Alumni Spotlight: Matthew Plumlee’s Sigma Xi Best Dissertation Award Returns Award to ISyE

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Georgia Tech’s chapter of Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society, has awarded Matthew Plumlee the Best Dissertation Award for 2016. Plumlee, a former Ph.D. student (M.S. Statistics, 2011; Ph.D. IE, 2015) in the Stewart School of Industrial & Systems Engineering (ISyE), is now an assistant professor at the University of Michigan in the Department of Industrial and Operations Engineering.

Plumlee’s research interests include the interface of data and modeling, specifically in methods for experimentation and uncertainty quantification for complex systems.

Out of 526 doctoral degrees conferred by Georgia Tech in 2015, only nine were chosen to receive the Sigma Xi Best Dissertation Award. In addition, with the award given to Plumlee, the honor returns to ISyE after eight years. Previous winners include Tirthankar Dasgupta in 2008 (advisor: Jeff Wu, ISyE Coca-Cola Chair in Engineering Statistics and Professor); Wuqin Lin in 2006 (advisor: Jim Dai, ISyE Adjunct Professor); and Jean-Philippe Richard in 2003 (advisor: George Nemhauser, ISyE A. Russell Chandler III Chair and Institute Professor).

Plumlee’s dissertation advisers were Roshan Vengazhiyil, ISyE Professor, and Jianjun Shi, ISyE Carolyn J. Stewart Chair and Professor. His thesis studied methodologies to assist users in blending computational models and data. This research seeks to design and evaluate methods for the combined usage of observational data and computational models to match the technological gains in sensor and storage technologies. Plumlee's findings impact economic sectors including health care, both clinical and operational, manufacturing, and energy.

About the award, Shi and Vengazhiyil said, “This is great news. Matt’s dissertation studies methodologies in uncertainty quantification, an emerging research area to which Matt has made unique and important contributions. He truly deserves this recognition. Furthermore, the fact that the Sigma Xi award has returned to ISyE after eight years is a triumph both for Matt and his work, and for the School itself.” 

Plumlee’s dissertation excellence was also recognized by the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineering (IISE) with the Ph.D. Thesis Award for 2016.


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