Joel Sokol Receives Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Operations Research

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Joel Sokol, associate professor in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE), is the recipient of the 2010 Annual Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Operations Research from the Institute of Industrial Engineers’ (IIE) Operations Research (OR) Division.

Sokol was nominated in recognition of his outstanding teaching in the required core Engineering Optimization course and the follow‐on Advanced Optimization elective.

Dave Coit, IIE OR division president, stated that the award committee was impressed with the innovative techniques Sokol developed to facilitate better learning experiences for his students. Colt went on to state that the selection process for the 2010 IIE OR Teaching Award was an extremely difficult process. “There were more nominees than there has ever been and the quality of the nomination packages was uniformly excellent. “

Ozlem Ergun, ISyE associate professor who nominated Sokol for the award, said in her nomination letter that the “Engineering Optimization class Dr. Sokol teaches is one that I have also taught. From all I have seen and heard from students who took the class when he taught it, it is clear that Dr. Sokol is the ‘gold standard’ for teaching Engineering Optimization.” Ergun said that is not just her opinion, but also the opinion of the ISyE faculty at large.

In addition to the IIE award, Sokol  is also the recipient of some of Georgia Tech's highest awards for teaching, including  the Class of 1934 Outstanding Innovative Use of Educational Technology Award 2010,  the Class of 1940 W. Howard Ector Outstanding Teaching Award 2008,  and the CETL/BP Junior Faculty Teaching Excellence Award 2006.

Sokol's research interests include operations research and its application in a wide variety of areas, from logistics, manufacturing, and network design to biology, social logistics, and sports modeling. His research has won the EURO Management Science Strategic Innovation Prize, and his LRMC method (predictive modeling for the NCAA basketball tournament) has been featured in the New York Times and on CNN and ESPN.

Sokol shares this honor with co-recipient Amy Cohn of the University of Michigan. The two professors will receive their awards at the OR Division Town Hall Meeting during the IIE Annual Conference in Cancun, Mexico, June 5 - 9, 2010.


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