the analytics training he’d picked up at Georgia Tech and applying it to the world of marketing. That drew the interest of Bad Boy Entertainment, the media giant run by Sean Combs, the producer and rapper formerly known as Puff Daddy.

There, Guy learned the power of tastemakers first hand. Combs had street teams, people who knew what parties to be at, to get a feel for what the crowd wanted, what was becoming popular. Bad Boy also leveraged connections to DJs, getting their feedback, testing out music before widely releasing it.

“It’s not enough to just put out a great product,” Guy says. “You have to market it, you have to promote it, you have to connect it to the tastemakers.”

From there, he went to Microsoft, where he saw early the rise of digital music and leveraged it across the company’s platforms like MSN Messenger. Guy reached out to his friends in the music industry to create the Microsoft DJ Summit, which led to a series of playlists from DJs like DJ Spooky and a young Kanye West. The effort won a major advertising industry award. It also confirmed Guy’s theory that the key to success is finding the best content and then using emergent technology to bring it to consumers.

At Starbucks, Guy continued to work in music, developing a partnership with Apple that gave customers download cards for new songs, a different track every week. It became the company’s Pick of the Week program, which is still running strong, almost eight years later.

Guy moved his family from Seattle to Los Angeles to become the chief operating officer of Overbrook Entertainment, the production company of film star Will Smith. Though Guy says he’s never been in awe of celebrities, there’s a definite benefit to working with big names.

“I’m not the most talkative person,” he says. “So I choose who I work with. People know Sean Combs. They know Will Smith. Microsoft and Bill Gates, everyone knows. It opens a door a lot more quickly.”

But, after several years at the company developing its interactive portfolio, Guy felt a familiar pull. He wanted to stay on the cutting edge of technology, as he had his entire career. But he also wanted to build something of his own. Again, it was time to reflect on the vision, to see where it would lead next.

Guy started a handful of companies and worked as an adviser to startups. It was a systematic approach to testing out opportunities, seeing what resonated. It was also exhausting.

“I was stretched too thin,” Guy says. “I was finding myself shortchanging projects that deserved attention and putting too much effort into things that weren’t going anywhere.”

One project that did well was the Marvel Experience, a virtual tour through the company’s world of superheroes that Guy helped develop. Through it, he saw the power of taking people through an immersive experience. He saw the future, and it looked virtual.


Virtual reality.

The term first appeared in a 1938 book by French playwright, actor and director Antonin Artaud. He described theater as “la réalité virtuelle,” a space where actors, directors, playwrights, set designers take part in an alchemical process, uniting to create a new reality.

But it is not just those who take part in the process that are transported. No, this new plane of existence is one that the audience enters and experiences.


You know a little about virtual reality, that it’s been around in some form since the 1980s, when technologists commandeered the term for the new computer-designed virtual spaces they were constructing. You know that since then, VR has grown and developed in fits and starts, used mostly for training simulation.

While it hasn’t taken off, the signs of its potential are there. You read a recent study by researchers at Georgia Tech and Emory that says virtual reality is a very effective treatment for people who suffer from fear of flying. It allows them to go through their fears, to process them, and to learn to cope. It’s powerful, you see, but relatively untapped.

But VR has never taken off as a form of entertainment. In part because the technology has been too expensive for broad adoption, and in part, Guy tells you, because VR lacks the powerful stories that draw readers and viewers to other media.

“Ted Turner took the best of content and had this distribution that was novel,” he says. “People didn’t know what to do with cable TV, but he did know what to do with it. He made the Braves America’s team just because he knew what to do with emergent technology.

“We’re in the same space today. There’s this really great technology platform that exists, in virtual reality, but there’s no content. There’s zero content. Most of the content being created is very gimmicky. We’re looking to create really immersive, story-driven, character-driven content. It feels like you’re there, as opposed to sitting there and watching.”

You think it’s a risky plan, relying entirely on a technology that remains mostly foreign to consumers. But, you realize, the same could be said for the television, or the computer.

“Silicon Valley only invests in technology,” Guy admits. “It’s a challenge for us. We’re in a tech-driven form of media. Billions are going into VR tech. But no one will buy a headset without content.”

You look at Guy’s three partners in the business, and you think that if anyone could pull this off, this would be the group to do it. The VR you just watched is a preview of There, a fantastical story from the mind of the chief creative officer, Robert Stromberg, who created the virtual world of Avatar and directed the recent Disney hit Maleficent. The chief production officer is Chris Edwards, head of Third Floor, a firm that has created a revolutionary way to streamline the filmmaking process. And the president is Joel Newton, a producer whose credits include the film The Kids are All Right.

Their advisers include former Tech president G. Wayne Clough and Steven Spielberg. You’ve seen all of his movies.

“It wasn’t his name,” Guy tells you. “It’s that he has a vision. He can make a project that still resonates, 40 years later.”

You hear that Spielberg is developing a story for the Virtual Reality Company, a family-oriented project. You make a note, to make damn sure you experience it. You hear about other projects in development, including a documentary about Jerome Bettis, the NFL running back recently inducted into the Hall of Fame, as well as one called The Museum of Supernatural History, and another that’s a virtual concert venue, allowing you to experience a show and even go backstage, all from your living room.

“Something about being in the world, it connects you more deeply,” Guy says. “You feel it.”

You ask Guy about the stories he likes. Family, he says. He lists off a string of shows and movies: Frasier, Scarface, Godfather, E.T. All stories about families, the blood-relation kind and the kind we create.

Guy has a young daughter, and he talks about her, how she’s brought into focus the importance of women’s issues, how technology still has so far to go to be as diverse and welcoming as it can be.

“Women and people of color, historically, we’re always playing catch up,” he says. “We want to have women and people of color involved in the creative process, and to make sure the content is connected to them, that it speaks to them.”

The vision grows, changes, evolves. But it is clearer now, crystal. You can see that Guy knows it, that he sees his moment has come.

“I literally have been waiting for this moment in time since 1988,” he tells you.

He dreamed it, then made it so. Turned his vision into a new world, one that’s right there, just ahead. Would you like to see it? ▪

This story was originally published in Engineers, the Georgia Tech College of Engineering magazine.

]]> Shelley Wunder-Smith 1 1445505036 2015-10-22 09:10:36 1475896787 2016-10-08 03:19:47 0 0 news 2015-10-22T00:00:00-04:00 2015-10-22T00:00:00-04:00 2015-10-22 00:00:00 Shelley Wunder-Smith

College of Industrial & Systems Engineering


461331 461331 image <![CDATA[Guy Primus -- Engineer, Entrepreneur, Hollywood Revolutionary]]> image/jpeg 1449256373 2015-12-04 19:12:53 1475895206 2016-10-08 02:53:26
<![CDATA[Alumni Spotlight: : “Go-getter Girl” Shinjini Das Is Making Her Dreams Come True]]> 28766 Alumni Spotlight: “Go-Getter Girl” Shinjini Das Is Making Her Dreams Come True

“A dream come true” is how ISyE graduate (and May 2014 Commencement speaker) Shinjini Das describes her past year. Das is a busy young woman who is clearly going places: She juggles a job with Deloitte in California as a business technology analyst, along with developing careers as a professional speaker and media personality through an increasing number of TV interviews, blog contributions to the Huffington Post and Elite Daily, and her growing social media presence, which includes reaching almost 7,000 followers on Twitter and Facebook in less than a year.  

For Das, the breakthrough moment – and her favorite story from the past year – was getting her first piece published on Huffington Post this past January – a post called “5 Secrets of a Go-getter Girl.” “No one talks about this,” Das says. “No one says that being an ambitious woman is cool, at least that’s what I saw. … It’s not just ‘okay’ or ‘acceptable’ to be ambitious; it’s great to be ambitious, and why are we shying away from that?” The post garnered international attention and generated a cultural discussion. “People have blogged about this saying they have go-getter girls in their lives, and one woman blogged that … her husband is helping her embrace the go-getter in her.”

For Das, being a go-getter girl is more than just words: She embodies it – a process that began in high school and continued while she was at Georgia Tech. She chose industrial engineering as her major because of its combination of business and engineering, which would give her an “analytical background and foundation … the career paths were appealing,” she says. “ISyE being No. 1 also helped!” Each IE class emphasized leadership, the thought process being, she explains, “WHEN [rather than “if”] you become a business leader.”

She also pursued leadership in other ways at Georgia Tech, joining the public speaking club and conducting workshops, and becoming a student ambassador. In many ways, being a representative for Georgia Tech prepared Das to become her own personal brand ambassador. “That is literally my job now … representing something. Then it was representing Georgia Tech; now I’m representing my brand, what I stand for, my values, my thoughts … It’s very, very similar.”

Given that she is building her own personal brand, Das was asked if everyone should consider developing their own personal brand, and what some steps toward doing so might be. Her response was emphatic: Every person is in fact his or her own brand. The first step toward developing that is to “identify your value proposition: Who are you? Why should people buy your product?” The process requires time and thought – time and thought Das also put in for herself. “It’s not magic,” she notes. Next, “identify your goals. What do you want to do?” Your goals will determine your branding strategy. And finally, “identify and create an action plan.” She encourages people to not only “dream and take time to think” about these issues, but also “to act. Without an action plan, a dream is not a completed task.”

Das is continuing her pursuit of being a go-getter girl – and she’s seeing results. In November 2015, she will be honored as one of 50 global heroes for her work to empower youth and advocate for gender equality by a top United Nations partnership. Further, she will soon be profiled by the Institute of Industrial Engineers in “Final Five” for engaging in nontraditional work. In 2016, she will embark on her first national speaking tour.

Das is returning to Georgia Tech on Tuesday, October 6th as a guest lecturer for Professor Bill Todd’s Principles of Management Consulting class, where she will be speaking on “human factors in consulting … client skills, relationship skills … How do you deal effectively with so many different people?” After all, Das points out, “That is life. How do you get the most of out of every transaction?”

You can connect with Das on Twitter or Facebook and visit her website: www.shinjinidas.com.

]]> Shelley Wunder-Smith 1 1443540219 2015-09-29 15:23:39 1475896780 2016-10-08 03:19:40 0 0 news 2015-09-29T00:00:00-04:00 2015-09-29T00:00:00-04:00 2015-09-29 00:00:00 Shelley Wunder-Smith

Industrial & Systems Engineering


453601 453601 image <![CDATA[Alumna Shinjini Das Is Pursuing Her Dreams]]> image/jpeg 1449256319 2015-12-04 19:11:59 1475895197 2016-10-08 02:53:17
<![CDATA[Student Spotlight: ISyE Grad Students Awarded ARCS Scholarships]]> 28766 ISyE graduate students Kevin Ryan and Amy Musselman each have been awarded an ARCS Scholars Award from Georgia Tech. According to the ARCS Atlanta website, ARCS awards recognize the “best and brightest” students in their fields … and meet high standards for academic excellence.”

ISyE graduate student Kevin Ryan has received $7,500 from the Achievement Rewards for Academic Scientists program (ARCS). When asked how he felt about receiving the award, he said, “Humbled and a bit vindicated. On the one hand, I know the history of the award and the amazing researchers who have won it in the past. To live up to the standards that they have set will be a challenge. On the other hand, I feel that now I can say with more confidence that I must be doing something right in my research.”

Ryan chose Operations Research at ISyE because of the depth and breadth of the faculty. He looks forward to pursuing “the best research opportunities” as a result of the award, and participating as a future ARCS member.

ISyE graduate student Amy Musselman has been awarded the $10,000 Global Impact Award from the Achievement Rewards for Academic Scientists (ARCS). Musselman chose to do her Ph.D. at ISyE because of the numerous faculty doing applied research in a wide array of fields. When she received notification about winning the ARCS award, she was sitting on the beach in Belize with two friends, and she thought, “Could my life be much better right now?”

Musselman has tried to focus her research on areas that will have a positive social or environmental impact and see the ARCS award as confirmation that others see her work as valuable as well.

]]> Shelley Wunder-Smith 1 1443172881 2015-09-25 09:21:21 1475896776 2016-10-08 03:19:36 0 0 news 2015-09-25T00:00:00-04:00 2015-09-25T00:00:00-04:00 2015-09-25 00:00:00 Shelley Wunder-Smith

Industrial & Systems Engineering


452151 452161 452151 image <![CDATA[Kevin Ryan Wins ARCS Scholarship]]> image/jpeg 1449256280 2015-12-04 19:11:20 1475895194 2016-10-08 02:53:14 452161 image <![CDATA[Amy Musselman Wins ARCS Award]]> image/jpeg 1449256280 2015-12-04 19:11:20 1475895194 2016-10-08 02:53:14
<![CDATA[Alumni Spotlight: Daniel Dadush, Ph.D. ACO 2012, Receives A. W. Tucker Prize]]> 27868 Daniel Dadush, Ph.D. ACO 2012, has received the A. W. Tucker Prize of the Mathematical Optimization Society. The A. W. Tucker Prize was established by the Society in 1985, and is awarded at each International Symposium on Mathematical Programming for an outstanding doctoral thesis. At most three finalists are chosen. The finalists and winner are announced and the Prize is awarded at the plenary session of the International Symposium on Mathematical Programming at which prizes are announced, which is customarily the opening ceremony. The finalists are invited to give oral presentations of their work at a special session of the Symposium.

Following his Ph.D., Daniel spent two years as a Simons Postdoctoral Fellow in the Computer Science department at New York University. In September 2014 he joined Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI), a Dutch national research institute for mathematics and computer science, as a tenure track researcher in the Networks and Optimization group.

He is currently interested in developing techniques for solving a broad range of optimization problems, where he particularly likes those benefiting from geometric thinking. In his free time Daniel enjoys traveling, swing dancing, and riding his bike through the canals of Amsterdam.

The citation for the prize reads:

Daniel Dadush obtained an ScB in Mathematics from Brown University in 2006, and a PhD from the Algorithms, Combinatorics, and Optimization program at Georgia Tech under the guidance of Santosh Vempala in 2012. He is currently a tenure track researcher at Centrum Wiskunde and Informatica in Amsterdam.

In his PhD thesis "Integer Programming, Lattice Algorithms, and Deterministic Volume Computation" Dadush presents several impressive results on algorithmic convex geometry, geometry of lattices, and the complexity of integer programming. His results include a proof of the claim that the Chvatal-Gomory closure of a convex body is a rational polyhedron, improved algorithms for finding the shortest and closest lattice vectors, an optimal deterministic algorithm for computing an M-ellipsoid of a convex body, and a much-improved and nearly-optimal deterministic algorithm for computing the volume of a convex body. By combining all the techniques derived in his thesis, Dadush derives the fastest currently known algorithm for integer programming. The complexity of the algorithm represents a significant improvement over classical algorithms by Lenstra and by Kannan and shows Dadush's deep understanding of lattice techniques and convex geometry. In his work Dadush pays great attention to detail and exposition, which results in a thesis that is truly worthy of the 2015 A.W. Tucker prize.

]]> Lizzie Millman 1 1437984096 2015-07-27 08:01:36 1475896755 2016-10-08 03:19:15 0 0 news Daniel Dadush, Ph.D. ACO 2012, has received the A. W. Tucker Prize of the Mathematical Optimization Society.

2015-07-27T00:00:00-04:00 2015-07-27T00:00:00-04:00 2015-07-27 00:00:00 Barbara Christopher

Industrial and Systems Engineering

428471 428471 image <![CDATA[Daniel Dadush, Ph.D. ACO 2012, Receives A.W. Tucker Prize]]> image/jpeg 1449254358 2015-12-04 18:39:18 1475895167 2016-10-08 02:52:47
<![CDATA[Alumni Spotlight: Julio Villafane, IE 1985, Transforming the Global Communications Sector]]> 27868 Julio Villafane, IE 1985, has a saying from his home country, El Salvador, which resonates with him: “the harder I work, the luckier I get.” While he attributes his success to hard work, he also acknowledges that he could not have done it without a supportive family, a positive attitude, and the world class education he received from Georgia Tech’s ISyE.  “This education has been instrumental in how I approach a problem, table it, analyze it, and then discern the best way forward to execute it.”

As a freshman, and not sure which field or industry to enter upon graduation, he did his research and spoke with people whose experience and opinion he valued highly. Villafane ultimately chose ISyE because of the versatility of the program and its distinction of its well-rounded courses that combined a solid foundation and strong analytical mindset for those who became industrial engineers. “I chose Georgia Tech because its reputation and the quality of its education. I continue to be very proud of being part of the Georgia Tech family. I truly am a rambling wreck from Georgia Tech, and a helluva an Engineer”.

Villafane’s distinguished career path has led him to his current position, VP of Sales and Business Development (Commercial) at SES.

How has ISyE prepared you for your career?

The program, its emphasis, and courses provide a world class foundation that is very relevant in most industries, even complex sales and business development which is my career focus area. Another important part of the answer has to do with the large, proud ISyE community worldwide. I am originally from El Salvador, and while at Tech, I was part of a very tight-knit Latino community. To this day, we remain connected, and the camaraderie and support is still there, strong as ever. It is great to see that many of them are leaders in their respective fields, contributing in positive ways to the societies where they live. One example is my friend & ex-classmate, Juan Carlos Varela, who now is the President of Panama. 

What does SES do?

SES is one of the largest satellite solutions companies in the world (www.ses.com). We are part of the communications platform that allows people to be connected at all times and deliver communication services that help improve people’s lives.  With our partners, we focus on being the most customer centric satellite solutions provider in the industry. We have over 1,200 professionals in offices around the world.  We run, operate, and commercialize a robust, modern satellite infrastructure comprised of over 50 satellites that cover 99% of the world population.

As VP of Sales and BD (Commercial) at SES, what do you oversee?

My responsibility is Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America and certain U.S. service providers that utilize satellite communications to provide services to the Latin America Region. I spend most of my time in the Mexico facility as it is one of our key markets and we have several strategic initiatives in process.

Describe a typical work day.

Very simple, I strive daily to do what is necessary by: (1) Maintaining a healthy personal/work balance. (2) Maintaining and improving our revenue position. (3) Maintaining and improving customer satisfaction and customer intimacy (4) Continuing to develop a high performance organization focused on value selling. And (5) Continuing to build an organizational modus operandi that strives on identifying how to address customer communications needs with our resources (technology, partnerships, and infrastructure) with the intent of bringing/adding value to the customer's specific objectives.

This is an important challenge since we work with customers in all verticals and each one has its own idiosyncrasies: Government, Enterprise, Service Providers, and Value added resellers. Doing what is necessary at the office includes: resolution of customer issues, drive pipeline execution, lead and manage our resources (specially our Human Resource), and assure we maintain an effective governance aligned to our Corporation objectives.

What is one of the biggest challenges you face in satellite communications?

Generate the right mindshare in our market place that we are a 'solutions provider' versus just a segment/communications transport company. We must avoid to be perceived as a commodity. SES has significant capabilities that together with our best in class satellite infrastructure could be part of solutions' that truly address communications needs. My challenge is to lead our efforts so that we identify what those needs are in mobility, video, data, and government so that we can put together offers that add the most value.

What do you find the most enjoyable about your work?

The daily interaction with people at every level and helping lead the development and implementation of solutions that resolve customer issues. I am a people person and absolutely enjoy engaging with people and treating everyone with dignity. I learned this at an early age from my father. He owned and ran a sugar cane plantation in El Salvador and always treated people with the utmost dignity regardless of their economic or social standing.

What do you think is the importance of global communications?

There have been books written in this space, and there is significant research going on about the importance of sound, solid, capable ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) backbones in order to be more effective and efficient in delivering products and services; and the overall concept of improvement of people’s lives. I think we can all envision how this benefits the business world and our day to day lives just by looking at our place of employment and our dependence on connectivity in our daily activities. The other important aspect that is more obvious in developing countries is the topic of social inclusion. In these countries, ICT is critical in programs related to social inclusion from the educative, health, and cultural points of view. In my opinion, communications is not evolving, but transforming. It is transforming the way we work, the way we communicate, the way we have access to our information, the way we access our entertainment, and even the way we socialize. I am fortunate to be part of this transformation.

How do you define success?

In my opinion, we all have several aspects to our lives. In my case, those aspects include: being a husband, father, son, brother, friend, and being a professional. Success to me is when all aspects of my life are in balance and in order. This 'balance' is not static; it is something that I work on daily founded on positive attitude and a set of values that promote quality of life.

What is one thing you are doing this summer to capture the magic of the summer time?

Spending quality time with the family, if possible at the beach, and contemplating more on how beautiful the simple things in life are.

]]> Lizzie Millman 1 1438162864 2015-07-29 09:41:04 1475896755 2016-10-08 03:19:15 0 0 news Julio Villafane, IE 1985, attributes his success to hard work, a supportive family, a positive attitude, and the world class education he received from Georgia Tech’s ISyE.

2015-07-29T00:00:00-04:00 2015-07-29T00:00:00-04:00 2015-07-29 00:00:00 Barbara Christopher

Industrial and Systems Engineering

428931 428931 image <![CDATA[Julio Villafane, IE 1985]]> image/jpeg 1449254358 2015-12-04 18:39:18 1475895167 2016-10-08 02:52:47
<![CDATA[Alumni Spotlight: Rebecca Lally’s Love of Math + Sports Analytics = Dream Career]]> 27868 Rebecca Lally, IE 2015, has combined her love of math and sports to create a career where her passions intersect. And her passions fully melded when she landed a coveted internship with ESPN’s Stats & Analysis department the summer before her senior year of college.

Lally’s computer science knowledge, analytical mindset, and her attention to detail at both ISyE and ESPN are some of the keys to her success.  Before graduating, she was offered and accepted a position with the St. Louis Rams in Football Information Systems. And she is already thinking about what she wants to be doing five years from now.

“In five years I would like to be innovating new ways to approach data in order to impact multiple departments within the front office. I have entered the sports world in the beginning stages of the big data movement, so in the next years I want to help change the way the game of football is analyzed and contribute to the foundation of how players are recruited.”

This is a career that will be best viewed from the 50 yard line.

You completed a dream internship this past summer, and now will begin working for the NFL. How does that feel?

I worked really hard throughout my college career, and even in high school, to achieve my dream of working in sports. The internship with ESPN Stats & Info was an incredible experience that helped focus my career goals even further. Although I loved my time at ESPN, I knew the front office of a team was more aligned with where I wanted my career to go. That was my ultimate goal, but I never thought I would be so fortunate to begin my professional career with the St. Louis Rams. The trust and responsibilities the Rams have already given me confirmed that I am in the right place. They are excited to have me, and I am even more excited to be here. I actually spent my third week of work in Seattle for a Sports Science Conference so I am embracing the opportunities I have to travel and continue learning new things. It has been everything I hoped it would be and more. I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else.

What will a typical day look like for you?

My primary role is analyzing data on the football players. A typical day consists of fitting regression models to data, looking for trends, determining how to predict future performance and using software to visually analyze the data. All of this work is done as a collaborative effort with colleagues in different departments, such as scouting and strength conditioning, in order to assess their data analysis needs, improve the organization as a whole, and gain a competitive advantage.

How did ISyE prepare you for this new chapter in your life?

ISyE’s curriculum of statistical programs like R and Minitab, as well as cross-disciplinary computer science classes with Python programming and SQL for databases are directly applicable in data analysis in the real world. In addition, the analytical thinking, ability to solve problems, and recognition of patterns in data are all keys to success. Lastly, I am thankful for senior design and the industry experience we gained from it. I improved my ability to work well on a team, problem solve, and meet deadlines. The impact that we were able to make was evident and motivating as I have begun my career.

How will you apply your IE skills to your work in sports?

R and SQL will be used in my daily work. My job will require creativity daily in order to find new avenues to analyze. I also will have to look at data through an unbiased lens, and use my IE statistical knowledge to validate any findings by finding relevance and significance of models and trends. In addition, my job will require the attention to detail that was required for success as an IE student and basic time management skills.

How do you define success?

To me, individual success is defined by happiness. That happiness comes from my well-being, but also other sources such as my ability to make a direct impact and add value to the organization. For the team, success is observing how our analysis manifests itself in the way we play but also in winning games. The end goal is to win championships and get that ring.

What is one thing about you, that you are willing to share, that does not show up on your resume?

I hope that my experiences will inspire others to follow their dreams. One day I would like to be able to speak with young women in high schools or colleges in order to encourage them to find their gift and pursue a career where they can use that gift to make a difference. 

]]> Lizzie Millman 1 1436517258 2015-07-10 08:34:18 1475896740 2016-10-08 03:19:00 0 0 news Rebecca Lally, IE 2015, has combined her love of math and sports to create a career where her passions intersect.

2015-07-10T00:00:00-04:00 2015-07-10T00:00:00-04:00 2015-07-10 00:00:00 Barbara Christopher
Industrial and Systems Engineering

423641 423631 423641 image <![CDATA[Rebecca Lally, IE 2015]]> image/jpeg 1449254319 2015-12-04 18:38:39 1475895162 2016-10-08 02:52:42 423631 image <![CDATA[Lally at her new job with the St. Louis Rams]]> image/jpeg 1449254319 2015-12-04 18:38:39 1475895162 2016-10-08 02:52:42
<![CDATA[Alumni Spotlight: Stan Chia, IE 2005, Optimizing a Feeding Frenzy]]> 27868 Stan Chia, IE 2005, grew up fascinated with anything that had to do with outer space and especially space shuttles. So it should come as no big surprise that he originally wanted to be an aerospace engineer. So how did he become an industrial engineer?

As a Singapore citizen by birth, he served in the military right after high school. It was through that experience that he realized he didn’t want to pursue a career in such a specialized field as aerospace engineering. He still wanted the discipline of engineering, but preferred a broader discipline, and “lo and behold, [he] discovered industrial engineering.”

“Once I was set on industrial engineering, it was clear to me that Georgia Tech was the best choice. I had already applied to the Aerospace Engineering program, so I requested a switch over to IE,” says Chia.

Since graduating ten years ago, Chia’s colorful career is one that many IE’s dream of having.  And the main theme of his dream is delivering value to his customers.

Chia currently serves as senior vice president of operations at GrubHub (https://labs.grubhub.com/), an online and mobile food ordering and delivery company that connects you with a plethora of takeout restaurant choices delivered right to your door.  

In this interview, Chia brings us up to speed on his life as an industrial engineer as well as how many times a week he orders through GrubHub.

Start from the beginning and tell us how you got to where you are now.

 I like to think of myself as a Singapore born New Yorker. I was born in Singapore and moved to New York when I was about 10 months old.  So consider me a Yankee loving pizza snob. I had the privilege of living in New York, Hong Kong, and Singapore, and then served in the Singapore Armed Forces as an Armored Infantry Lieutenant.  I credit the diversity of my upbringing and the amazing experience in the military for helping me to develop into who I am today. 

Right out of school, I started in General Electric’s Operations Management Leadership Program, a fantastic entry-level program that allowed me to gain some core supply chain knowledge and develop my leadership skills.  Upon finishing the program, I took on a variety of leadership roles at GE in Six Sigma, Operations, and Business Management. While there, I also pursued and received my MBA from Emory. I transitioned from GE to Cisco systems, because my inner geek always told me that eventually I wanted to get into the hi-tech space, and while I loved my experience at GE, I wasn’t involved in one of their hi-tech businesses. 

 At Cisco, I was able to transition some of my knowledge and experience from a long-cycle business to a shorter-cycle space – as well as engage deeply with the customer base. I then had the opportunity to join Amazon, where customer obsession rules, you work hard, play hard and make history. My first role with Amazon was leading the World Wide Amazon Customer Excellence Systems Supply Chain team. It was a wild ride, working with critical vendors, and technology, and operations teams, determining innovations in the rapidly changing e-commerce world. 

From there, I had the opportunity to run the U.S. Amazon Retail Toys business. If you ever thought that the toy industry was a fun place to work, it is.  Working with the toy companies you grew up with, determining the best way to delight customers, while working for a technology company obsessed with customers – was the most challenging and fun job I’ve ever had the privilege of having.

 Most recently, I was presented a new challenge and opportunity – to help grow and develop the operations infrastructure at the nation’s leading online and mobile food ordering and delivery company, GrubHub, where I began in April of 2015 as Senior Vice President of Operations.

As the senior VP of operations, what exactly do you do?

 I’m responsible for developing and managing the operational infrastructure of the company, as well as the P&L (profit and loss) for our delivery business units.

Describe a typical work day. 

 I begin by reviewing a summary of the previous day’s performance in our various markets to identify issues with our diners or restaurants that require immediate attention. I don’t see that changing in the foreseeable future, as our priority will always be our diners and restaurants. Other than that, I don’t have a “typical” workday, as each day brings new and exciting challenges.

How do you pull in restaurants to work with you?

We strive to provide a valuable offering to our restaurants so they want to work with us. Their success is our success. To continue being that positive business partner, we are always looking for ways to bring even more value to both our diners and restaurants. This has proved to be an effective strategy that is enticing to our growing two-sided network.

How do you optimize your fleet of deliverers?

 Every decision we make regarding our drivers is in consideration of our customers. We want to make sure that our restaurants and our diners are getting the optimum takeout experience.

What is on the biggest challenges you face in this business?

 As with everything in a digital and technologically-advanced age, the landscape we deal with is always changing, with innovation happening at historically unsurpassed rates.  Ensuring that we stay ahead of the curve to continue delivering value remains our utmost priority as well as our biggest challenge.

What do you find the most enjoyable about your work?

 I love working in an organization with amazing people that are unwaveringly focused on customers. It’s a recipe for success, and it’s what GrubHub is all about.

How often do you order using the GrubHup app?

 Honestly?  When I consider lunch and dinner, and with a 20-month-old at home, I use it at the very least 5 – 6 times a week, but often more than that.  It’s so easy. Click, click, food.

Are there any new developments on the horizon for GrubHub that you can talk about?

I would simply say that our focus on continuous innovation on behalf of our diners and restaurants has us consistently focused on new developments.  Keep watching!

]]> Lizzie Millman 1 1432125435 2015-05-20 12:37:15 1475896701 2016-10-08 03:18:21 0 0 news Stan Chia, IE 2005, grew up fascinated with anything that had to do with outer space and especially space shuttles. So it should come as no big surprise that he originally wanted to be an aerospace engineer. So how did he become an industrial engineer? Read on.

2015-05-20T00:00:00-04:00 2015-05-20T00:00:00-04:00 2015-05-20 00:00:00 Barbara Christopher
Industrial and Systems Engineering

406371 406371 image <![CDATA[Stan Chia, IE 2005]]> image/jpeg 1449254153 2015-12-04 18:35:53 1475895132 2016-10-08 02:52:12
<![CDATA[Alumni Spotlight: The Power of Two: Nick and Dylan Buczek, IE 2014]]> 27868 Nick and Dylan Buczek have been together their whole life, as best friends and biggest supporters of one another. No surprise, being that they are twins.  The powerful pair both studied supply chain engineering at ISyE and post-graduation are beginning their careers at Johnson & Johnson, albeit in different states.

Their most recent accolade was the ISyE Alpha Pi Mu Academic Excellence Award for their GPA, and rigor of curriculum and research. The award was presented by ISyE Professor Dave Goldsman who has witnessed their inseparable bond. He says, “Their close relationship as twins is a pleasure to observe – they often finish each other’s sentences as well as challenge one another on academic, political and other issues.”

From playing significant roles on their senior design team last semester where they were finalists and winners of the Southeastern IIE Student Technical Paper Competition, to both leading a public speaking club for Georgia Tech students, it is clear that this duo will be doing big things in the future. We were able to talk to the two about their time at ISyE and what lies ahead for them.

What motivated you to become an industrial engineer? Were you always interested in ISyE?

Dylan: Originally, I enrolled into Georgia Tech as a BMED major. I changed to an ME major, before ultimately deciding to be an ISyE major. I became interested in industrial engineering because I like how it is a hybrid of technical and business acumen.

Nick:  I was looking for a major in which I could combine my passion for data analytics and business.  I found that ISyE allowed for just that after I attended Freshmen Orientation for ISyE and heard Dr. Chen Zhou's presentation about industrial engineering.  As a high school student in California, I originally applied to Georgia Tech as an applied mathematics major and was going to double major in business.

What was it like to go through this program together as twin brothers and now classmates? What is it like to be twins going through the same academic program at the same time?

Dylan: I really enjoyed having gone through the program with Nicholas. I believe we had around 20 of the courses together, so it was nice to have a majority of the program with each other. I always felt like I had a “study buddy” in my course with Nick, and would trust his input with any questions I had on the course material. 

Nick: It was awesome. I believe in the majority of our ISyE courses we were enrolled in the same class times, so outside of class it was nice to be on the same schedule. One benefit that comes to mind in going through the same classes together is that we were able to study/do homework together. 

Do you compete or complement each other?

Dylan: I like to think that we complement each other.  

Nick: I'd say complement. We both have different strengths and may thus approach problems from different perspectives.   

Studies have shown that twins usually think alike; do you find this to be true with both of you?

Dylan: I think that our mindsets are similar yet different. It is similar in that we have similar aspirations and motivation. However, it is different in that Nicholas tends to think in the “big picture”, while I think in terms of the “specific details”.

Nick: Growing up, we were always together. Thus, I think personality and interests we tend to be similar. However, in terms of problem solving, we approach problems with different perspectives.

 Can you tell us about the public speaking club you led for GT Tech students? Why do you think this is important to be a part of?

Dylan: The goal of the Public Speaking Club is to provide a positive informal setting for peers to learn many essential elements of public speaking such as volume, eye contact, hand gestures, and body movement, etc. Over the years, I have seen many undergraduate and graduate students greatly improve and develop confidence in public speaking from partaken in this club. I feel that developing this skill is important because in the business world, effective communication skills are highly desired.  

Nick: When Dylan and I were part of the public speaking club, what we enjoyed most about it was in seeing individuals have a growth in confidence.  Thus, I feel like the most important thing is not the "little pieces" of advice for how to improve a speech.  I believe it is more than that; I think the importance of the organization is thus the confidence it helps individuals grow so that the next time a presentation opportunity arises, he or she will be looking forward to it.

Have you had a dream come true while at ISyE?

Dylan: I am really appreciative at everything the ISyE program has offered to me in my 4.5 years. Through my three internships with General Motors, General Electric, and Johnson & Johnson, I got to learn about different industries and see different parts of the United States (Michigan, Arizona, New Jersey). Also, I am a glad to have done the GT Lorraine program where I got to visit 17 cities and 7 countries through Europe.

Nick: Looking back at my 4.5 years at Georgia Tech, I am grateful for the opportunities it has allowed for me to travel throughout the world.  Through Georgia Tech, I've been able to have internship experiences in Alaska with BP, New Jersey with Johnson & Johnson, and Kentucky with Toyota.  Also was able to spend a summer in Europe through the GT Lorraine Study Abroad program. 

What can you attribute your academic success to?

Dylan: Showing up to a professor’s office hours with prepared questions. After each class, I would review and rewrite my notes from the lecture, and if I didn’t understand something, I would reach out to the professor. By doing this consistently, I felt that I never really fell behind in the course.  

Nick: Hard work ethic is one aspect.  I've also been lucky to have great professors who were more than happy to answer any questions I'd have in office hours and emails. 

What is one thing you couldn’t live without?

Dylan: I would say my smartphone. I like to always be reachable, and have access to instant information.

Nick: Cell phone.  Post college, it has been even more important, as it is allows for me to keep in touch with my buddies.

What are three traits you would use to describe each other?

Dylan: I would say that Nicholas is loyal, caring, and hardworking. I know that Nicholas always “got my back” and has my best interests in mind.

Nick:  Diligent, loyal, and well-rounded.

 Do you feel anything will change when you start work at Johnson & Johnson, since you’ve spent most of your life together?

Dylan: So far in the four months we have been working with Johnson and Johnson, I would say that things really haven’t changed. During the weekdays, I am so focused on my work that it doesn’t really hit me that we are separated from each other. We have been separated before during past internships, so we have been through this before. Fortunately, we are only two hours away from each other - I am in Pennsylvania, while Nick is in New Jersey - so we try to see each other every other weekend. 

Nick: In the past four months since we have started work, not much has changed.  We typically see each other every other weekend, and sight-see around the Northeast.  During the weekdays, work has been quite busy so I haven't really thought about it much during the weekdays. The times that we get to see each other we make the most of it, and it is just like our old days before college and Georgia Tech. Most of our buddies are in Atlanta, but we are lucky to have one in New York who we are looking forward to continue spending time with them.

What do you do for fun?

Dylan: For fun, I like playing sports, lifting weights, traveling, and reading. 

Nick: I like to play sports (basketball and baseball), travel, and root on my New York Yankees!

]]> Lizzie Millman 1 1432821446 2015-05-28 13:57:26 1475896701 2016-10-08 03:18:21 0 0 news Nick and Dylan Buczek have been together their whole life, as best friends and biggest supporters of one another. No surprise, being that they are twins.  The powerful pair both studied supply chain engineering at ISyE and post-graduation are beginning their careers at Johnson & Johnson, albeit in different states. We were able to talk to the two about their time at ISyE and what lies ahead for them.

2015-05-28T00:00:00-04:00 2015-05-28T00:00:00-04:00 2015-05-28 00:00:00 Barbara Christopher
Industrial and Systems Engineering

407951 407951 image <![CDATA[Dylan and Nick Buczek]]> image/jpeg 1449254168 2015-12-04 18:36:08 1475895134 2016-10-08 02:52:14
<![CDATA[Alumni Spotlight: Nishi Anand Reminisces On Her Time at ISyE]]> 27868 Imagine going through Georgia Tech in three years. Add two internships, senior design, and co-founding a club while being a president of another to the mix. What do you get? Nishi Anand, a recent ISyE alumna who graduated with honors no less.  If her track record at ISyE sounds impressive, that’s because it is. This is one of the reasons she was awarded the IIE Outstanding Senior Award at the recent ISyE Undergraduate Awards Ceremony.

While Nishididn't initially plan to graduate early, her excitement to take her core industrial engineering classes first allowed her get a leg up on completing her hours. “Looking back, I'd have to thank my parents for instilling in me a sense to always push myself. I think that's really what propelled me to graduate in three years,” said Nishi.

Nishi is now beginning her career in Atlanta with the Boston Consulting Group. Here she reflects on her time at ISyE.

What motivated you to become an industrial engineer?
I've always enjoyed math and problem solving. In college, I wanted to study a field that I could apply in real life without getting too technical. Simultaneously, I also wanted to gain business knowledge. In my junior year of high-school, my brother suggested looking into industrial engineering. Once I did, it was an easy choice.

You recently told me that one of your fondest memories was Senior Design. Tell me about it.
My teammates and I didn't know each other when we decided to work together; but by the end of the semester, we became friends. We spent most of Thanksgiving break working 12+ hours in the IE lab. But none of us was upset. Instead, we joked around throughout. It made the task at hand easier and, more importantly, fun. Overall, Senior Design gave me the opportunity to work with some of the smartest people, whom I can now call friends.

You completed your course work in three years? How did you have to rearrange your life to make this work for you?
I tried to take most of my core industrial engineering classes early on. It was challenging at times, but I genuinely enjoyed most of my IE classes. That thankfully removed the stress out of them. I also had to balance my extracurricular activities according to my course schedules. In my freshman year, I got involved in just about anything I found interesting. But going into higher level classes, I narrowed down my campus involvement to the few clubs I was really passionate about. 

You completed two internships. Tell me about your experience there and what you learned?
Both my internships with Deloitte Consulting were quite different. The first summer I was on an SAP project where I had the opportunity to not only learn how to work with the software but also closely observe how technology has become a crucial component in firms' successes. The second summer I worked with a relatively small team with senior client executives. I had a chance to observe and learn from senior clients about the challenges they faced. I basically had a bird's eye view of running the business, which was quite different from the first implementation project.

You co-founded The National Organization of Business and Engineering @ GT.  Why?  And can you tell us about that?
Given Georgia Tech's focus on engineering, we saw an evident gap between the engineering and business disciplines on campus. As an Industrial Engineering major myself, I have had a unique opportunity to learn about business and engineering that most of my friends from other majors lacked. Hence, we started the club in order to bridge this gap and help students gain working business knowledge while strengthening their analytical, problem-solving skills. We believe this will better prepare fellow Tech students for professional success.

What are you looking forward to about starting your career?
While working as a consultant for the Boston Consulting Group, I will have the chance to work on cases related to a variety of organizational functions and a variety of industries. I look forward to these tremendous learning opportunities and gaining experience in a wide range of sectors.

What advice would you give to students trying to manage extracurricular activities, internships, and academics?
Along with academics, extracurricular activities can be a significant time commitment. It helps to narrow down your commitments to a few organizations you're really passionate about instead of taking on several roles that just look good on the resume. Given the rigor of academics at Georgia Tech, it can be difficult, and sometimes stressful, to keep up with student organization commitments one hundred percent if you're not involved in them for the right reasons.

How do you define success?
To me, success isn't about milestones. It is about being able to continually push myself and fully utilize my capabilities for the development of myself and others around me. As long as I can continue to grow and help others grow, I am successful.

Have you had a dream come true while at ISyE?
Being featured in the student spotlight series is one! My team's selection as an ISyE Senior Design finalist was another. Being able to apply our industrial engineering skills to make a positive difference in the lives of liver transplant patients was a perfect culmination of the ISyE degree.


]]> Lizzie Millman 1 1431525683 2015-05-13 14:01:23 1475896697 2016-10-08 03:18:17 0 0 news Imagine going through Georgia Tech in three years. Add two internships, senior design, and co-founding a club while being a president of another to the mix. What do you get? Nishi Anand, a recent ISyE alumna who graduated with honors no less.

2015-05-13T00:00:00-04:00 2015-05-13T00:00:00-04:00 2015-05-13 00:00:00 Barbara Christopher
Industrial and Systems Engineering

404231 404251 404231 image <![CDATA[Nishi Anand, IE 2015]]> image/jpeg 1449254135 2015-12-04 18:35:35 1475895127 2016-10-08 02:52:07 404251 image <![CDATA[Nishi Anand]]> image/jpeg 1449254135 2015-12-04 18:35:35 1475895127 2016-10-08 02:52:07
<![CDATA[Student Spotlight: Juan Tovar, an Engineer in the Making]]> 27868 ISyE undergraduate Juan Tovar has known at a young age that he wanted to become an engineer. He cites his parents as his main influencers, as they saw that as a child, Juan not only loved playing with Legos and other creative toys but science and math were his strong subjects. Hence, they stirred the idea that he should be an engineer ever since he was in elementary school.

As he went through high school, Juan participated in the engineering club and practiced thinking outside the box. He enjoyed creating something out of nothing and solving problems. “I fell in love with working with such a blank canvas for creativity and innovation, and I felt that as an engineer I could do that again,” says Juan.

Now a sophomore in ISyE, Juan is interning this summer as a manufacturing operations intern with Eaton.

Out of all the fields you could have chosen in engineering, why did you choose industrial engineering?

I went to a summer program at Duke University where we were tasked with creating an "Innovation" for a future scenario. As much as I felt like I liked the idea of working on the prototype and the idea of our device, what I truly enjoyed was the logistics of how it would work, what the business model would be and so on. I was accepted to Tech as a civil engineer but after learning more about industrial engineering, I felt that it was the best suit for me and switched majors even before my first semester. I love the fact that IE is a broad field and that I could apply my thought process across a variety of careers.


I understand you are focusing your studies on operations research. What is it that draws you to this concentration?

I feel that operations research gives me the opportunity to further develop my technical skills that the other tracks might not. As a proud industrial engineer, I want to be as comfortable as possible with the technical aspect of my career as much as the soft skills. Combining an operations research concentration with the depth and breadth of the courses will allow me to do that.

You obviously love sports. You play every intramural sport including basketball, volleyball, flag football and kickball. How do you balance your academic and free time to accommodate so many sporting activities? How does sports help in your academic studies?

Having an intramural game about every day forces me to schedule my time effectively. I know I cannot leave my assignments for later because my evenings are occupied with something else. So rather than taking away time from my schedule I would say it further forces me to dedicate time to the right things. It's also the best stress reliever. I wouldn't be as calm as I am were it not for the relief which participating in these sports brings me. College is tough, and I feel we need time for ourselves in order to avoid it from entirely consuming us.

Tell me about your involvement with the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE)?

When I first came to visit Georgia Tech, I was received by the Hispanic community on campus; all of them involved with SHPE. They were the big reason I decided to enroll here and thus I knew I wanted to be involved since day one. During my first year, I was freshman liaison where my job was to integrate the freshmen into everything SHPE did. I later joined the Eboard this year as SHPE Jr. Coordinator where I was in charge of the community outreach of our chapter into local high schools and primary school. Moving forward, next year I will continue in the Eboard as External VP; being in charge of the corporate relations of the organization. 

Saying I am passionate about SHPE would be a huge understatement. I continue to push for SHPE to grow in its impact to the Hispanic community and the rest of campus. 

What accomplishment are you most proud of since you’ve been at ISyE?

Many of my highlights of GT have come from intramurals. Winning four championships this year has been amazing but just being able to share those moments with my best friends is what really makes it a great accomplishment. 

Tell us something few people know about you that you are willing to share.

I dream of one day being the owner of the Miami Dolphins. 


]]> Lizzie Millman 1 1430921634 2015-05-06 14:13:54 1475896693 2016-10-08 03:18:13 0 0 news ISyE undergraduate Juan Tovar has known at a young age that he wanted to become an engineer.

2015-05-06T00:00:00-04:00 2015-05-06T00:00:00-04:00 2015-05-06 00:00:00 Barbara Christopher
Industrial and Systems Engineering

402371 402371 image <![CDATA[Juan Tovar]]> image/jpeg 1449252000 2015-12-04 18:00:00 1475895122 2016-10-08 02:52:02
<![CDATA[Student Spotlight: Cheyenne Cazaubon Receives Jane Chumley Ammons Scholarship]]> 27868  Cheyenne Cazaubon, ISyE student, received The Jane Chumley Ammons Scholarship at the 2015 Women in Engineering Banquet. The scholarship was established by the Stewart School of Industrial & Systems Engineering (ISyE) alumni, faculty, staff, and friends to honor the service, research, education, and leadership of Dr. Jane Chumley Ammons, former ISyE School Chair.

Cheyenne’s concentration at ISyE is quality and statistics and she is completing her third co-op rotation with GE Energy Management as a Consultant Co-op for Energy Consulting in New York. Recently, she was presented another scholarship, the Kurt Salmon Associates Scholarship, for her academic merit and contribution to ISyE.  During Cheyenne’s time at Georgia Tech, she became very involved and held a number of leadership positions. Currently, she is part of the Women in Engineering Mentor and Mentee Program, Alpha Phi, Briaerean Honor Society, Society of Women Engineers, and the General Electric Women’s Network.

Cheyenne has a long list of previously held positions on campus. She was part of the Leading Edge Program, an undergraduate leadership development program, a student ambassador for Women in Engineering, elections chair for the Vice President of Administration, Engineering Awareness Chair for the Society of Women Engineers, All-Star Program Chair for the Presidents' Council Governing Board, served on the Freshman Leadership Initiative, and Dinner Jackets co-facilitator of the Student Alumni Association.

In her free time, Cheyenne enjoys running 5K races, painting, writing poetry, and volunteering for opportunities to spread engineering awareness to young girls. This summer, she plans on studying abroad in Asia with the Beijing-Singapore Summer Program. She is excited to experience a culture and language that she’s never been exposed to before. Not a stranger to study abroad, after her freshmen year, Cheyenne did a cultural exchange program in Bogota, Colombia as a Youth Media Ambassador for Motivos, a bilingual magazine. She found this to be a great experience with her years of studying the Spanish culture and language.

Dr. Ammons is a pioneer of engineering for women, a supporter of enhancing educational opportunities for underrepresented minorities, and a leader in the overall field of industrial and systems engineering. Her tenure at Georgia Tech has been marked by many firsts and many successes. She was the first female ISyE Ph.D. recipient (1982) and the first female ISyE faculty member. She previously served as associate dean for faculty affairs in the College of Engineering, and in 2011, was appointed to hold the H. Milton Stewart and Carolyn J. Stewart School Chair in ISyE, becoming the first female school chair in the College of Engineering.

For more information on this or other ISyE scholarships, contact Nancy Sandlin at nsandlin@isye.gatech.edu

]]> Lizzie Millman 1 1429196075 2015-04-16 14:54:35 1475896683 2016-10-08 03:18:03 0 0 news Cheyenne Cazaubon, ISyE student, received The Jane Chumley Ammons Scholarship at the 2015 Women in Engineering Banquet.

2015-04-16T00:00:00-04:00 2015-04-16T00:00:00-04:00 2015-04-16 00:00:00 Barbara Christopher
Industrial and Systems Engineering

396901 396901 image <![CDATA[Cheyenne Cazaubon Receives Jane Chumley Ammons Scholarship]]> image/jpeg 1449246361 2015-12-04 16:26:01 1475895112 2016-10-08 02:51:52
<![CDATA[Student Spotlights: Ph.D. Students Tugce Isik and Simon Mak Receive Awards of Excellence from ISyE]]> 27868 ISyE Ph.D. students Tugce Isik and Simon Mak received ISyE graduate awards this year: the ISyE Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award (GSI) and the ISyE Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award (GTA), respectively. This is the first year that ISyE has given this award.

“Our outstanding graduate students are integral to the teaching mission of the Stewart School,” said Alan Erera, associate chair for graduate studies and Coca-Cola Professor at ISyE. “Tugce and Simon have demonstrated a commitment to excellence in teaching that is exemplary and worthy of commendation, providing our undergraduate students with top notch instruction and course support.”

The GSI award is given to recognize excellence in teaching by a graduate student as measured by exceptional scores on the Course-Instructor Opinion Survey and other evidence of teaching effectiveness including accessibility to all students and passion about teaching and learning. Tugce Isik won the award this year for teaching ISYE 3044 Simulation Analysis and Design; a required course in the IE curriculum.

Tugce motivates her students through her strong curiosity and enthusiasm for the topics she teaches. She sets clear teaching goals, has strong communication with her students in and outside the classroom, and helps the students to see the values of the course material for themselves, “not just something they want to get over with.”  Tugce says of her class: “My class is not necessarily the easiest, but I think being open, fair, and friendly helps a great deal.”

The GTA award recognizes ISyE graduate students who have demonstrated exceptional performance in the execution of their TA responsibilities. Simon Mak received nominations from both the students he assisted and the faculty member he worked with in the required foundational course ISyE 2027 Probability with Applications. 

As a teaching assistant, Simon strives for an engaged and interactive teaching and learning environment. He works with his students to ensure a strong foundation of concepts as well as to build problem-solving strategy thinking rather than merely showing students how to solve a specific homework problem.  His goal is to provide students with the tools they need to solve any problems they face, within the course or otherwise, rather than having them try to follow step-by-step solutions without understanding why such steps were taken.

The awards were presented at the Graduate Student Honors Luncheon on April 16, 2015.


]]> Lizzie Millman 1 1429512906 2015-04-20 06:55:06 1475896683 2016-10-08 03:18:03 0 0 news ISyE Ph.D. students Tugce Isik and Simon Mak received ISyE graduate awards this year: the ISyE Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award and the ISyE Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award, respectively.

2015-04-17T00:00:00-04:00 2015-04-17T00:00:00-04:00 2015-04-17 00:00:00 Barbara Christopher
Industrial and Systems Engineering

397621 397611 397621 image <![CDATA[Tugce Isik]]> image/jpeg 1449246361 2015-12-04 16:26:01 1475895115 2016-10-08 02:51:55 397611 image <![CDATA[Simon Mak]]> image/jpeg 1449246361 2015-12-04 16:26:01 1475895115 2016-10-08 02:51:55
<![CDATA[Student Spotlight: Alex Schmid]]> 27868 Alex Schmid had no idea what kind of engineering she wanted to do when she got to Georgia Tech. While applied mathematics and modeling were favorite subjects of hers, she also reveled in the problem-solving and thought processes involved with engineering. She browsed the required courses for almost all of the other engineering disciplines before finally stumbling on ISyE. Reading over the description was like “finally putting a name to what she had always wanted to do.”

After deciding on ISyE, Alex didn’t think twice before choosing operations research as her concentration. She had some exposure in high school with tasks such as modeling a baseball game with Markov chains. “Operations research is all about using mathematical tools to solve real world problems. I love problem-solving and formulating models to the specifics of the situation, rather than memorizing a one-size-fits-all formula.”

It’s no secret that life at Georgia Tech and ISyE can be demanding. To balance her intense academic work, Alex plays rugby and participates in Crossfit. “Exercise is really important for me to clear my head and focus,” she said, “There is nothing better than taking your energy out on the field to help you forget about the three tests you have coming up next week.” 

What do you like best about your ISyE education so far?

The best part of the ISyE program for me is the analytical and operations research component. After learning the basics of optimization and stochastics, I was amazed at the diverse set of problems that I could solve. ISyE does a great job of teaching the technical skills and more importantly, the critical thinking skills. The concepts train your brain to think like an engineer.

I love that most of the courses in the ISyE department have a strong focus on mathematics. I think Georgia Tech IEs are so valuable because they approach problems very analytically. Many classes teach new programming languages and software packages as well, giving us the tools to actually build the models we learn about.

What advice would you give to a student interested in ISyE?
Try research! From what I know, there aren't many undergraduate IEs that do research. The faculty at Georgia Tech are world-class and research is a great opportunity to work with them one-on-one. The projects I work on have taught me more about optimization and data analysis than most of my classes. It's also benefited my problem-solving skills and independence.

I understand that you’ve participated in a couple of undergraduate research project.  Would tell us a little about your projects?

I am working with Dr. Joel Sokol to develop an optimization model for determining playoff tiebreak scenarios in the NFL. The NFL has a lengthy process for deciding what team makes the playoffs and the rules differ depending on the number of teams tied and whether they are competing for the division championship or the wildcard. A few weeks out from the end of the season, it's difficult for teams to determine if they have clinched a playoff spot and which remaining games are crucial for them to win. The model I'm working on uses thousands of binary variables to work out all of the tie scenarios and then configures game outcomes that would optimize a team's chances for winning their division or clinching a wildcard.

I also started a project with Dr. Dima Nazzal this semester dealing with class scheduling in ISyE. The goal is to assign instructors to courses and time slots that minimize overlap of classes students usually take in the same semester and satisfy as many instructor preferences as possible. It's a really interesting project and it could have a lasting impact on the ISyE department and improve the registration process for students.

What are your plans after graduation?
I plan on going to graduate school in operations research. Eventually I'd like to become a professor because I love both research and teaching. I started a research project this semester and it got me really interested in discrete optimization. I like applied operations research a lot, but recently I’ve taken an interest in the theory of optimization algorithms. Thankfully, I still have a few years to figure out what exactly I want to study.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
Don't be afraid to take risks and fail. The transition from being a top student in high school to being surrounded by all of the brilliant students at Tech can make you doubt yourself and your abilities. I've had to learn that the only way to grow is to go after what you want and not be afraid to make mistakes. I still struggle with this on a daily basis, but I remind myself that every accomplishment in my life began with a risk.

Who is your hero and why?
My hero is my late grandfather, Ernie Schmid. He was a lieutenant colonel in the Air Force and my family always said I got my analytical skills from him. He was a brilliant man and a loving and supportive grandfather. Plus, he has a mountain named after him, Mount Schmid in Antarctica.

Tell me something about yourself that few people know.

I started playing rugby when I came to Tech, and the summer after my freshman year I got selected to the Junior All-American team. I got to go to the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, CA and work with some of the best coaches and players in the country. I didn't make the travelling side, but it was an incredible experience.

]]> Lizzie Millman 1 1427455267 2015-03-27 11:21:07 1475895785 2016-10-08 03:03:05 0 0 news Alex Schmid talks about her decision to pursue operations research at ISyE.

2015-03-27T00:00:00-04:00 2015-03-27T00:00:00-04:00 2015-03-27 00:00:00 Barbara Christopher
Industrial and Systems Engineering

391201 391221 391231 391211 391201 image <![CDATA[Alex Schmid]]> image/jpeg 1449246312 2015-12-04 16:25:12 1475894406 2016-10-08 02:40:06 391221 image <![CDATA[Alex Schmid is studying operations research at ISyE]]> image/jpeg 1449246312 2015-12-04 16:25:12 1475894406 2016-10-08 02:40:06 391231 image <![CDATA[Alex playing rugby]]> image/jpeg 1449246312 2015-12-04 16:25:12 1475894406 2016-10-08 02:40:06 391211 image <![CDATA[Alex Schmid at ISyE]]> image/jpeg 1449246312 2015-12-04 16:25:12 1475894406 2016-10-08 02:40:06
<![CDATA[Alumni Spotlight: Chatting with Panamanian President (& Yellow Jacket) Juan Carlos Varela]]> 27868 His engineering training has shaped his approach to political life.

Every university brags about its alumni, but how many can call a country’s president one of its graduates? Georgia Tech can. 

On May 4, Tech engineering alumnus Juan Carlos Varela was elected president of Panama. Varela came to Georgia Tech in the fall of 1980 and received his degree in industrial engineering in spring 1985. He returned to Tech this fall to serve as a member of the Georgia Tech Advisory Board (and to attend a Jackets football game).

At a one-on-one interview (if you don’t count the four U.S. Secret Service members and the Panamanian security detail, along with members of his staff), we had a chance to talk with Varela about Tech, engineering, and what it’s like to be Mr. President.

- Kay Kinard

On choosing Georgia Tech engineering:

I wanted to be an industrial engineer, and Georgia Tech is the No. 1 school for industrial engineering worldwide. Also, Atlanta at that time was becoming a vibrant city, and it was the capital of the South. My two brothers came to Tech — one graduated in industrial engineering and the second one was in industrial management. My family has a rum distillery, a family business that is 100 years old. So many things with the business involved engineering, construction, planning, designing. Since I was a kid, I liked it.

My calculus professor, Dr. Michael Barnsley, was a great professor. He gave me a life lesson. I got good grades the first part of the quarter. I came into the final with 85%. The final was worth 15%. I had four A’s and one B. The Calculus I final came, and I just put my name on it. I wanted to go back to Panama to celebrate my birthday. When I came back to Tech for the winter, I got a C in calculus. The only C I got at Tech. I went to talk with Dr. Barnsley and I asked him that if I had 85%, it would be a B, so how come I got a C? He said that it was because it was not my best effort. It was not about the grades; it is in making the best effort. So he gave me a life lesson, and I will always remember that.

I also remember spending time in the Student Center and Junior’s Grill. I had very good friends here that I will remember the rest of my life.

On early political involvement:

Before coming to Tech, I was involved in various social movements in my country. When I came to Tech, many countries in Central and South America were involved in civil wars. I was confused about what to do after I graduated high school. My brother said to come to Tech. I applied and was accepted. But I was worried about what was happening and followed the news every day. It was a very difficult time. I always knew I would be back in politics one day.

On life outside the classroom:

To be at Georgia Tech is not easy. Chemistry, physics, statics, calculus — the first two years are very tough. I remember the classes very well. I did go to the football games, but I am not saying what else we did. We will keep that to ourselves. I always enjoyed seeing the freshmen, the RATS, on the football field. I will remember that. I still have my RAT cap.

On engineers as politicians:

As president, I use daily my engineering training. As industrial engineers, we simulate the future, we see alternatives. We see the future and then come back to the present.

That has helped me a lot in my political career. I am president today because I made some decisions in my career, and I made those decisions because I was simulating the future. When you graduate from Tech and in industrial engineering, you may not remember all that was in the books, but the training of the mind lasts forever. The problems that the people in Panama and worldwide are facing today require good minds and training to solve it. An engineer’s mind. Being an engineer means trying every day to improve people’s lives.  Engineering is a beautiful career.

Although I am not working for a technical company, I use my engineering training every day. It helps me with the design of the transportation system for our cities. I use it to help establish my budget. I use critical paths for making decisions and implementing solutions to problems. Right now, I am doing a test of 3,600 sources of drinking water in my country. The first time that someone is going to test all the drinking water sources — that is quality control. You apply your engineering training wherever you are.

Advice for a student coming to Tech:

Study. Enjoy, but study, study. Spend all the time you can studying. You can have a little fun on weekends. A college degree is the first thing you get in life that truly belongs to you. Fight hard to get your college degree. You can still have fun while getting good grades. I did it. Fight hard. Don’t let the system defeat you. During the first two years at Tech, the system defeats many students, but you have to keep fighting. 


This article first appeared in the Spring 2015 Georgia Tech Engineers Magazine.

]]> Lizzie Millman 1 1425557429 2015-03-05 12:10:29 1475895771 2016-10-08 03:02:51 0 0 news Every university brags about its alumni, but how many can call a country’s president one of its graduates? Georgia Tech can. 

2015-03-05T00:00:00-05:00 2015-03-05T00:00:00-05:00 2015-03-05 00:00:00 Barbara Christopher
Industrial and Systems Engineering

384661 384651 384671 384661 image <![CDATA[President of Panama, Juan Carlos Varela]]> image/jpeg 1449246262 2015-12-04 16:24:22 1475894395 2016-10-08 02:39:55 384651 image <![CDATA[Juan Carlos Varela]]> image/jpeg 1449246262 2015-12-04 16:24:22 1475895078 2016-10-08 02:51:18 384671 image <![CDATA[Juan Carlos Varela with Georgia Tech students]]> image/jpeg 1449246262 2015-12-04 16:24:22 1475895103 2016-10-08 02:51:43
<![CDATA[Student Spotlight: Erin Lightfoot]]> 27868  ISyE undergraduate student, Erin Lightfoot, can easily recall the day that altered the focus of her college experience. It was during a summer program where she attended a workshop highlighting supply chain and operations management. Her ears really perked up when they mentioned ISyE’s Center for Health & Humanitarian Systems and the unique branch in the supply chain called humanitarian logistics. Erin was fascinated by the idea of organizing the flow of resources from creation to delivery especially with the intent of helping people in need. By age 17, Erin had already coordinated a variety of events from clothing drives to music concerts and was eager to transform her interests into a full time career. After the summer program, she researched ISyE and the rest is history.

Now in her fourth year of college, Erin has emerged as a leader on campus. She has made the Dean’s list every semester and is on track to graduate with high honors.  Erin’s knowledge in supply chain engineering continues to grow, with two product supply internships with Procter and Gamble and one product supply internship with Coca-Cola under her belt.

Why did you choose the SCE concentration?

I chose it because I wanted to learn the decision-making strategies behind storing a product and transporting it from point A to point Z.  The field of supply chain engineering (SCE) gives you all of the answers to the what, when, where, why, and how questions of any organization that makes a product or provides a service. The food we eat, clothes we wear, and homes we live in are all the results of supply chains. By selecting the SCE concentration, I take courses that answer questions like: When is the best time to start selling my favorite seasonal candy? Where in the United States should a company produce blue jeans? And how do you schedule all of the building materials for a new house to arrive at the right time?

What aspect of the overall program to you find most beneficial?

I am grateful that ISyE has an extensive faculty, many of whom are the leaders in their respective fields. I know that I am being taught by the best! Additionally, my professors and advisors have supported me outside of the classroom by encouraging me to pursue research opportunities and recommending me for various conferences, scholarships, and student leadership roles.

What do you want to do when you graduate?

After graduating with my B.S. in Industrial Engineering, I will work for Amazon Fulfillment as an Area Manager. Also, I aim to attend graduate school to earn my M.S. in Supply Chain Engineering or my MBA within the next six years. I also look forward to remaining involved in community outreach.

What was the best piece of advice you ever got? The worst?

One of the best pieces of advice I ever received was to not be afraid to ask for help. Asking for help whether it pertained to my classes, personal life, or career goals was a way to ensure I made progress daily and kept a positive outlook on my future.

The worst advice anyone ever told me was to fake it until you make it. Yes, it’s good to envision yourself as a better person, student, or friend. But it’s better to take active steps to making it a reality. Then you won’t be faking it!

You are very involved at GT. How do you balance that with your classwork?

I learned the importance of work-life balance the hard way at Georgia Tech. I reached my limit during my junior year when I took 18 credits each semester and was president of two organizations. Even during that demanding but incredible year of involvement, I followed a weekly schedule including my classes, events, and study time. I also set aside personal time for my favorite TV shows, sports games, and singing in G.I.F.T.E.D. gospel choir.

Do you use your IE skills outside of the classroom? If so, how?

This semester, I earned an undergraduate research assistantship with Georgia Tech Health Analytics which is a dream come true. A huge goal of mine was to apply IE concepts to address challenges in the healthcare and education fields, so I’m ecstatic to have this opportunity.

Tell us something few people know about you.

Few people know that I studied Vocal Music in middle and high school. I sang Alto in a Grammy award-winning ensemble, and I directed a children’s choir for seven years prior to enrolling in Georgia Tech. The Davidson Chorale and the Beulah Grove Children’s Choir in Augusta, GA are both close to my heart.


]]> Lizzie Millman 1 1424788904 2015-02-24 14:41:44 1475895754 2016-10-08 03:02:34 0 0 news ISyE undergraduate student, Erin Lightfoot, can easily recall the day that altered the focus of her college experience.

2015-02-24T00:00:00-05:00 2015-02-24T00:00:00-05:00 2015-02-24 00:00:00 Barbara Christopher
Industrial and Systems Engineering

381971 381971 image <![CDATA[Erin Lightfoot]]> image/jpeg 1449246231 2015-12-04 16:23:51 1475894382 2016-10-08 02:39:42