<![CDATA[Fall 2021 Senior Design Teams Find Solutions to Real-World Problems]]> 34760 The Capstone Design Expo returned to McCamish Pavilion on December 7, 2021, for the first time since the fall of 2019. Many of the participants were in-person, but teams also included online representatives who were available to talk to online judges from all over the world. Of the 118 teams participating, 23 teams were from the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE).

“It was wonderful to see the senior design students develop and present their projects in person. They endured another stressful semester, but remarkably balanced quality and rigor with health and wellbeing,” said Director of Professional Practice Dima Nazzal. “Kudos to them for overcoming the challenges and delivering excellent work for a wide range of clients including government agencies, small non-profits, and large corporations. Congratulations to the faculty advisors, who coached the teams and kept them motivated and focused. A special recognition and appreciation to our Director of Technical Communication, Brandy Blake, for teaching the students how to communicate their engineering designs clearly and succinctly”

Senior Design team “Provision with a Vision” won the Capstone Expo award for Best ISyE Project. They worked with the on-board services group at Delta Air Lines to develop a data-driven methodology that determines the optimal amount of beverage items to load on a flight. The project motivation came from unused items adding extra weight to the aircraft resulting in excess fuel costs and carbon emissions. The team delivered an optimization model that takes into consideration passenger demand as well as an impact analysis tool which allows Delta to visualize how small changes in beverage quantities can have significant economic and environmental impact across the system.

The team included Anneliese Conrad, Carolina Howell, Niral Jagtap, Ellie Johnson, Nico Knutzen, Sofia Laval, Brad Peterson, and Libbee Stallone. They were advised by Associate Professor Anton Kleywegt.

From among the ISyE teams, three were selected as finalists for the Best of ISyE Senior Design Competition, which was held on December 14, 2021. Team “Shoulda Put A R(INGO)n i(T)” was selected as the first-place winner.

Team “Shoulda Put A R(INGO)n i(T)” partnered with Novelis, an aluminum manufacturing company, to improve ingot availability in its Oswego, NY, facility. The goal of the project was to ensure that when a customer makes an order, Novelis could supply the right ingots at the right time on hand to immediately start production. The team’s solution was to build an ingot “supermarket” that would increase ingot availability from 50% to 90% and reduce overall lead time by up to 40%. To achieve this, the team created an optimization model that recommended the best replenishment strategy for each ingot SKU and used a simulation model to measure the impact of the supermarket on the production process. With this new tool, Novelis can dramatically increase their operational efficiency and save millions of dollars per year.

Team Members included Tobin Abraham, Joseph Abrokwa, Elvin Chirackal, Joseph Cochran, Lorenzo Guerrero, Grace Anne Muller, and Tim Ryan. They were advised by Part-Time Lecturer and Tennenbaum Institute Principal Research Engineer Douglas Bodner.

Finalist team “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop, Bus Stop” worked with the Atlanta Department of Transportation (ATLDOT), a recently formed government entity tasked with promoting transportation infrastructure. The team worked to provide ATLDOT with a data-driven methodology to allocate funding to bus stop improvements and a platform for closer collaboration with MARTA. Only 7% of bus stops (out of nearly 4,000) in Atlanta have shelters, which provide riders with proper seating, protection from weather, and ADA accessibility. The team’s solution combines process design with an interactive web tool and a greedy heuristic web app. Through the team’s solution, an additional 1.5 million trips per year will now originate at a sheltered stop. The City of Atlanta voted to back the project with a $3.4 million non-fungible funding source, and the team will present their design to the new mayor in January.

Team members included Soobin Baek, Aaron Brown, Ananya Ghose, Sanghwa Lee, Sung Kyu Lee, Alea Legg, Hetu Patel, Tejas Santanam. They were advised by ISyE Lecturer Gamze Tokol-Goldsman.

Finalist team “Keep it Simply” worked with The Coca-Cola Company to minimize the overall cost of the distribution network of two recently acquired dairy brands: Fairlife and Simply Oat & Almond. The team provided a data-driven method of formulating network expansion plans and determining safety stock levels by building and validating a mathematical optimization model that recommends not only the optimal distribution center (DC) opening location and timeline, but also the capacity expansion and safety stock level at each DC over a given horizon. This provided an annual value of several million dollars across the two dairy brands. To help Coca-Cola design the network expansion of any brand in the future, the team generalized the model to a standardized template wrapped within a user-friendly graphical user interface with three different model options.

Team Members included Joseph Chanin, Yizhi Huang, Minrui Liang, Yufei Liu, Naren Reddy, Xinran Yu, and Emily Zhang. They were advised by Leo and Louise Benatar Early Career Professor and Associate Professor Alejandro Toriello.

In addition, two teams received honorable mentions and were contenders for the Best of ISyE Senior Design.

Team “Panic! at the Cisco” worked with Cisco on its Printed Circuit Board Assembly Component Allocation. Team Members included Anjana Anandkumar, Udisha Bhattacharyya, Grace Gilpatric, Katie Landers, Kat Pospichel, Briana Sims, Tan Tanthien, and Anna (Tu) Vu. They were advised by William W. George Chair and Professor Pinar Keskinocak.

Team “The Bee’s Knees” worked with Smith + Nephew on its production planning. Team Members included Leon Breaux, Sara Costello, Emma Jones, James McGregor, Georgia Warnock, and Delaney Wastler. They were advised by ISyE Lecturer Ethan Lee.

]]> Laurie Haigh 1 1640107175 2021-12-21 17:19:35 1640362911 2021-12-24 16:21:51 0 0 news The Capstone Design Expo returned to McCamish Pavilion on December 7, 2021, for the first time since the fall of 2019. Many of the participants were in-person, but teams also included online representatives who were available to talk to online judges from all over the world. Of the 118 teams participating, 23 teams were from ISyE.

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2021-12-21T00:00:00-05:00 2021-12-21T00:00:00-05:00 2021-12-21 00:00:00 Laurie Haigh
Communications Manager

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653876 653900 653904 653899 653876 image <![CDATA[ISyE Senior Design Team “Shoulda Put A R(INGO)n i(T)”]]> image/png 1640107519 2021-12-21 17:25:19 1640192277 2021-12-22 16:57:57 653900 image <![CDATA[ISyE Senior Design Team "Provision With a Vision"]]> image/png 1640188953 2021-12-22 16:02:33 1640188953 2021-12-22 16:02:33 653904 image <![CDATA[ISyE Senior Design Team "“Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop, Bus Stop”]]> image/png 1640192042 2021-12-22 16:54:02 1640192042 2021-12-22 16:54:02 653899 image <![CDATA[ISyE Senior Design Team "Keep it Simply"]]> image/png 1640188510 2021-12-22 15:55:10 1640188510 2021-12-22 15:55:10
<![CDATA[The Current Supply Chain Crisis: ISyE Experts Explain What is Happening, How to Fix it, and How to Prevent it from Happening in the Future]]> 34760 As the 2021 holiday shopping season continues, consumers are once again finding shelves empty, from simple products like cream cheese and sports drinks, to complex goods like cars and appliances. The reason? Supply chain disruptions.

While many people have heard the term “supply chain” and know it is the reason behind many product delays, most do not realize the complexity — and fragility — of our global supply chains. Problems like these are at the heart of industrial engineering, and the experts at the No. 1-ranked H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE) at Georgia Tech are sharing their expertise with companies and federal and state leadership to help remedy the current problem and help ensure it does not happen again.

“Supply chains are incredibly complex and completely international,” said Pascal Van Hentenryck, A. Russell Chandler III Chair and Professor in ISyE. “They include container ships, warehousing, docking, trucks, trains, and planes, in addition to first- last- and middle-mile transportation. The current situation affects all these aspects. It is a massive problem. It’s not just one element.”

Behind the many systems involved, there are people making decisions and collaborating to ensure each segment is operating effectively and efficiently to keep the supply chain operating smoothly. This includes production, sourcing of raw materials, supply replenishment, and logistics. If one of these segments breaks down, the entire system will collapse. This process occurs for nearly every product available, leading to millions of supply chain transactions occurring globally each day.

Why are we Still Experiencing Delays?

When the Covid-19 pandemic took hold of the world in 2019, there were multiple disruptions to the system in addition to a dramatic increase in ecommerce, which created significant first- and last-mile issues. According to Van Hentenryck, this put additional strain on factories, ports, ships, and logistics companies that were already experiencing workforce shortages. In addition, many supply chains were highly optimized, just-in-time systems which allowed very little room for error or disruption. Nearly two years later, we are still feeling the impact.

“Everybody at every layer of the supply chain was hit by the pandemic in some manner,” adds Benoit Montreuil, Coca-Cola Material Handling & Distribution Chair and professor and co-director of the Supply Chain & Logistics Institute at ISyE. “Some companies still do not have enough employees to get the work done, while others have depleted their reserves or cannot source the necessary materials to manufacture their products. We have now seen that the lean approach has proven to be extremely dangerous.”

While this holds true for all supply chains, fresh foods and complex electronics are even more fragile.

The short shelf life of fresh goods, like meat and produce, collapses the entire process into the span of just a few weeks and adds another layer of complexity to the situation. Montreuil says that, for products like these, empty shelves are not necessarily due to a lack of supply, but rather a breakdown in processing plants or shipping.

Complex products have more complicated supply chains. For example, when it comes to electronics and cars, many of the components are being manufactured in different sites around the world before being sent to another location for assembly. If one of the many parts is missing, the product cannot be manufactured. This is the case with the current computer chip shortage that is affecting the supply of phones, appliances, computers, and other everyday items we take for granted. The shortage is a result of increased demand, depleted reserves, and lack of the manufacturing plants and workers to increase production.

“Like many other items, the demand for computer chips was increasing before the pandemic, and the industry was struggling to keep up,” said Chelsea White, Schneider National Chair in Transportation and Logistics and professor at ISyE. “The increased demand for personal computers, video conferencing equipment, and other electronics that use hundreds of computer chips put an even greater strain on production. Unfortunately, this industry requires a large capital expenditure for a new foundry and is not agile. It takes years and billions of dollars of investment to build the specialized plants required to make more chips. This mismatch of demand and supply will not be remedied quickly.”

In addition to production issues, there is also an extreme worker shortage in shipping and logistics, making it difficult to get products to consumers once they are assembled. For example, the American Trucking Association said the industry has a shortage of 80,000 drivers and estimates this number could more than double by 2030. Similar issues at the ports and on container ships are also causing significant shipping delays. Lack of integration among the many shipping components intensifies the problem.

“Containers are coming into the ports, but there are no trucks there to pick them up, because they are not ready for them,” explained Van Hentenryck. “Meanwhile, these containers are taking up space in the storage yard, so additional containers cannot be unloaded, because there is nowhere to put them. These are the kinds of issues the lack of integration causes.”

Solving the Problem

While the intricacy of the current supply chain problem is making it difficult to fix, experts believe it can be done. Companies will need to look at their processes through a new lens and modify them to resolve the current situation and prevent similar disruptions from happening in the future.

“Historically supply chains were organized around cost, but that is probably going to change,” said Van Hentenryck. “They will be built for resilience and flexibility so that they do not get stuck so easily. My intuition is that organizations will start moving away from the just-in-time systems to become more reliable and resilient.”

Montreuil agrees. To increase resiliency, he says companies may want to keep additional stock of key resources, but that the solution is more about changing production capacity and finding creative ways to address transport, warehousing, and resource shortages. “All of this is shaping the ‘new normal’ in supply chain, which I believe will ultimately be much stronger than in the past.”

Technology, including automation, machine learning and optimization techniques, will also be an important tool to address the worker shortages, to increase efficiencies, and to integrate processes.

“Automation allows businesses to create new business models,” said Van Hentenryck. “It can increase efficiency at factories, warehouses, ports, and on the roads while addressing the labor shortages. And, while it will eliminate some jobs, it will also create new, higher paying jobs in their place.”

Van Hentenryck is currently collaborating with Ryder System, Inc. on the trucking industry’s first data-driven study of the potential impact of autonomous trucking and expects similar studies to take place in other areas of the supply chain.

“People are looking for easy solutions, but that is not how supply chains work,” said Montreuil. “The good thing is that the current situation has increased the awareness of the problem, so we can work toward a solution.”

What Will the Future Look Like?

Both Montreuil and Van Hentenryck believe that organizations now understand how fragile the current system is and are working to prepare for future catastrophic events like floods, hurricanes, and other disasters that will also disrupt the flow of goods. While it is impossible to prevent pandemics and disasters from occurring, our systems should be resilient enough to handle them and keep goods moving.

“Companies are starting to think about their supply chains in a different way,” said Montreuil. “They are thinking about agility, adaptability, and optionality which is necessary to prevent these problems from occurring in the future.

“What this has shown us is that supply chains are immensely critical to the wellbeing of society and the economy. It has been unseen for decades, and Covid has shown how important they are,” said Montreuil. “It is also important to understand that even though we are suffering, the disruptions we are experiencing are minor compared to the disaster that it could have been.”

]]> Laurie Haigh 1 1639173971 2021-12-10 22:06:11 1639424100 2021-12-13 19:35:00 0 0 news As the 2021 holiday shopping season continues, consumers are once again finding shelves empty, from simple products like cream cheese and sports drinks, to complex goods like cars and appliances.

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2021-12-10T00:00:00-05:00 2021-12-10T00:00:00-05:00 2021-12-10 00:00:00 Laurie Haigh
Communications Manager

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653613 653622 653615 596162 653613 image <![CDATA[Port congestion is just on of the issues currently disrupting supply chains. ]]> image/png 1639173698 2021-12-10 22:01:38 1639173698 2021-12-10 22:01:38 653622 image <![CDATA[Pascal Van Hentenryck, Associate Chair for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and A. Russell Chandler III Chair and Professor]]> image/jpeg 1639186141 2021-12-11 01:29:01 1639186141 2021-12-11 01:29:01 653615 image <![CDATA[Benoit Montreuil, Coca-Cola Material Handling & Distribution Chair and Professor and Co-Director Supply Chain and Logistics Institute]]> image/png 1639174125 2021-12-10 22:08:45 1639489401 2021-12-14 13:43:21 596162 image <![CDATA[Chip White, Schneider National Chair in Transportation and Logistics and Professor]]> image/jpeg 1505839534 2017-09-19 16:45:34 1505839534 2017-09-19 16:45:34 <![CDATA[Autonomous Trucking Collaboration Could Lead to a More Resilient, Affordable Supply Chain]]>
<![CDATA[Master of Science in Analytics Team Wins Humana-Mays Healthcare Analytics Case Competition]]> 35757 Four students from the Master of Science in Analytics (MSA) program took first place at the 2021 Humana-Mays Healthcare Analytics Case Competition, a partnership between Mays Business School at Texas A&M University and the health and well-being company Humana Inc. The team includes M.S. Analytics students Siyan Cai, Manqiu Liu, Tsz Fung Pang, and Jia Shi.

Georgia Tech’s MSA is an interdisciplinary program that leverages the strengths of the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering, the College of Computing, and the Scheller College of Business. The case competition was open to students from master’s programs in business, healthcare, or analytics. More than 750 students representing 75 major universities across the country competed, and the winning team received the first-place prize of $50,000 following a virtual presentation to an executive panel of judges.

The challenge of the case competition was to minimize health inequities and address vaccine hesitance among vulnerable and underserved populations using the power of data analytics. Students were asked to utilize prescriptive and predictive modelling to predict vaccine hesitancy in specific segments, and accordingly propose targeted outreach to remove the barriers of the hesitant populations to receive vaccinations.

“This case focused on a very distinctive segment of the population in the healthcare industry, so it was difficult at the beginning to grasp the problem, especially since none of us had any domain knowledge,” said Cai.

However, the team was not intimidated, and they performed a lot of research on the topic, consulting with field experts and conducting many discussions and brainstorming sessions. After understanding the context and central problem to solve, the students broke the case into three key questions to be solved. These questions laid a foundational framework for their analysis and strategies; as they moved forward, they made sure to always address the questions at the heart of their solution.

One of the challenges the team faced was dealing with a very large dataset, which included approximately one million records of Humana Medicare members with more than 400 features. During the data preprocessing, they extensively leveraged data manipulation techniques, ending up with a model that ranked top five in the leaderboard.

The main reason why the team’s model has high predictive power is that they performed well-rounded data preparation. Rather than merely applying modeling techniques to fix the problem, the students focused on the fundamental causes of bias in the dataset as well as alternative solutions.

“We wanted to aid the disadvantaged and find solutions to address vaccine disparity and inequity,” said Liu. “We believe that data science has the potential to benefit society, and this competition is an excellent opportunity for us to see what kind of beneficial influence analytics may have.”

]]> goberst3 1 1639003765 2021-12-08 22:49:25 1661375619 2022-08-24 21:13:39 0 0 news More than 750 students representing 75 major universities across the country competed for the $50,000 prize.

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2021-12-10T00:00:00-05:00 2021-12-10T00:00:00-05:00 2021-12-10 00:00:00 Grace Oberst

Communications Assistant
H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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653465 653465 image <![CDATA[Manqiu Liu, Tsz Fung Pang, Siyan Cai, and Jia Shi (clockwise from top left)]]> image/jpeg 1638901743 2021-12-07 18:29:03 1638901786 2021-12-07 18:29:46
<![CDATA[2021 Clark Scholar Nebiyelleul Kiros]]> 35757 Each year, 12 incoming Georgia Tech students are selected to be part of the A. James Clark Scholars Program, a scholarship for engineering students that covers the cost of room and board, tuition, and fees, in addition to providing enrichment and engagement opportunities. This year, Nebiyelleul Kiros from the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE) is one of the chosen scholars.

When applying to college, Georgia Tech was his first choice, and learning that he would receive the scholarship made the financial decision much easier for him. Initially he was undecided on a major, but he realized an industrial engineering degree would give him the flexibility to explore vast career possibilities upon graduation.

“I knew I wanted to study something versatile, because I didn’t know what I want to do for my career field yet,” said Kiros. “I liked how business focused ISyE is, and it seemed like the best engineering program for me.”

In addition to the scholarship, the Clark Scholars program includes socializing opportunities in addition to career and personal development. This semester, Kiros participated in workshops, dinners, fundraisers, and other activities such as an information session about studying abroad.

One particularly memorable event involved guest speaker Sandra Magnus, who is a Georgia Tech alumna and a former NASA astronaut. She talked about the challenges she faced often being the only woman on her team, shared what life was like on the International Space Station, and the perspective she gained from the experience.

Another one of Kiros’ favorite activities from the program was the Leadership Challenge Course, which includes the high ropes obstacle course located on Georgia Tech’s West Campus. While it was incredibly challenging and intimidating to complete, it was a natural bonding experience for the scholars.

Throughout the semester, Kiros has gotten to know all the members of his cohort and enjoys meeting up with them outside of the program events. “They are some of the closest friends I have,” he said.

He is also grateful for the opportunity to meet with Raheem Beyah, dean of the College of Engineering, and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Laurence J. Jacobs. Furthermore, David Torello, the director of the Clark Scholar program, regularly talks one-on-one with the students. “The program is really about us – trying to help give us the best possible experience,” he explained.

Outside of the program, he has been exploring student clubs and organizations. Kiros – whose parents are from Ethiopia – has enjoyed attending meetings with the African Student Association and experiencing the annual Taste of Africa. He also joined the campus film club, Buzz Studios, and is considering pursuing a film minor because of his long-standing interest in filmmaking.

Academically, he has adjusted well to the rigor of his classes and has enjoyed his experience so far, including his first ISyE class. He’s interested in joining more clubs, getting involved in sports, and potentially studying abroad. “I look forward to the future and learning more about ISyE,” said Kiros.

]]> goberst3 1 1638757702 2021-12-06 02:28:22 1638801626 2021-12-06 14:40:26 0 0 news The first-year ISyE student is part of the 2021 class of the A. James Clark Scholars Program.

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2021-12-06T00:00:00-05:00 2021-12-06T00:00:00-05:00 2021-12-06 00:00:00 Grace Oberst

Communications Assistant
H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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653413 653413 image <![CDATA[Nebiyelleul Kiros]]> image/jpeg 1638757549 2021-12-06 02:25:49 1638757549 2021-12-06 02:25:49
<![CDATA[Alumna Kendall Rankin Empowers Women Through The Diamond Campaign]]> 35757 Kendall Rankin (IE 2017) has been passionate about mentorship for women since she was an undergraduate student at the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE). This year, she was honored as a part of Georgia Tech’s 2021 alumni class of 40 under 40 for the success of her nonprofit, The Diamond Campaign (TDC), as well as her work centered around female representation in the venture capital industry.

Rankin was a second-year at Georgia Tech when she founded TDC, a program empowering Black women to embrace their 4 C’s: cut (body image), color (personal brand), carat (self-worth), and clarity (vision for the future). The initiatives she created were inspired by her own personal experiences navigating her college career and trying to find her place as a Black woman in STEM.

“Confidence was always something that I struggled with when I was growing up,” Rankin said. “I saw how it impacted the way I showed up – whether socially, academically, professionally, or emotionally. I wanted to help other women like me on campus who felt like they didn't have a community or were overcome with imposter syndrome.”

After graduating from Georgia Tech, she worked briefly for Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT), a national nonprofit that helps individuals from underrepresented communities to realize their full potential. Upon leaving MLT, she moved to Chicago to join LinkedIn for a business leadership rotational program, later transitioning to work in customer success and data analytics. But while these experiences helped launch her professional career, she sought more leadership opportunities.

This year, Rankin began working as a program manager at All Raise, a nonprofit with a mission to accelerate the success of female founders and funders in the tech ecosystem. It was born out of a grassroots movement to increase partner-level female representation in venture capital firms, which in turn increases the ability to invest in female entrepreneurs.

“What I was really craving was more responsibility and the ability to actually build,” Rankin said. “At my core, I'm an innovator. I love to be creative and test new things and see what works, then iterate based on that – a true engineer.”

The pivot brought her to a newer company with a much smaller team, in an industry she was unfamiliar with. However, the fast-paced startup environment allowed her to have ownership over projects from day one and be more involved in social impact. As a senior manager, she led All Raise’s expansion to Chicago and continues to manage operations in the region.

However, Rankin hadn’t forgotten about The Diamond Campaign. After leaving Georgia Tech, she needed to make the decision to either continue TDC on campus or turn it into a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and bring it to Chicago. She chose the latter, and after orienting herself in the new city, she held a launch event where she recruited new team members.

TDC’s first initiative after the launch was a virtual mentoring program that paired high school girls with young professional mentors. Rankin noticed that while engaging high schoolers was challenging, the mentors were very invested in the experience. This inspired her to create The Diamond Academy, a six-month program for Black women in their 20’s dedicated to personal and professional development.

“I grew up around a strong community of people who supported me, whether it was family, friends, or mentors, and so it was important that I helped create that community for other people like me at a similar stage in life,” Rankin explained.

In 2020, TDC received a boost of support from McKinsey & Company, who announced an initiative to give $5 million to Black nonprofits as part of their commitment to advancing racial equity and economic empowerment. TDC was selected as one of 40 organizations globally to receive funds, which will help build program infrastructure and support operational needs, such as expanding The Diamond Academy to other cities beyond Chicago.

Receiving the funding was a pivotal moment for Rankin, who says that the donation reaffirmed the value of her work and pushed her to continue building TDC. One of her favorite quotes taps into the power of confidence: “The people who think they can and the people who think they can’t are both right.” Through her numerous accomplishments, Rankin has proven she is one of the former.

]]> goberst3 1 1638495844 2021-12-03 01:44:04 1638968312 2021-12-08 12:58:32 0 0 news Alumna Kendall Rankin is the founder of the nonprofit organization and was selected for Georgia Tech’s 2021 alumni class of 40 under 40.

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2021-12-06T00:00:00-05:00 2021-12-06T00:00:00-05:00 2021-12-06 00:00:00 Grace Oberst

Communications Assistant
H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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653360 653360 image <![CDATA[Kendall Rankin]]> image/jpeg 1638493958 2021-12-03 01:12:38 1638493958 2021-12-03 01:12:38
<![CDATA[Pinar Keskinocak Honored as 2021 Recipient of Award for the Advancement of Women in OR/MS]]> 34760 Pinar Keskinocak, the William W. George Chair and professor in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE) has been honored as the recipient of the 2021 Award for the Advancement of Women in OR/MS. This award is given by the Women in OR/MS (WORMS) Forum of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) to celebrate and recognize a person who has significantly contributed to the advancement and recognition of women in OR/MS.

“I am truly grateful and humbled for this huge honor,” said Keskinocak. “I am thankful to all my colleagues, students, friends, and family who have supported me and many others over the years, and it is the greatest gift for me to support others, even if only in a small way.”

Throughout her career, Keskinocak has been a leader in her field and has advocated for the advancement of women and minorities in engineering. She is an INFORMS Fellow, has served as president of INFORMS and the WORMS Forum, established the WORMS Award, and served as the co-founder and president of the INFORMS Junior Faculty Interest Group to help junior faculty develop their networks and grow professionally. During her term as INFORMS president, she helped further diversity, equity, and inclusion within the organization. She also spearheaded the establishment of a DEI Ambassadors Program to create a culture of inclusivity for all members within the INFORMS community.

At Georgia Tech, Keskinocak is the co-founder and director of the Center for Health and Humanitarian Systems, and she has served as a College of Engineering (COE) ADVANCE Professor and interim associate dean for faculty development and scholarship. She has also made significant contributions to numerous programs at COE and the Institute, which include the Demystifying Tech Series, Adaptive Leadership Workshop, and Diversity and Inclusion Fellows Program. In addition, she was instrumental in the establishment of the COE diversity and inclusion council, resume speed meeting workshops, and other initiatives focused on equity, diversity, and excellence.

Keskinocak has made a lasting impression on many of the people she has worked with.

“I don’t know how my career and life would have turned out had I not had the chance to meet and work with Dr. Keskinocak,” said one person in their nomination letter. “I do know how grateful I am I did have that chance. She is and always will be a role model for me in servant leadership, an extraordinary mentor, and an exceptional teacher.”

“I am just an example of all the lives and careers of women in OR/MS who Pinar has touched, as an advisor, as a professor, as a colleague, and as a leader and role model in OR/MS,” said another. “Pinar represents exactly what this award is about.”

Keskinocak’s research focuses on the applications of operations research and management science with societal impact, particularly health and humanitarian applications, supply chain management, and logistics/transportation. Her recent work has addressed infectious disease modeling — including significant work related to the Covid-19 pandemic — and evaluating intervention strategies and resource allocation; catch-up scheduling for vaccinations; hospital operations management; and disaster preparedness and response.

]]> Laurie Haigh 1 1638288580 2021-11-30 16:09:40 1638378839 2021-12-01 17:13:59 0 0 news This award is given by the Women in OR/MS Forum of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences to celebrate and recognize a person who has significantly contributed to the advancement and recognition of women in OR/MS.

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2021-11-30T00:00:00-05:00 2021-11-30T00:00:00-05:00 2021-11-30 00:00:00 Laurie Haigh
Communications Manager

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653245 653245 image <![CDATA[Pinar Keskinocak receives 2021 Award for the Advancement of Women in OR/MS]]> image/png 1638288704 2021-11-30 16:11:44 1638288704 2021-11-30 16:11:44
<![CDATA[Margarita Groisman Leads Digital Media Site “The Buzz”]]> 35757 Many Georgia Tech students are thought-provoking writers, talented YouTubers, or captivating podcasters. However, without a centralized place to exchange ideas, not everyone is able to share their voice with a wide audience. That’s why fourth-year Margarita Groisman from the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE) decided to create The Buzz, a student-run digital media site that empowers individual content creators at Georgia Tech.

“I thought it would be awesome to have a platform for communication where students could express different ideas,” said Groisman. “I want to build a community on campus that really values open dialogue and communication.”

Groisman started forming a team for The Buzz in Fall 2020, and the site – hosted on Medium – officially launched in Spring 2021. Her team includes students with a range of majors working in positions including editing, operations and growth, marketing, and technology. In addition to serving as president, she occasionally writes articles for the site on topics she personally finds interesting.

The Buzz offers a wide range of content under the categories of life, art, economics, research, tech, and clubs. One content creator who goes by the pseudonym Techconomist writes about the modern economy in the format of reader-submitted “Dear Techconomist” questions. Another creator, second-year computer science major Christian Kim, has a series of YouTube videos called Life@Tech that gives a glimpse into living on campus, from ranking Georgia Tech dining options to a Sting Break vlog.

“We wanted to make a modern platform that took into account how students are communicating today,” said Groisman. “I worked at The Daily Beast before as a software engineering intern, and they are a very different type of news publication. They have cool features like the Cheat Sheet – a list of 10 featured articles for the day – and lots of video content. They really try to go to the edge of communication, and that inspired me to create a platform that's more innovative here at Georgia Tech.”

Multimedia is highly encouraged, which is evident from the wide variety of publications. In the podcast GTtea, second-year computational media student Vincent Batts discusses changing majors, provides a first-hand perspective on having his own dorm room during the pandemic, and interviews other students about their college experiences.

Clubs have also contributed posts, including Epic Intentions Consulting and the Atlanta Student Film Festival. While much of the content is created exclusively for the site, some is shared from other platforms like YouTube and Spotify. To help with engagement, new publications are promoted on the Instagram account @thebuzz_gt.

Fourth-year business administration student Justin Scott Creamer, who recently posted about a new song he wrote and his experience with music, expressed his positive experience with the platform. “The Buzz is an easily navigable site that allowed me to design a blog post that includes images, hyperlinks, and clean formatting,” he said. “The process was simple and user-friendly.”

The Buzz has a unique style of working with content creators that allows them the flexibility to be artistic with the opportunity to receive guidance. Some students have defined plans for their publications, but others with more general concepts and ideas prefer to consult with the editing team, which helps them organize their ideas. However, the creative process is always led by the content creators.

Several other students also expressed enjoying creating content for the platform. "It's exciting to write articles for The Buzz ― it gives smaller writers like me a chance to share their voice in an easily accessible, simple format,” said first-year industrial engineer Ryan Rodriguez.

Another student, third-year mechanical engineering major Dara Bolodeoku, commented, "Posting on The Buzz gives us the freedom to be our authentic selves and have complete control with what we share with our audience. It’s a great community to be part of."

In addition to the current content, Groisman believes there is a big opportunity with research communications. Given the wide variety of innovation among Georgia Tech departments, keeping up with the latest news is not always feasible, but The Buzz could provide a centralized location to stay informed. To achieve this goal, the team has been reaching out to different research centers on campus.

“We want research labs to be able to create their own accounts and post updates through our site,” Groisman explained. “We don't want just students; we also want staff, administration, and everyone who is part of the Tech community.”

Several other projects are in progress, such as developing a standalone website that would include more features than the current site, as well as launching three new podcasts. With a diverse collection of engaging content and upcoming works, The Buzz is sure to have something for everyone, and Groisman is excited to be paving the way for new voices to be heard.

If you are interested in being a content creator, please fill out this online form or contact The Buzz at buzz.contact.gt@gmail.com.

]]> goberst3 1 1637361086 2021-11-19 22:31:26 1638205111 2021-11-29 16:58:31 0 0 news Fourth-year Margarita Groisman is the founder of The Buzz, a student-run digital media site for content creators at Georgia Tech to pursue stories they are passionate about.

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2021-11-19T00:00:00-05:00 2021-11-19T00:00:00-05:00 2021-11-19 00:00:00 Grace Oberst

Communications Assistant
H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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<![CDATA[Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Pediatric Technology Center Names Desai, Serban Inaugural Peterson Professors]]> 28153 Professors Jaydev Desai and Nicoleta Serban are recipients of the first Peterson Professorships from the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Pediatric Technology Center at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Supported by the G.P. “Bud” Peterson and Valerie H. Peterson Faculty Endowment Fund, the professorships are designed to engage and empower leading researchers in a diverse range of disciplines.

“These professorships honor the Petersons’ commitment to improving the lives of children through collaborative pediatric healthcare research,” said M.G. Finn, chief science officer of the Pediatric Technology Center and chair of Georgia Tech’s School of Chemistry and Biochemistry. “Drs. Desai and Serban are international leaders in their very different fields, both of great importance in improving pediatric healthcare. We look forward to their exciting research and leadership.”

Desai is professor and Carol Ann and David D. Flanagan Distinguished Faculty Fellow in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University and an expert in medical robotics. Serban focuses on health analytics as the Virginia C. and Joseph C. Mello Professor in Georgia Tech’s H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering.

“Thanks to the Petersons, these professorships will help take collaborations between Children’s, Georgia Tech and Emory to new heights,” said Lucky Jain, chief academic officer of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and pediatrics department chair in the Emory School of Medicine. “We have already made huge gains in pediatric diagnostic tests, airway support and heart valves, to name a few. I look forward to future projects led by Drs. Desai and Serban that will pave the way to new life-saving devices and treatments for kids.”

The Peterson name is no doubt familiar to many at Tech and across Metro Atlanta. During his decade as president of the Institute, Bud Peterson helped facilitate and build the research partnership with Children’s. The new professorships — awarded for up to six years — will support pediatric research that interfaces with Children’s.

“The progress we’ve seen working collaboratively across disciplines has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life as an administrator,” said Peterson, who remains a Georgia Tech faculty member. “The clinicians at Children’s encounter a host of different healthcare needs and problems. We develop solutions. These professorships help us map our solutions to their problems.”

­Creating Robotic Solutions

For Desai, the professorship is a great honor, recognizing his existing close collaborations with Children’s physicians. It’s also encouragement to tackle a range of challenges in pediatric robotics, a heavily under-explored research area compared to adult medical robotics research.

“We are actively working on developing a steerable robotic system for minimally invasive pediatric neurosurgery as well as a voice-activated robotic hand exoskeleton customized for patients with spinal cord injury,” said Desai, who is director of the Georgia Center for Medical Robotics and associate director of the Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines, both at Georgia Tech.

Desai said the resources from the Peterson Professorship will help support those projects and others — in interventional cardiology and cancer diagnosis, for example.

The professorship’s funding also will allow Desai to enhance research opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students, organize workshops to foster collaborations and build research teams for larger projects, among other things.

And, he expects, the work supported by the professorship will garner even more interest down the road, leading to larger research grants.

“This is a humbling honor for me. One of the great motivators for my move to Georgia Tech a few years back was to work in pediatric robotics with Children’s,” Desai said. “It is also an exciting investment that will lead to more opportunities and potentially tangible results at the end of the day.”

Data Science for Society

Serban’s research program has taken many turns in the 16 years she’s been at Georgia Tech, beginning with work in theoretical and methodological statistics before shifting to industrial engineering. Then, about eight years ago, she shifted directions again.

It turned out, Serban said, her training and research background provided an excellent foundation for the rigorous study of healthcare delivery and health policy, allowing her to use what she called, “principled approaches to solving real-world problems in healthcare.”

The Peterson Professorship will support her collaborative research opportunities with Children’s in two main areas: opioid prescribing and use (particularly in children undergoing surgery for severe conditions) and mental health treatment and access.

“Pediatric healthcare is where my academic heart is,” said Serban, a researcher in Georgia Tech’s Institute for People and Technology. “Words cannot express my appreciation for the support and encouragement coming from Children’s. Without them, my career and accomplishments would not be where they are today.”

The goal of Serban’s research is to use the massive amounts of data she gathers and analyzes to inform public policy and healthcare delivery. The professorship will help her continue along that path.

“My research will continue to encompass many directions, focusing on computational approaches to model massive data, and on methods crossing multiple disciplines – statistics, machine learning and optimization,” Serban said.

“As part of my future research opportunities and interests, I plan to build data science programs with substantive societal impact.”

Serban said it is also a great honor to have the Peterson name affiliated with her academic position.

"My career bloomed during President Peterson’s tenure,” she said. “I have the utmost respect for his commitment, dedication, support, and effort to keep the Institute on an upward trajectory.”

###

The Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Pediatric Technology Center is part of the Georgia Institute of Technology. Our goal is to facilitate collaboration between Children's Healthcare of Atlanta clinicians, doctors, and researchers conducting fundamental and translational research to advance children's health and delivery of pediatric services in a broad range of research areas.

 

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<![CDATA[2021 Amazon Supply Chain Systems Design Track Fellows]]> 35757 Georgia Tech’s H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE) and the Supply Chain and Logistics Institute (SCL) are proud to announce this year's Amazon Supply Chain Systems Design Track Fellows: Ajinkya Rege, Yesh Shah, Pavitra Tagore, Jamel Thompson, Léo Pham Van, and Benjamin Fan. These students will each receive a $12,000 fellowship; they may also have the opportunity to complete an internship at Amazon, in addition to being strong candidates for full-time employment at the company.

To be awarded one of these fellowships, applicants must apply and be accepted into the Georgia Tech Master of Science in Supply Chain Engineering (MSCCE) program on the Supply Chain Systems Design Track, which prepares students for roles in supply chain facilities’ engineering and design, as well as a broader range of supply chain systems design roles. Amazon recognizes the importance of developing a demographically diverse leadership team, and thus priority for the fellowship is given to underrepresented minorities and female students.

About the Fellowship Recipients

Ajinkya Rege completed his undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from the Vellore Institute of Technology in Vellore, India. He was exposed to the transportation and freight logistics industry while working at Volvo-Eicher Commercial Vehicles. In one of his roles as a business analyst in process and IT, he primarily developed data-driven solutions to optimize vehicle performance and customer productivity, including differentiated service delivery for e-commerce vehicles based on driving patterns.

Working with Volvo Eicher is what initially triggered his interest in supply chain. “With the evolution of e-commerce, the expectations of customers have changed, and reduced delivery timelines have drastically altered the landscape of the quintessential supply chain,” Rege explained. “It has now become imperative for organizations to focus on a higher level of customer orientation.”

When asked about his career goals, Rege said, “My dream job is one where I would be able to work on new technologies, innovate, and explore new solutions to satisfy the changing needs of the end user. I believe the business exposure that I have gained during my work tenure, coupled with the academic knowledge I will gain at Georgia Tech, will help me deliver customer-centric solutions in line with the mission and vision of the industry.”

Yesh Shah also completed his undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from the Vellore Institute of Technology and has several years of experience in supply chain working at Decathlon.

“Decathlon gave me an opportunity to explore the intricacy and depth of global retail supply chain, all the way from component sourcing to finally getting the product on shelves of the retail stores,” said Shah. “From my experience in production, procurement, supplier management, and demand planning, it was fascinating to understand the interconnectedness of supply chain functions and the far-reaching impact on the entire ecosystem of the company. With a focus to make supply chain systems more resilient and sustainable, every day was an exciting challenge to be solved and an opportunity to learn.”

With supply chain being a key focus for companies, Shah says now is a critical time to be in the field.

“The supply chain engineering program at ISyE provides the right opportunity to partner with distinguished companies and gain real-world experience,” he said. “After graduation, I look forward to being a part of a creative and challenging space where I am able to design and optimize supply chain systems, making them more sustainable and adaptable to the growing needs of the customer.”

Pavitra Tagore earned her undergraduate degree in industrial engineering and management from the RV College of Engineering in Bangalore, India, and she previously worked at Intel as a supply chain solutions analyst.

“I’ve always been fascinated with how large, complex systems function,” she said. “Through my industrial engineering and supply chain management background, I’ve analyzed global supply chain systems and investigated the interactions between their constituent elements. I thoroughly enjoyed discovering how the elements influence each other, and how their interactions could be optimized to produce agile, responsive supply chains.”

Always on the lookout for ways to improve her supply chain knowledge, Tagore has also earned her Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) certification, which she chose to improve her knowledge on essential technology, concepts, and strategies in end-to-end supply chains.

“The CSCP modules ensured I am equipped with the required skills to work on various aspects of today’s supply chains – design, planning, execution, and improvement – all of which came in handy during my work at Intel, where I was involved in improving various aspects of diverse supply chains,” said Tagore. Her future goal is to design, build, and manage global supply chains.

Jamel Thompson, who is finishing up his undergraduate degree at ISyE, decided to enroll in the MSSCE program because he found supply chain classes to be the most fulfilling. “I enjoy the interactive classroom style many of the classes have,” he said. “We have visited warehouses and had many guest speakers, which helps because we get to see what we are being taught in the classroom actually put the practice. Through MSSCE program, I want to broaden my understanding of the field and better understand the global supply chain and ways I can impact it.”

Thompson likes interacting with people and wants to eventually work in the business side of supply chain. In addition to the Amazon fellowship, he is also a recipient of the Matson Scholarship for Leadership Diversity, designed to encourage underrepresented students to consider careers in the transportation, supply chain management, and logistics fields, increasing diversity in leadership positions.

On campus, Thompson is president of the Men’s Club Basketball team, the director of professional development for the Society of Health Systems, and a member of the Sports Business Club. He’s also involved with Mission Possible, an organization that introduces industrial engineering to high school students through summer camps, workshops, and outreach programs.

Léo Pham Van, who hails from France, completed his undergraduate studies in mechanical and industrial engineering at the École Nationale Supérieure d’Arts et Métiers in Paris. He also earned a master’s degree in innovation, design, and engineering with a concentration in interaction design. The program was focused on project management methodologies and human-centric design for products, services, and systems.

“During my undergraduate studies in France, I acquired a strong base in science and industrial engineering,” said Pham Van. “I worked on projects covering a wide scope of engineering such as manufacturing, design, supply chain, and programming. These projects allowed me to develop my problem-solving skills. With the MSSCE offered by Georgia Tech, I will also develop further skills and knowledge in supply chain engineering that will help me become a great supply chain engineer.”

Being able to work on real-world cases at Georgia Tech is important to Pham Van, who aims to work at a company in the U.S. that has challenging and innovative projects.

“I would like to work on the optimization of systems for the supply chain to help my company reach their business objectives while becoming more sustainable and efficient,” he said.

Benjamin Fan studied at ISyE as an undergraduate student and knew that he wanted to continue his education at Georgia Tech because of ISyE’s rigorous and practical education in supply chain engineering.

“My passion for supply chain made me choose to further pursue a master’s degree to be able to make the best supply chain decisions backed by mathematical principles,” said Fan.

His past experience in supply chain includes interning at Höganäs Taiwan, where he worked on a demand forecasting project. “I analyzed company sales data and modeled the trendlines in Python,” Fan explained. “On top of that, I also researched and utilized a Python library to automate Python scripts in Excel VBA to make the results presentable for managers. Through the project, I was able to gain analytical and coding experience.”

After graduating from the MSSCE program, he wants to design innovative fulfillment systems with technologies that assist employees by enabling them to be more efficient and enjoy their daily operations.

For more information on ISyE’s MSSCE program, visit https://www.isye.gatech.edu/academics/masters/supply-chain-engineering.

For questions, or if you are interested in applying for an Amazon Supply Chain Systems Design Fellowship, visit https://www.scl.gatech.edu/outreach/amazonfellow.

]]> goberst3 1 1637018968 2021-11-15 23:29:28 1652804439 2022-05-17 16:20:39 0 0 news This year’s Amazon Supply Chain Systems Design Track Fellows include Ajinkya Rege, Yesh Shah, Pavitra Tagore, Jamel Thompson, Léo Pham Van, and Benjamin Fan.

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2021-11-15T00:00:00-05:00 2021-11-15T00:00:00-05:00 2021-11-15 00:00:00 Grace Oberst

Communications Assistant
H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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653018 653018 image <![CDATA[Amazon Fellows]]> image/png 1637265692 2021-11-18 20:01:32 1637265737 2021-11-18 20:02:17 <![CDATA[SCL Amazon Scholars Program]]>
<![CDATA[Jan Shi Chosen for SME’s 2021 College of Fellows]]> 35757 Jianjun (Jan) Shi, Carolyn J. Stewart Chair and professor in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering, has been selected for the Society of Manufacturing Engineering’s (SME) 2021 College of Fellows. This is an honor given to individuals “who have made outstanding contributions to the social, technological, and educational aspects of the manufacturing profession,” with 20 or more years of dedication and service to the field.

In the letter nominating Shi for this honor, it was noted that he pioneered data-enabled manufacturing – an accomplishment for which he was also elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2018. He has developed quality improvement algorithms implemented in over 40 steel plants globally, with hundreds of millions of dollars saved and over one billion KWh in saved energy, as well as tens of thousands of CO2 emissions reduced.

Shi’s selection as an SME Fellow is the latest in a series of signal distinctions conferred in 2021: He received the Walter Shewhart Medal from the American Society for Quality, an award given “to individuals who have made outstanding technical contributions and leadership in the field of modern quality control and improvement.” He was also awarded the S.M. Wu Research Implementation Award, which “honors outstanding original research … that, upon implementation, has had a significant commercial/societal impact.”

Previously, Shi has also been named a Fellow of the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineering, a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineering, a Fellow of INFORMS, an Elected Member of the International Statistical Institute, and an Academician of the International Academy for Quality. His work has also been honored with, among others, 11 best paper awards and nine international research awards.

Shi said, “I am honored to receive this recognition, and I greatly appreciate all my students, colleagues, and sponsors for their support throughout my many years of research in and implementation of complex manufacturing systems.”

]]> goberst3 1 1635902548 2021-11-03 01:22:28 1636998683 2021-11-15 17:51:23 0 0 news The award honors individuals “who have made outstanding contributions to the social, technological, and educational aspects of the manufacturing profession.”

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2021-11-10T00:00:00-05:00 2021-11-10T00:00:00-05:00 2021-11-10 00:00:00 Shelley Wunder-Smith

H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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<![CDATA[Alumnus Selected to Serve as Board of Regents Chair]]> 27299 At its November meeting, the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia (USG) elected Harold Reynolds, an industrial and systems engineering alumnus from Georgia Tech, to serve as its chair for the coming year.

“Chairing a university system that serves 340,000 students and drives research, innovation and economic development across the state is a major responsibility, and I am delighted to see another distinguished Georgia Tech alumnus elected for the task,” said Georgia Tech President Ángel Cabrera. “I very much look forward to working with Regent Reynolds in support of public higher education throughout the state.”

With members appointed by the governor, the Board of Regents serves as the governing and management authority for 26 public higher education institutions: four research universities, four comprehensive universities, nine state universities, and nine state colleges.

“I’m honored to serve as the next chair of the Board of Regents. Throughout my tenure, I’ve focused on improving student achievement throughout the state,” Reynolds said. “Earning my degree at Georgia Tech, a USG institution, taught me how valuable a quality education can be. I look forward the road ahead and remain committed to putting students and their families first.”

Reynolds is the Chief Executive Officer of privately held BankSouth Holding Company headquartered in Greene County, Georgia. The company owns and operates BankSouth, BankSouth Mortgage headquartered in Atlanta, Coldwell Banker Lake Oconee Realty, and other subsidiaries.

Governor Zell Miller appointed Reynolds to the State Board of Technical and Adult Education, now known as the Technical College System of Georgia. He served for ten years as the chairperson of the capital outlays committee and a two-year term as board chairman during the thirteen years that he was a board member. Reynolds and his wife, Lesley, reside on Lake Oconee. They have daughter who is a recent college graduate living in New York City and a son attending Southern Methodist University. The family is a member of Lakeside Church.

]]> Michael Hagearty 1 1636511120 2021-11-10 02:25:20 1636572124 2021-11-10 19:22:04 0 0 news Harold Reynolds, an industrial and systems engineering graduate, will chair the 26-member system that serves 340,000 students

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2021-11-09T00:00:00-05:00 2021-11-09T00:00:00-05:00 2021-11-09 00:00:00 652655 652655 image <![CDATA[Harold Reynolds]]> image/jpeg 1636511250 2021-11-10 02:27:30 1636511250 2021-11-10 02:27:30 <![CDATA[University System of Georgia]]>
<![CDATA[Alex Shapiro Honored with 2021 INFORMS John von Neumann Theory Prize]]> 35757 Alexander Shapiro has been selected for the 2021 John von Neumann Theory Prize by the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS). This esteemed honor is given annually for a body of work to a scholar who has made fundamental, sustained theoretical contributions in OR/MS. Shapiro is the A. Russell Chandler Chair III and professor in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE).

In announcing Shapiro’s selection for the award, INFORMS cited his fundamental contributions to theory and computational methods for stochastic programming, as well as seminal contributions to nonlinear analysis: “The outstanding breadth and depth of Dr. Shapiro’s research, combined with his contributions to the mathematical optimization community, make him the outstanding recipient of this prestigious prize.”

The John von Neumann Theory Prize is the latest in a series of significant recognitions of the impact of Shapiro’s work. In 2013, he received the INFORMS Khachiyan Prize for Lifetime Accomplishments in Optimization, and in 2018, he was awarded the Dantzig Prize by the Mathematical Optimization Society and Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. In 2020, Shapiro was elected to the National Academy of Engineering. Shapiro recently served as editor-in-chief of Programming Series A from 2012-2017.

]]> goberst3 1 1636495376 2021-11-09 22:02:56 1637259789 2021-11-18 18:23:09 0 0 news This esteemed honor is given annually for a body of work to a scholar who has made fundamental, sustained theoretical contributions in OR/MS.

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2021-11-09T00:00:00-05:00 2021-11-09T00:00:00-05:00 2021-11-09 00:00:00 Shelley Wunder-Smith

H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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<![CDATA[ISyE Graduate Shane Kimbrough Back on Earth After 199 Days in Space]]> 34760 After 199 days in space, Georgia Tech graduate Shane Kimbrough is back on Earth. Kimbrough and three of his crewmates splashed into the Gulf of Mexico on Monday night on board a Space-X Dragon capsule.

The international team, officially recognized as NASA’s SpaceX Crew-2, spent more than six months in orbit. The mission set a record for the longest spaceflight by a U.S. crewed spacecraft. The crew traveled 84,653,119 statute miles and completed 3,194 orbits around Earth.

Kimbrough and his fellow astronauts performed science experiments and technology demonstrations during the mission. They also grew green chiles and installed free-flying robotic assistants. Kimbrough performed three spacewalks, bringing his career total to nine.

This was Kimbrough’s third mission to space. He previously flew on the space shuttle in 2008 and on board a Russian Soyuz rocket in 2016. He has now spent 388 days away from Earth. Only three other U.S. astronauts have been in orbit longer.

Kimbrough graduated from Georgia Tech with a master’s degree in operations research in 1998. He grew up in Atlanta and attended Yellow Jacket sporting events as a child. During his last mission in 2016, he brought a flag from the Ramblin’ Wreck to the International Space Station. This time while in space, he threw out the first pitch in a taped ceremony before a Georgia Tech baseball game and carried a Yellow Jackets jersey. In May, a few weeks after the launch, he also talked to Georgia Tech about expectations of the mission and life on the space station, which travels 17,500 miles an hour, or 5 miles per second.

]]> Laurie Haigh 1 1636480405 2021-11-09 17:53:25 1636480405 2021-11-09 17:53:25 0 0 news Kimbrough spent six months in orbit during his third NASA mission

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2021-11-09T00:00:00-05:00 2021-11-09T00:00:00-05:00 2021-11-09 00:00:00 Jason Maderer

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652614 652615 652614 image <![CDATA[Shane Kimbrough returned to earth on November 8, 2021.]]> image/png 1636479328 2021-11-09 17:35:28 1636479328 2021-11-09 17:35:28 652615 image <![CDATA[Shane Kimbrough in the space station's cupola in August (courtesy: NASA)]]> image/jpeg 1636479473 2021-11-09 17:37:53 1636479473 2021-11-09 17:37:53 <![CDATA[ISyE Alumnus Commands SpaceX Crew-2 Mission to International Space Station]]> <![CDATA[Kimbrough Reflects on Six Months in Space]]> <![CDATA[Georgia Tech Astronaut Returns to Earth]]>
<![CDATA[ISyE Students Selected for 2021 Millennium Fellowship]]> 35757 Three students from the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE) have been chosen for the 2021 Millennium Fellowship, a joint leadership development program between the United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) and the Millennium Campus Network (MCN). The Fellows – who are among 17 Georgia Tech students selected – include William Abdallah, Anjana Chamarthi, and Aashni Patel.

The Millennium Fellowship is a semester-long program with an experiential curriculum designed to cultivate core values such as empathy and inclusion, hone hard and soft skills like creating SMART goals and team management, and engage in peer-to-peer feedback. Throughout the fellowship, students work on a project that supports UNAI goals as well as UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

About the ISyE Fellowship Recipients

William Abdallah is a fourth-year student who is part of the Anchor Institution task force, a division of the Georgia Tech Strategic Plan. Prior to receiving the Millennium Fellowship, he has worked on a project focused on sustainable infrastructure in West Atlanta with Georgia Tech Research Institute and a connected VIP class. The VIP instructors encouraged him to apply for the fellowship, and after reading more about the program, he was excited about the opportunity.

Abdallah’s fellowship project is focused on SDG 9 – helping to empower community-driven sustainable infrastructure projects – and SDG 16 – peace engineering, with a focus on gun violence projects in West Atlanta. He hopes to help with the process of developing Georgia Tech into a better anchor institution, the idea that Georgia Tech is a lasting entity in the Atlanta that uses its resources and research to provide support for the surrounding community and provide growth in areas like jobs, education, and equity.

His favorite aspect of the program has been connecting with the other Millennium Fellows on campus. “It’s always encouraging to meet like-minded people my age trying to make a difference,” said Abdallah. “There was one exercise we did involving thinking about our specific leadership styles; it was nice to speak with other students who share similar strengths and talk about how we can be better leaders.”

When asked what makes ISyE students suited for the fellowship, Abdallah highlighted the ability to understand and work with complex systems, especially having the skillset to develop insights from data extracted. He encourages other students to apply to the program as well.

“A lot of the time, we are pointed in fixed directions, whether it is general manufacturing or supply chain,” he noted. “While there are social issues that can be solved in those areas, there are many more places where we can make a large impact. ISyE students should apply to the program because they will have the opportunity to explore those areas and make an impact in the community.”

After graduating, he plans on continuing to work in the space of urban design and community development, with a future goal of owning his own design firm.

Anjana Chamarthi is a third-year student who was drawn to the resources, mentorship, and global community the fellowship offers.

“I thought it was a great platform to share my project with other driven individuals from all over the world,” said Chamarthi. “I think there is power in numbers: The more people who see a flame of social impact, the more widespread the fire of positive change can be.”

Her project supports SDG 12, sustainable development, and consists of the research and development of a simulation – an augmented reality/virtual reality rendering of the whole life cycle of an article of clothing – from manufacturing plant to store shelf. By applying this research, the project aims to optimize sourcing and distribution channels for local Atlanta thrift stores.

“Due to its convenience, the fast-fashion industry has become a titan, feeding into the frenzy of the consumer, while endangering and causing environmental devastation,” said Chamarthi. “However, repurposing and thrifting clothes can help save billions of gallons of water, decrease rates of deforestation, and prevent excessive waste production.”

Her favorite part of the experience has been learning from the other Fellows' projects and broadening her perspective of different approaches to social impact. “The fellowship opened my eyes to several pressing challenges our world faces today, and I think ISyE has provided the toolkit for a unique approach to solving these real-world problems,” said Chamarthi. “Mathematically modeling traditionally qualitative variables and then coding these models for forecasting the future is what makes ISyE practical and impactful.”

Aashni Patel is a second-year student who is passionate about creating social impact.

“I wanted to apply for the fellowship because I’ve gotten to work with a couple of nonprofits recently and really wanted to learn more about how people start doing social impact work themselves,” said Patel. “Since it’s not a class, there’s no pressure to get a good grade. Instead, the focus is entirely on trying to start a project and improving it as you learn from the training sessions.”

Her project supports SDG 17, partnerships to reach the goals, and focuses on connecting organizations with students that want to help make change and don’t know how to start. Students can choose one-time or short-term ways to help organizations around them and even receive incentives, helping organizations reach audiences and volunteers they couldn’t previously connect with.

The program focuses on the background of the Fellows’ projects and why they want to work on them.

“We did an activity on the unintended consequences of past projects, and it helped a lot of us figure out what parts of our projects were helpful and what should be modified to avoid causing more issues than they solved,” explained Patel.

After graduating, she wants to stay involved in the nonprofit space and says that the fellowship taught her a lot about managing and organizing nonprofits that she can leverage in the future to work with causes she is passionate about.

“I think industrial engineers are well-suited for nonprofit work because the main goal of ISyE is to improve things – which is an ongoing goal in most social impact projects,” she said. “Projects are only as meaningful as the impact they make, and industrial engineers are trained to optimize the results of initiatives in a way that perfectly complements nonprofit work.”

]]> goberst3 1 1636415676 2021-11-08 23:54:36 1636420535 2021-11-09 01:15:35 0 0 news The Fellows – who are among 17 Georgia Tech students selected – include ISyE undergraduates William Abdallah, Anjana Chamarthi, and Aashni Patel.

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2021-11-08T00:00:00-05:00 2021-11-08T00:00:00-05:00 2021-11-08 00:00:00 Grace Oberst

Communications Assistant
H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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652582 652582 image <![CDATA[William Abdallah, Anjana Chamarthi, and Aashni Patel]]> image/jpeg 1636415544 2021-11-08 23:52:24 1636415544 2021-11-08 23:52:24
<![CDATA[ISyE Faculty, Students Present Talks, Receive Honors at INFORMS 2021]]> 35757 At the annual Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) conference, a number of faculty members and students from the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE) presented plenary addresses and deceived awards for their research. The conference was held from October 24-27, 2021, in Anaheim, California.

Winner
Ph.D. student Andrew ElHabr received the Judith Liebman Award in appreciation of his outstanding service to the Georgia Tech INFORMS student chapter. Advisor: Turgay Ayer.

Pinar Keskinocak received the WORMS Award for the Advancement of Women in OR/MS.

Jisoon (Mark) Lim (IE 2021) won the Undergraduate Operations Research Prize for “The Bicycle Network Improvement Problem: Optimization Algorithms and A Case Study in Atlanta.” Advisor: Pascal Van Hentenryck.

Alex Shapiro was awarded the John von Neumann Theory Prize.

The Georgia Tech INFORMS Student Chapter won the 2021 INFORMS Student Chapter annual award at the Magna Cum Laude level. Advisor: Lauren Steimle.

Runner-up

Ph.D. student Yathath Dubey was selected as runner-up for the George Nicholson 2021 Student Paper Competition for “Branch-and-Bound Solves Random IPs in Polytimem," written with Marco Molinaro and his advisor, Santanu Dey

Finalist

Ph.D. student Woody Zhu was chosen as a finalist for the 2021 Wagner Prize for “Data-Driven Optimization for Atlanta Police Zone Design,” written with Yao Xie and He Wang. He was also selected as a finalist for the Best Applied Paper in the 16th INFORMS Workshop on Data Mining and Decision Analytics, for “Early Detection of Covid-19 Hotspots Using Spatio-Temporal Data.”

Election

Alejandro Toriello has been elected vice president/president elect of the INFORMS Transportation Science and Logistics Society, with his term beginning in 2022.

Plenary Addresses

Martin Savelsbergh gave the opening plenary lecture, “Challenges and Opportunities in Crowdsourced Delivery Planning and Operations.”

 Jeff Wu gave a plenary talk, “Analysis-of-Marginal-Tail-Means (ATM): A Robust Method for Discrete Black-Box Optimization,” to the INFORMS QSR Section.

Tutorial

Pascal Van Hentenryck gave a tutorial, “Machine Learning for Optimal Power Flows.”

]]> goberst3 1 1636414506 2021-11-08 23:35:06 1636420590 2021-11-09 01:16:30 0 0 news At the annual INFORMS conference, a number of faculty members and students from ISyE presented plenary addresses and deceived awards for their research.

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2021-11-08T00:00:00-05:00 2021-11-08T00:00:00-05:00 2021-11-08 00:00:00 Shelley Wunder-Smith

H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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652580 652580 image <![CDATA[INFORMS 2021]]> image/jpeg 1636414350 2021-11-08 23:32:30 1636414350 2021-11-08 23:32:30
<![CDATA[ISyE Team Places Sixth in National ARPA-E GO Competition]]> 35757 A team led by David M. McKenney Family Associate Professor Andy Sun in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE) placed sixth out of nine winners in the second round of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) ARPA-E Grid Optimization Competition. Previously, they placed third out of 27 teams in the first round of the competition. The team also includes A. Russell Chandler III Professor Santanu Dey and three Ph.D. students – Amin Gholami, Kaizhao Sun, and Shixuan Zhang – who are all advised by Associate Professor Sun.

The competition includes a series of challenges aimed at developing software management solutions to create a more resilient and secure American electricity grid. The first challenge tasked participating teams with finding solutions to a security-constrained optimal power flow (SCOPF) problem, a fundamental optimization problem in the operation and planning of power grids, while the second challenge expanded on the problem with additional complex constraints, such as unit commitment, line switching, and discretized transformer tap ratio and phase shift.

“Our team investigated the problem structure carefully and deployed various optimization techniques,” said Kaizhao. “Our code consists of two stages. In the first stage, we used parallel computing to explore different problem formulations, and report the best-found solution. In the second stage, we quickly recovered feasible solutions for contingencies, again, through parallelization of the computational tasks, and output them in a robust way.”

The team needed to figure out the optimal decisions for unit commitment – starting up or shutting down a generator, and for line switching – closing or opening a transmission line.

“We dug into a considerable amount of data and observed certain patterns, such as which generators are more likely to incur higher generation costs and which transmission lines are more likely to cause congestions in the network,” Kaizhao explained. “Based on these observations, we developed some efficient strategies that significantly improved our scores.”

Associate Professor Sun praised the team’s work.

“It is a tremendous achievement to develop such a robust and scalable optimization software, which for the first time enables U.S. power grid operators to solve the most complex grid-optimization problems in their daily operation,” he noted. “This is the result of years of hard work. I would like to applaud the three Ph.D. students – Amin, Kaizhao, and Shixuan – for their excellent teamwork, creativity, and perseverance, in addition to Santanu’s support.”

The winning teams will receive a combined total of $2.4 million in prize money, to be used for further development of their technologies. The details of the next step have not been released yet.

“We believe this series of competitions definitely benefits the development of algorithmic software for the modern power grid, and we look forward to learning about the new challenge,” Kaizhao concluded.

]]> goberst3 1 1636413865 2021-11-08 23:24:25 1636420648 2021-11-09 01:17:28 0 0 news The team led by Associate Professor Andy Sun includes includes Professor Santanu Dey and three Ph.D. students – Amin Gholami, Kaizhao Sun, and Shixuan Zhang.

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2021-11-08T00:00:00-05:00 2021-11-08T00:00:00-05:00 2021-11-08 00:00:00 Shelley Wunder-Smith

H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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652558 652558 image <![CDATA[Amin Gholami, Shixuan Zhang, and Kaizhao Sun]]> image/png 1636395762 2021-11-08 18:22:42 1636395785 2021-11-08 18:23:05
<![CDATA[A Summer in Environmental Policy: Q&A with ISyE Student Kira O’Hare]]> 35757 Fourth-year Kira O’Hare from the H. Milton School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE) was able to explore her interest in environmental justice when she interned at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) – a large policy think tank based in Washington, D.C. – in the energy security and climate change program. Throughout the internship this past summer, she worked on a project exploring coal-related socioeconomic dependency in Mpumalanga and Jharkhand, two prominent coal-dependent regions in South Africa and India.

O’Hare co-authored the report Understanding Just Transitions in Coal-Dependent Communities, which was produced by the Just Transition Initiative team in a collaboration between CSIS and Climate Investment Funds (CIF). Just Transition, as defined by the Climate Justice Alliance, is a “vision-led, unifying and place-based set of principles, processes, and practices that build economic and political power to shift from an extractive economy to a regenerative economy.” In this Q&A, O’Hare discusses her involvement with CSIS and her research team’s recommendations from the report.

How did you get connected with CSIS?

I first got involved with this internship through a placement with Georgia Tech’s Strategic Energy Institute Program which connects a student to CSIS to work in their Energy Security and Climate Change program. Prior to this experience, I had an interest in environmental policy, participating in research at Georgia Tech’s Data Science and Policy Lab on a smart cities project focused on addressing housing and energy efficiency in the city of Albany, Georgia.

Were you personally interested in the project topic?

I was placed on this project because I expressed general interest in environmental justice, energy transitions, and climate migration. These topics are of great interest of me, particularly in developing countries, because the world is at a place right now where we cannot afford to have significant increases in greenhouse gas emissions if we want to achieve our goal set out in the Paris Agreement of keeping global warming under 2°C. Particularly in countries with such a large population such as India, the implications of moving away from coal, as opposed to increasing coal production, are huge.

Could you explain the purpose of the paper?

We identified three primary components of just coal transitions in both states: economic diversification, land remediation, and community engagement. The coal ecosystem in these resource-rich areas is very complex. Coal is viewed as a saving grace for these communities since it provides direct, indirect, and induced jobs, provides funding for social projects in coal communities through corporate social revenues, and largely enables municipalities to supply water and electricity services.

Despite coal being a huge component of these states’ economy, there are large research gaps in terms of quantifying the components of the coal ecosystem. Thus, the study we conducted recommends governments and researchers invest in quantifying all elements of the coal ecosystem, such as the number of induced and informal jobs, to understand the scope of the issue.

Why is economic diversification important for a just coal transition?

Moving away from coal requires the region to introduce new economic opportunities, leading to the point of economic diversification. Each region will have its strengths and weaknesses given resource availability, but potential sectors include tourism, agriculture, and renewable energy. We recommended that stakeholders support feasibility and scalability studies for potential diversification sectors by region to better understand job creation potential and how much money the state can make.

What were the findings surrounding land remediation?

After conducting 40+ interviews with local stakeholders, we discovered that currently there are many legacy mines that were abandoned without closure plans, and even the mines and plants with closure plans rarely follow through with them. With land already a scarce resource, polluted land is detrimental to new economic development as well as to human health. We recommend that the government allots adequate funding to address this in addition to ensuring that the regulatory bodies managing the rehabilitation process have sufficient capacity to carry out the law as written. Currently, there is a severe lack of enforcement of the closure plans.

What are the opportunities for community engagement?

Just transition is a new concept, so sensitizing local stakeholders to the concept of just transition is essential as well. International and national philanthropic foundations could support local media to cover just transition topics in regional languages, and think tanks and non-governmental organizations could conduct workshops for local communities. This also means ensuring that underrepresented organizations that we had classified in a stakeholder mapping exercise have a seat at the table in just transition planning. This includes worker unions, activist groups, informal coal workers, and local governments.

What ISyE skills did you utilize in your internship?

The experience was a great introduction to the policy world but with a more technical and research-like approach to policy analysis. I was able to use my data analysis and geographic information system (GIS) skills from my ISyE coursework to create maps to supplement the paper, as well as provide additional statistics regarding the coal ecosystem. ISyE has given me a strong, problem-solving mindset that assisted me in approaching the problem at hand despite not having direct policy experience before.

You can read the entire report here.

]]> goberst3 1 1636161947 2021-11-06 01:25:47 1636420898 2021-11-09 01:21:38 0 0 news Fourth-year Kira O’Hare explored her interest in environmental justice while interning at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in the energy security and climate change program.

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2021-11-05T00:00:00-04:00 2021-11-05T00:00:00-04:00 2021-11-05 00:00:00 Grace Oberst

Communications Assistant
H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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652523 652523 image <![CDATA[Kira O'Hare]]> image/jpeg 1636161684 2021-11-06 01:21:24 1636161684 2021-11-06 01:21:24
<![CDATA[Ashley Elleby: Designing a More Inclusive World]]> 35757 At just under six feet tall, Ashley Elleby (IE 2008) has always had a problem finding clothes that fit. As a young basketball player, she wore a lot of sweats or men’s clothing. But when Elleby realized she wasn’t going to become a professional athlete, she knew she needed some work attire.

“I bought my very first suit from the men’s department,” Elleby said. “My mom tailored it so I could have something suitable to wear to an interview for an internship. That sparked something in me that I wanted to fill this void.”

So in 2011, Elleby began Alyssa Vermell Apparel (Alyssa Vermell is her middle name), a company that created well-fitting, fashionable, and affordable business casual clothing for taller women.

Running her own business wasn’t something Elleby thought she would grow up to do. Her father worked as a computer engineer, and the Elleby household always had the latest computer. At Georgia Tech, she earned a degree from the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering, with a focus on health systems. But after going on to work for Johnson & Johnson, she realized maybe the field wasn’t for her.

“As an engineer, I was working on the back end of things, and I didn’t have opportunities to make decisions,” Elleby explained. “I just followed instructions, and that didn’t match my passion for things like developing strategy or building teams.”

So Elleby switched gears, applying to the business school at Washington University in St. Louis, where she began her clothing company. She then enrolled in fashion school and ran the company on nights and weekends while working as a full-time marketing professional. She quit her job with Pepsi in 2016 and moved to New York, pitching her company to investors and applying for incubator programs. But after a few years, Elleby realized she couldn’t scale the company the way she wanted to without compromising product quality and ethical manufacturing, so she put the business on pause.

In the meantime, she’s found another job she loves. Today, Elleby is the head of growth marketing at Google, leading a global team that leverages data science and predictive algorithms to better understand consumer behavior. As a side project, she signed on to lead a diversity, equity, and inclusion group at Google.

“Google is this huge conglomerate that touches almost every person on this planet, so I want us to be more mindful about how we show up to the world,” Elleby noted. She supported the Google Ads team in developing the first searchable business attribute that allows store and business owners to self-identify as Black-owned so users can quickly identify Black-owned businesses they want to support.

]]> goberst3 1 1635901827 2021-11-03 01:10:27 1635946642 2021-11-03 13:37:22 0 0 news Alumna Ashley Elleby’s career journey has taken her from founding her own clothing company to the head of growth marketing at Google.

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2021-11-02T00:00:00-04:00 2021-11-02T00:00:00-04:00 2021-11-02 00:00:00 Kelley Freund

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652391 652391 image <![CDATA[Ashley Elleby]]> image/jpeg 1635901345 2021-11-03 01:02:25 1635901345 2021-11-03 01:02:25 <![CDATA[Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine: 40 Under 40 Issue]]>
<![CDATA[Autonomous Trucking Collaboration Could Lead to a More Resilient, Affordable Supply Chain]]> 34760 A. Russell Chandler III Chair and Professor Pascal Van Hentenryck is collaborating with Ryder System, Inc. on the industry’s first data-driven study of the potential impact of autonomous trucking.

Van Hentenryck and his team have spent years developing an On-Demand Multimodal Transit System (ODMTS) to address the first- and last-mile problems in public transportation and provide equitable, efficient, and low-cost public transportation options. The multimodal approach uses small on-demand vehicles to take riders to and from their locations to high-frequency bus and rail hubs. Increasing the use of public transit will not only decrease reliance on personal vehicles and reduce traffic congestion and greenhouse gas emissions; it will also increase accessibility to jobs, healthcare, education, and fresh food.

However, when executives from Ryder, a leading logistics and transportation company with more than 235,000 vehicles and 8,600 professional truck drivers, reached out to Van Hentenryck about a collaboration, the research team began to look at the model through a different lens.

“We have been focusing on people mobility and had not looked at other types of transportation,” said Van Hentenryck. “So when Ryder came to us, we were very interested to see if the techniques that we were using for people could apply more generally to freight. In this project specifically, we are looking at how adding autonomous vehicles could unlock additional value.”

Van Hentenryck, who also serves as associate chair for innovation and entrepreneurship and leads the Socially Aware Mobility (SAM) Lab in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE), and his team met with Ryder to better understand the company’s goals and to determine if this multimodal approach could be applied to another system. Working with a company like Ryder gave the team access to large amounts of data and to logistics experts who understand the industry’s current and future challenges.

“There is a lot of back-and-forth between researchers and company representatives in a project like this,” explained Van Hentenryck. “Sometimes the solutions we come up with in the lab will not work in the field, and so you have this iterative process in transforming the research idea into something that is applicable in the field.”

Ryder operates a network of dedicated fleets for its customers, and even with high levels of performance, inflexible transportation lanes and schedules often lead to inefficiencies.

“We learned that sometimes these trucks are traveling many miles completely empty, which is not cost effective,” Van Hentenryck said. “We started looking at how we can avoid these ‘empty miles.’”

To meet customer needs, Ryder must execute a large number of freight movements across the country. The team realized that by breaking each trip into three sections — origin-to-hub, hub-to-hub, and hub-to-destination — it could organize a network using both regular and autonomous trucks. The first and last segments would rely on smaller human-operated vehicles, since these will typically occur in more densely populated locations. Connections between hubs would rely solely on autonomous trucks (those without a human driver), generally in sparsely populated, controlled environments like highways and exit ramps.

“Safety is especially important to our researchers and to Ryder, and we take it very seriously,” said Van Hentenryck. “Keeping the autonomous trucks on the longer-haul middle leg, and human drivers in the first and final legs, schedules autonomy on lengthy, often overnight trips, and places drivers in dense environments where there are many other variables at play like left-hand turns, stop signs, pedestrians, etc.”

The autonomous hub-to-hub aspect allows Van Hentenryck’s model to be optimized in a whole new way because it doesn’t depend on having drivers available — autonomous trucks are extremely flexible. This can deliver significant projected savings for Ryder if the model is implemented.

“The whole team was stunned by the projected savings from this project,” said Van Hentenryck. “I have worked on many different transportation problems during my career, and 1% improvement is magical. In this case, improvement goes from 29% to 40%, depending on the price of autonomous trucks and the cost of operating them. Also, the flexibility to move these autonomous trucks around gave us the ability to optimize the business model in ways people didn’t even consider before.”

The agility of the new model also provides better reactions to supply chain disruptions, because it can adapt more quickly to a new situation.

“Autonomous driving technology is poised to be incredibly disruptive to our industry in safety, service, and cost. As such, it was clear to us that this was not something we could wait to figure out or be handed a playbook. This collaboration with Georgia Tech was an advancement in our commitment to becoming a leader in fostering innovation and bringing it to our customers,” said Michael Plasencia, group director of new product strategy at Ryder.

“We are designing a much more resilient supply chain logistics system, and that is because we are thinking differently,” Van Hentenryck added. “This technology provides more resilience, more flexibility, and is more affordable.

“This project is only a first step. The whole field of transportation, logistics, and supply chains is being transformed by technology, automation, and the changes in attitudes and expectations that emerged during Covid-19. We are looking forward to working with Ryder on many of these.”

 

View Ryder’s press release

The Impact of Autonomous Trucking: A Case Study if Ryder's Dedicated Transportation Network

]]> Laurie Haigh 1 1635274927 2021-10-26 19:02:07 1635854208 2021-11-02 11:56:48 0 0 news A. Russell Chandler III Chair and Professor Pascal Van Hentenryck and his team look at transportation through a different lens.

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2021-11-02T00:00:00-04:00 2021-11-02T00:00:00-04:00 2021-11-02 00:00:00 Laurie Haigh
Communications Manager

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652091 652091 image <![CDATA[Associate Chair for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and A. Russell Chandler III Chair and Professor Pascal Van Hentenryck (center) with Postdoctoral Researcher Kevin Dalmeijer (left) and undergraduate student Samuel Baskin]]> image/png 1635273806 2021-10-26 18:43:26 1635273806 2021-10-26 18:43:26 <![CDATA[The Impact of Autonomous Trucking: A Case Study if Ryder's Dedicated Transportation Network]]> <![CDATA[Ryder Teams Up with Georgia Tech for Industry’s First Data-Driven Study on Impact of Autonomous Trucking]]> <![CDATA[Team Led by ISyE’s Pascal Van Hentenryck Awarded $20M NSF Grant to Fund Center for Study of AI and Optimization]]> <![CDATA[Pascal Van Hentenryck’s Socially Aware Mobility Lab Begins Its Work]]> <![CDATA[Ryder & ISyE - The Impact of Autonomous Trucking]]>
<![CDATA[Alex Syriopoulos Overcomes Life-Changing Injury and Earns Two Georgia Tech Degrees]]> 35757 Faced by adversity, one Georgia Tech student gained the confidence to succeed with the help of a supportive community.

Alex Syriopoulos (IE 2020, M.S. GMC 2021) was a third-year student in the H. Milton School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE) when an unexplained brain hemorrhage left him paralyzed after a coma. With determination and intensive physical therapy, he achieved an incredible physical recovery, and two years after the near-death experience, he was ready for his next challenge: going back to college.

When Syriopoulos returned to Georgia Tech in 2019, most of his friends had already graduated. But thanks to his outgoing nature and the encouragement of a mentor – introduced by Jorge Breton, the director of Hispanic Initiatives – he started building new networks for himself. He also unexpectedly reconnected with a first-year dorm friend, who became one of his team members for Senior Design. His academic advisor, Lauren Silver, provided the guidance he needed to get his course load back on track, and he never felt alone during his return to Tech.

To catch up with his academic studies, Syriopoulos discovered he needed to review some ISyE fundamentals. He also had to retake one of the courses he had been enrolled in during the semester of his injury when he realized he had forgotten most of the material. Despite adjusting well to being a student again, he still encountered unexpected difficulties.   

“Because I'm blind in my left peripheral vision, I can sometimes misread a question,” said Syriopoulos. “I once read the number 250 as 50, and that happened during a final exam.” 

However, he was blown away by the approachability and helpfulness of his professors, who were quick to accommodate him. Damon Williams, senior lecturer and director of the Center for Academics, Success, and Equity, was exceptional in making sure he had enough time to take his quizzes. 

Syriopoulos was also thankful for ISyE's Gunter Sharp, emeritus professor, and He Wang, Colonel John B. Day Early Career Professor and assistant professor, who helped provide smooth transitions to online classes during Covid-19. Outside of ISyE, he also recalls having many engaging conversations with Mikhail Klimenko, who taught his international economics class. 

As he worked toward his long-awaited graduation, Syriopoulos started interviewing for a full-time job. Several companies expressed interest in hiring him, including Accenture. However, securing an offer proved challenging because many companies put recruiting on hold during the pandemic. 

Meanwhile, Syriopoulos received an email from the School of Modern Languages (ML) about the new master’s degree in global media and cultures (MS-GMC). The one-year program, a joint degree with the School of Literature, Media, and Communication (LMC), provides advanced training in communication and media and develops expertise in a critical global language.

The globally focused degree intrigued Syriopoulos, who was born in Greece, is half-Greek and half-Colombian, speaks multiple languages, and interned with MasterCard Latin America. This background made him a natural candidate for the program. And after meeting with Jenny Strakovsky, former associate director of ML graduate studies and career education, as well as speaking with his former Spanish professors, he realized the degree would complement his technical engineering background by enhancing his communication skills. 

“A lot of companies had already told me that they were looking for people who understand data and are capable of explaining technical information to non-technical people,” said Syriopoulos.

The master’s program was an incredible option while he waited for the job market to improve, and he received the Foreign Language and Area Studies fellowship to help with the expense. In 2020, Syriopoulous joined the second cohort of the MS-GMC program with a concentration in Spanish.   

“The program was honestly a blessing,” he said. “I learned a lot, and I met some really incredible people -- professors and students alike.” 

Two of Syriopoulos' favorite courses centered around environmental theory – a special topics class on 21st-century environmental philosophy with Thomas Hugh Crawford, LMC associate professor, and sustainable development with ML Assistant Professor Miguel Rosas Buendia. In particular, he appreciated Buendia’s native Peruvian perspective on the environmental challenges in Latin America. 

For his master’s thesis project, Syriopoulos performed marketing analysis for Saving the Amazon, a Colombian NGO aiding the reforestation effort of the Amazon rainforest. The nonprofit takes funds from companies trying to reduce their carbon footprint and gives them to communities indigenous to the Colombian rainforest. In turn, the communities take control of planting new trees in their territories. Syriopoulos emphasizes that it's important to ensure these marginalized communities get the resources they need to amplify their voice in the global discussion over climate change, while also leveraging their age-old wisdom and traditions to sustainably reforest the Amazon rainforests.

While working on his thesis, Syriopoulos benefitted from the expertise of Crawford, one of his advisors, as well as Antonio Cardentey, a second advisor from the ML department. He also received guidance from Strakovsky.

In the middle of his master’s program, Syriopoulos received a call from Accenture offering him a position in their Atlanta office as a business and integration arch analyst. The role was a perfect match for him, as being able to work and collaborate with people from diverse backgrounds is crucial in consulting.

Thrilled to accept the offer, Syriopoulos graduated and began his full-time job. As he moves forward with his career, he is grateful to all the friends and professors who shaped his time at the Institute.

“We have a very close, beautiful community of people who help each other out,” said Syriopoulos. “Georgia Tech has been one of best experiences I've had in my life, and it's probably the most defining one for my character.”  

In the future, he is interested in giving back to the Shepherd Center, the hospital for spinal cord and brain injury rehabilitation, where he received treatment for his injury. Furthermore, with his proximity to campus, he looks forward to the opportunity to stay active in the Georgia Tech community. 

]]> goberst3 1 1635370713 2021-10-27 21:38:33 1684341426 2023-05-17 16:37:06 0 0 news Surrounded by supportive faculty, staff, and students from across the Institute, ISyE alumnus Alex Syriopoulous earned his way to Double Jacket status.

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2021-10-27T00:00:00-04:00 2021-10-27T00:00:00-04:00 2021-10-27 00:00:00 Grace Oberst

Communications Assistant
H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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652169 652169 image <![CDATA[Alex Syriopoulos]]> image/jpeg 1635369793 2021-10-27 21:23:13 1635369793 2021-10-27 21:23:13
<![CDATA[ISyE Alumnus Theodore Colbert III: 2022 Black Engineer of the Year]]> 35757 Theodore Colbert III (IE 1996), president and CEO of Boeing Global Services, The Boeing Company, will be honored as the 2022 Black Engineer of the Year (BEYA) at the 36th annual BEYA STEM Conference. In addition to being an alumnus of the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE), Colbert earned a bachelor’s degree in science at Morehouse College as part of a dual-degree program with Georgia Tech.

Colbert has served in various roles at The Boeing Company, including chief information officer (CIO). As CIO, he launched the Analytic Lab for Aerospace Data at Carnegie Mellon University with the goal of using machine learning, language technologies, and artificial intelligence to leverage big data produced by the design, construction, and operation of modern aircraft.

“The amount of data created today is unprecedented. But it’s not about the data on its own, it’s what you do with it,” said Colbert. “Through the products Boeing powers, we are applying scientific processes to data to solve our customers’ most pressing problems today while creating a world of limitless possibilities for the future.”

At Boeing, Colbert has also worked on several information technology (IT) and analytics programs, in addition to leading the IT business systems organization, where he managed the computing application systems that support various business units in the corporation. Prior to joining Boeing, Colbert worked for Citigroup and spent over 10 years at Ford Motor Company in the IT organization.

Colbert has been drawn to technology since he was a child, recalling when he acquired his first Commodore 64, an 8-bit home computer, in 1982. “To me, it was like a game, but what I was doing was really programming,” Colbert said. “The challenge connected me to the computer at a young age.”

In 2017, Colbert won a Morehouse College “Bennie Leadership” award for Excellence in Business. Recipients of the award are those who go “in advance of others to direct or guide them” and have led significant accomplishments for an organization. When it comes to success, Colbert has an important philosophy about mentoring: “We have to influence each other to be better by providing constant encouragement, feedback, and help,” he noted.

Growing up, Colbert’s parents always emphasized valuing people and diversity, which is clearly demonstrated in his leadership and service. Highly active in his community, he serves as a member of the board of directors for the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and the Georgia Tech Advisory Board.

You can read the full article about Colbert and his career here.

]]> goberst3 1 1635198204 2021-10-25 21:43:24 1635338184 2021-10-27 12:36:24 0 0 news ISyE alumnus Ted Colbert III will be honored as the 2022 Black Engineer of the Year (BEYA) at the 36th annual BEYA STEM Conference.

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2021-10-25T00:00:00-04:00 2021-10-25T00:00:00-04:00 2021-10-25 00:00:00 Shelley Wunder-Smith

H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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652044 652044 image <![CDATA[Theodore Colbert III]]> image/jpeg 1635197944 2021-10-25 21:39:04 1635197944 2021-10-25 21:39:04
<![CDATA[ISyE Student Giorgio Trettenero Takes Pride in Diverse Hispanic Background]]> 35866 “Complex” is one way of describing Giorgio Trettenero's Hispanic background. Trettenero was born in Peru; he then spent ages five to eight in Chile because of his father's job, and subsequently lived in Colombia until coming to Georgia Tech for college. He's currently a third-year student in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE).

“I do feel very connected to Peru, but I spent a lot of time in Colombia,” Trettenero  said. “Those are my deepest roots, but Peru is where my family is. I wouldn’t say I have a favorite country, but instead, something to love from both places.”

For Trettenero, the hardest part of moving frequently was having to leave family, friends, the culture, and the geography of each country behind. “But you can always take something with you,” he noted. 

Trettenero has never stopped eating Peruvian food and listening to Peruvian and Colombian music, and he has kept letters and a Chilean flag from his friends in Chile. He also keeps a time capsule in Colombia filled with pictures with friends, memories from events, and souvenirs from the different countries he’s lived in. Even in Georgia, he has found a taste of home at an international farmers market that carries Peruvian, Colombian, and Chilean foods and candies.

Trettenero has also identified benefits from living in various countries, as it has made him more open to meeting different people and stopped him from making assumptions.

“I think even when coming to Tech and meeting a lot of other people from different Hispanic places, the main thing you notice is the presence of stereotypes,” he explained. “Some people have never left Peru, Chile, or Colombia before. People from Peru will say stereotypical stuff about people from Chile, like commenting on how they speak. When I hear that, I’ll say, ‘I’ve lived there. I know them. I don’t think you should say that.’”

At Georgia Tech, Trettenero has found a tight community in the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), through which he has met friends who make him feel like he’s back at home. He has also gained many professional experiences provided by the organization.

“In STEM, even though it’s growing as a field in Latin America, job prospects don’t look that good,” Trettenero said. “Whenever we do talk about opportunities for Hispanics in STEM, we talk about moving to the U.S. or Europe.”

Now that he is at the Institute, Trettenero has been taking advantage of every opportunity possible to enhance his trajectory toward a career in STEM. His current career goals are to start out in software engineering and then later move into a management  role.

“The Hispanic presence in STEM has been growing very rapidly,” he said. “Something I appreciate a lot is diversity. I think the best thing about having Hispanic people in STEM jobs is being able to provide new perspectives to you and the company as a whole.”

]]> afu34 1 1634828110 2021-10-21 14:55:10 1634829778 2021-10-21 15:22:58 0 0 news ISyE third-year Giorgio Trettenero shares his unique experience and perspective that come from having a complex Hispanic background.

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2021-10-21T00:00:00-04:00 2021-10-21T00:00:00-04:00 2021-10-21 00:00:00 Angeline Fu

Communications Assistant

H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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651906 651906 image <![CDATA[Giorgio Trettenero]]> image/png 1634827476 2021-10-21 14:44:36 1634827476 2021-10-21 14:44:36
<![CDATA[Georgia Tech Biketober Feature: ISyE’s Valerie Thomas]]> 35757 Valerie Thomas is the Anderson-Interface Chair of Natural Systems and professor in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering and the School of Public Policy. Her research in energy and materials efficiency, sustainability, and industrial ecology, informs her belief that we can positively impact climate change through creativity and innovation, and this produces a person committed to sustainable living, who rides her bike every day and everywhere.    

How long have you been commuting by bike?

Two years. I started commuting using the ride-share bikes.

Why do you choose to commute by bike?

It's faster than walking. Also, biking makes it much easier to get to different meetings around campus.

How far is your commute, and how long does it take you to ride versus drive?

My commute is 1.4 miles, which takes 12 minutes riding slowly. It would take quite a bit more than 12 minutes to drive; first, I would have to drive from my ninth-floor spot in the parking garage attached to my condo building, then I'd have to drive five minutes to campus; finally, I would have to park and walk to my office.

How does your bike commute impact your day?

It gives me a bit of a lift to get outside. Whether getting outside in the morning, or later in the afternoon, it's great to be out.

What practical advice do you have for someone considering commuting by bike?

Get a rack for the back of your bike and pannier bags that hang on each side. That is much easier than trying to get all your things in a backpack.

Where else do you ride, beyond your commute?

Everywhere! I like to ride on the Beltline and other paths and trails; I bike to the Fulton County library on Ponce de Leon Avenue, to volunteer at Free99Fridge in O4W, as well as the Piedmont Park Greenmarket, Trader Joe's, and to church. I take my bike on MARTA out to Sandy Springs and bike the five miles from there to my cousins' house.  

Explore the Student Sustainability Living Guide, which features easy tips you can implement to positively impact the environment.

]]> goberst3 1 1634776644 2021-10-21 00:37:24 1634822588 2021-10-21 13:23:08 0 0 news In this interview, Valerie Thomas shares her experience riding her bike to work and her advice for people considering commuting by bike.

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2021-10-20T00:00:00-04:00 2021-10-20T00:00:00-04:00 2021-10-20 00:00:00 Rebecca James

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651891 651891 image <![CDATA[Valerie Thomas]]> image/jpeg 1634776357 2021-10-21 00:32:37 1634776357 2021-10-21 00:32:37
<![CDATA[Caroline Singer: Student Lead for the Center for Academics, Success, and Equity]]> 35757 Fourth-year Caroline Singer from the H. Milton School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE) is passionate about helping other students, and she has been involved since its development with the newly launched Center for Academics, Success, and Equity (CASE), an interdisciplinary center that encompasses many programs designed to support the entire ISyE community. 

Singer first met Damon P. Williams, senior lecturer and director of CASE, as a student in one of his classes. She started working as his student assistant in Summer 2020, primarily focusing on ISYE 2027, but also helping with tutoring, converting courses into online formats, and other projects.

As Williams began implementing new programs to promote academic growth and professional development for ISyE students, he invited Singer to assist with these initiatives. Now, she serves as the head student lead for CASE, working with the center’s large team of student assistants to make sure everything runs smoothly.

“The mission of CASE – to promote success for all students – is something that rings home to me,” said Singer. “It means a lot that Damon is looking out for students in all of these different ways, and it was definitely something that I wanted to be a part of.”

Each of CASE’s three pillars, which (as the name suggests) includes academics, success, and equity, has a student assistant responsible for that sector’s programs. In addition to student lead, Singer has taken on the role of academics lead, which involves running the ISyE tutoring center. She also helped to create a presentation for the undergraduate and graduate teaching assistant (TA) orientations.

Another major program run by CASE is MentIEs, an initiative Singer helped to develop that connects ISyE students with successful alumni mentors who share their industry experience. Students participating in the program meet once a month in a group with their mentor and two other student mentees.

“The goal of MentIEs is to make sure that not only are the students prepared academically, but they are prepared professionally for when they get out into the real world,” said Singer.

Organizing MentIEs virtually because of Covid-19 was a challenge, but the pilot program received overwhelmingly positive feedback from the mentees. The students enjoyed furthering their professional development as well as building relationships within their mentoring groups, and almost all of them said they would recommend the program to other ISyE students.

In addition, Singer also works on the equity side of CASE and is excited about what the center is doing to provide additional resources to students.

“One of the equity initiatives being developed, Secure Space Allies, is intended to create safe spaces for underrepresented and marginalized persons within ISyE. It’s a spinoff of Safe Space, the LGBTQIA Resource Center’s ally training program,” Singer explained. “Faculty members can get trained to be a secure space ally, so students have a place to go to talk to someone when they feel discouraged or have an issue.”

In the future, she hopes other departments at Georgia Tech will develop similar resources for their students, especially something like Secure Space Allies that will help students feel more included. Being involved with CASE has been a meaningful experience for Singer, and she enjoys partnering with Williams to support ISyE students with these new programs.

]]> goberst3 1 1634262109 2021-10-15 01:41:49 1684341415 2023-05-17 16:36:55 0 0 news Fourth-year Caroline Singer is the student lead and academics lead for CASE, an interdisciplinary center encompassing many programs that support the ISyE community. 

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2021-10-14T00:00:00-04:00 2021-10-14T00:00:00-04:00 2021-10-14 00:00:00 Grace Oberst

Communications Assistant
H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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651728 651728 image <![CDATA[Damon P. Williams and Caroline Singer]]> image/jpeg 1634261353 2021-10-15 01:29:13 1634261353 2021-10-15 01:29:13
<![CDATA[Valerie Thomas on How Consumers and Governments Can Reduce Energy Consumption]]> 35757 Energy is one of the biggest household expenses in the United States, and with the rise in global temperatures, saving energy is critical for reducing utility costs. Valerie Thomas, professor and Anderson-Interface Chair of Natural Systems from the H. Milton School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE), offers her perspective on energy efficiency in the home.

“The biggest mistake consumers make is to think that the first step is to buy new equipment or technology,” said Thomas in the Q&A. “People can run their homes with energy efficiency in mind. Some big energy-saving tips: heating and air conditioning use a lot of energy, so look for ways to turn that way down.”

When asked if the government should continue to incentivize consumers and businesses to invest in energy-efficient projects, Thomas explained that energy efficiency standards for buildings should be included in building codes and appliance standards, but that government subsidies can support the testing and adoption of new technological innovations.

“Energy utilities can subsidize energy efficiency improvements because it saves money for the utilities,” said Thomas in the article. “By reducing demand, utilities do not have to buy the most expensive energy and they can save money and provide better service even in very hot or very cold weather.”

You can read the full interview here.

]]> goberst3 1 1634178935 2021-10-14 02:35:35 1634575198 2021-10-18 16:39:58 0 0 news In this Q&A, Valerie Thomas, professor and Anderson-Interface Chair of Natural Systems, offers her perspective on energy efficiency in the home.

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2021-10-13T00:00:00-04:00 2021-10-13T00:00:00-04:00 2021-10-13 00:00:00 Shelley Wunder-Smith

H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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<![CDATA[SCL Welcomes South Shore's Claude Bernier to its Industry Advisory Board]]> 27233 Claude Bernier has been with South Shore Furniture since 1994 and currently serves as VP of Information Technology. South Shore Furniture, founded in 1940 and incorporated in Quebec, sells ready-to-assemble and fully assembled furniture in Canada, Mexico, and the United States. In 2005, South Shore began selling its products online and adopted the dropship business model. It now has two manufacturing plants in Quebec, Canada, one in Juarez, Mexico and three distribution centers in the United States. During his 27 years with South Shore, Claude has led two major transformations to support business growth and now is in charge of the organization's digital transformation.

Claude brings 37 years of experience and leadership in information technology, process automation, enterprise architecture, and software implementation. His expertise includes building and leading successful teams focused on results, improving business processes based on business strategy and long-term company vision and goals, and delivering value-added to internal and external customers. Prior to South Shore Furniture, Claude was an information technology consultant specializing in the wood and paper industry. 

Mr. Bernier lives in Quebec City, Canada. When he his not working he enjoys hiking and camping in National Parks across North America.

The Georgia Tech Supply Chain and Logistics Institute is honored to have Claude join us to help determine SCL's future direction.

]]> Andy Haleblian 1 1634240904 2021-10-14 19:48:24 1634241038 2021-10-14 19:50:38 0 0 news Claude Bernier is VP of Information Technology at South Shore Furniture. Claude brings 37 years of experience and leadership in information technology, process automation, enterprise architecture, and software implementation.

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2021-10-11T00:00:00-04:00 2021-10-11T00:00:00-04:00 2021-10-11 00:00:00 651723 651723 image <![CDATA[Claude Bernier, VP of Information Technology, South Shore Furniture]]> image/jpeg 1634240697 2021-10-14 19:44:57 1634242179 2021-10-14 20:09:39 <![CDATA[SCL Industry Advisory Board members]]>
<![CDATA[Joining GTSF’s Investments Committee Inspired Abhishek Mattipalli to Pursue a Future in Finance]]> 35757 Fourth-year Abhishek Mattipalli was a first-year student in the H. Milton School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE) when he attended an information session with the Investments Committee (IC). At the time, he had no idea this chance decision would lead him to a career in financial services.

Part of the Georgia Tech Student Foundation (GTSF), the IC manages the Institute's $2 million endowment that provides funding for projects for campus organizations – the largest student-run philanthropic endowment in the nation. As a newcomer, Mattipalli went through a mentorship program that taught him the basics of investing, accounting, and finance.

After completing this 10-week program, which included assessments and a final presentation, he was officially accepted as a member, called an “analyst.” The organization of the club is modelled after the S&P 500 sectors, and he chose to join the energy sector. Immediately, he began working on a presentation for an energy company that his sector was looking to purchase.

During weekly IC meetings for the entire organization, sectors give stock presentations, which are divided into three categories. Pitches are initial presentations of companies the IC does not currently own, and these are used to gauge whether to present with the intent to buy. Presentations are more detailed than pitches and include further information on why the IC should invest in a new company.

Lastly, for companies already owned by the IC, sectors present revaluations – known as “revals” – to announce any updates and make a final recommendation to hold the company or sell either all or part of the IC’s stake in it.

In his second year, Mattipalli landed an internship at Phillips 66, an oil and gas refining company based in Houston. He worked in the clean products trading group, building a tool to streamline payment calculations of products shipped across the Colonial Pipeline – the largest pipeline system for refined oil products in the nation, which stretches from Texas to New York. He credits this opportunity to his involvement with the IC, which enabled him to effectively speak to his interest in the energy market.

“When it comes to recruiting for jobs in financial services, employers look very favorably on the Investments Committee because there aren’t that many colleges with a completely student-run fund that can give you that kind of experience,” he said.

The IC is open to all majors. Mattipalli arrived at Georgia Tech as a computer science major; realizing that he was more interested in industrial engineering or business, he ultimately switched to ISyE because of his passion for math. He knew he was gaining valuable knowledge about finance while working with the IC, but he wanted to also have the technical background ISyE provides.

As Mattipalli continued with the IC, he was promoted to the energy sector head and then a director. Now, he’s the chief financial officer, acting as a liaison between the IC and GTSF, where he serves on both the board of trustees and the executive board.

He’s also involved with GTSF’s Accel Program, which helps students pursuing a career in financial services by providing resources such as networking, technical training, and resume reviews. Preparation is crucial, as recruitment in industries like banking and private equity is highly competitive, with job offers usually made a year in advance for both internships and full-time positions. To date, everyone who went through the program has placed at a financial institution.

“Not only is it indicative of Accel as a program, but it’s also indicative of the quality of students that Georgia Tech has to offer,” said Mattipalli.

At Accel, he’s the director of development, focusing on holistic growth to give students the confidence to succeed. He prepares resume workshops and step-by-step technical guides using his own experience from going through the intensive internship recruiting process, which typically consists of many networking calls and interviews, both technical and behavioral, in order to land an offer.

In his third year, Mattipalli interned at Evercore as an investment banking analyst. The internship began with two weeks of training, after which he was placed on six projects of varying length ranging from one week to the whole summer. He gained exposure to the many different types of products and services the bank offers, as well as to their high-profile clients.

“To be in the same room as C-suite executives and hear their thoughts while having a responsibility on a project they are going to go to market with – it was a really cool experience,” he said.

Now in the last year of his studies, Mattipalli has already accepted a full-time offer as an analyst at Roark Capital, a private equity firm that specializes in consumer, retail, business service, and franchise companies. His new role will allow him to stay in Atlanta, and he is excited to be able to stay close to friends and family.

Discovering his passion for investing and starting a career in the financial services industry would not be possible without the Investments Committee, and he is thankful for all his friends and mentors who helped and inspired him.

“The relationships and skills I have been able to build through the Investments Committee have opened many doors for me, and I am extremely grateful to have gotten this opportunity at Georgia Tech,” said Mattipalli.

]]> goberst3 1 1633555392 2021-10-06 21:23:12 1634575640 2021-10-18 16:47:20 0 0 news Fourth-year Abhishek Mattipalli currently serves as the Investments Committee’s chief financial officer and is also on GTSF’s board of trustees and the executive board.

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2021-10-06T00:00:00-04:00 2021-10-06T00:00:00-04:00 2021-10-06 00:00:00 Grace Oberst

Communications Assistant
H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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<![CDATA[Interdisciplinary Team Led by ISyE’s Yao Xie Awarded $1M NSF Grant to Study Deep Learning Algorithms]]> 35757 The National Science Foundation has awarded a three-year, $1 million grant to a team led by Yao Xie, Harold R. and Mary Anne Nash Early Career Professor and associate professor in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE). Xie, who is also the associate director for machine learning and data science in Georgia Tech’s Center for Machine Learning, will study “Bridging Statistical Hypothesis Tests and Deep Learning for Reliability and Computational Efficiency.”

“There have been enormous changes in the fields of machine learning and artificial intelligence, with deep learning algorithms developed that have been quite disruptive,” Xie said. “But in theoretical terms, we don’t understand very well how and why these algorithms, which use complex neural networks, work the way they do.”

Her project aims to build a bridge between statistical hypothesis testing and modern machine learning, leveraging deep learning to develop efficient, powerful testing tools for high-dimensional and complex data (akin to the role hypothesis testing has played in previous decades), and also use-testing to develop principled validation tools for machine learning models and provide the foundation of deep models themselves. It’s essential to push the theoretical understanding of deep learning algorithms, so they have what Xie calls “proof of reliability”; in other words, users can know whether or not these algorithms will be reliable in practical situations, such as with stochastic power systems or supply chain issues. Other end-use cases include disease outbreak detection and healthcare systems.

The research tasks are built on multidisciplinary expertise and strong collaborations between the project’s co-PIs: These include ISyE faculty members George Lan, A. Russell Chandler III Professor, and Tuo Zhao, assistant professor; Mark Davenport, associate professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering; and Xiuyuan Cheng, assistant professor of mathematics at Duke University.

]]> goberst3 1 1633478582 2021-10-06 00:03:02 1634241266 2021-10-14 19:54:26 0 0 news Yao Xie’s project aims to build a bridge between statistical hypothesis testing and modern machine learning.

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2021-10-05T00:00:00-04:00 2021-10-05T00:00:00-04:00 2021-10-05 00:00:00 Shelley Wunder-Smith

H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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<![CDATA[ISyE Doctoral Student Fellowship Recipient]]> 35757 Haden Boone, Beerman Fellow
The Ronald J. and Carol T. Beerman Presidential Fellowship enables and enhances the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering’s (ISyE’s) ability to attract and retain graduate students to pursue their degrees and facilitate their work at the Stewart School.

Advisor: Assistant Professor Mathieu Dahan
Focus area: Operations Research

Haden Boone is researching optimization techniques to solve a network inspection problem where a defender places a number of sensors according to a probability distribution to detect attacks on targets of varying criticality from a strategic opponent. The assumption is that detection is imperfect, and that detectors have a probability of failure associated with both the location of the sensor and the monitored target. To put it into perspective, this research could be used to devise a police patrol routing system with limited resources that minimizes the number of undetected crimes or attacks on critical targets such as banks, schools, or other high value/populated areas.

“The furthering of math and statistics, and in particular their practical application to unintuitive areas, has always been an aspiration of mine. From the moment I took my first ISyE class I fell in love with the major, and after realizing that I had the potential and the opportunity to make an impact in the field, the decision to stay at Georgia Tech — the most prestigious institution in optimization — was a no-brainer,” said Boone. “Perhaps more impactful, however, is my desire to teach at the collegiate level. After spending four years surrounded by some of the best and brightest engineers, how could I not want to stick around if it meant I had the chance to shape the most brilliant minds in the industry?  

“Receiving the inaugural Beerman Fellowship is a huge honor, and it serves to validate my hard work over the past four years at Georgia Tech. This fellowship will give me the opportunity to bring my passions and ambitions in the ISyE field to reality, and I hope to give back to the industry, the Institute, and the ISyE program what it has given to me tenfold.”

Jorge Huertas, Ryder Fellow
The Ryder Fellowship supports graduate students working on innovative ISyE efforts to analyze and address problems and challenges that affect the safety of autonomous vehicles.

Advisor: A. Russell Chandler III Chair and Professor Pascal Van Hentenryck
Focus area: Operations Research

Jorge Huertas is analyzing how to optimize middle-mile freight transportation with autonomous vehicles and coordinate it with first- and last-mile logistics. To accomplish this, potential transportation costs are reduced by using real-operations data as input to an optimization model that minimizes total empty driving miles. Research currently underway focuses on decomposing this optimization model into a column-generation algorithm that obtains high-quality solutions efficiently, and the ability to scale them nationwide.

Hanyu Zhang, Seth Bonder Fellow
The Bonder Fellowship supports graduate and postdoctoral students working with Dr. Pascal Van Hentenryck’s outreach programs in ISyE, including the Seth Bonder Camp in Computational and Data Science for Engineering and associated activities.

Advisor: A. Russell Chandler III Chair and Professor Pascal Van Hentenryck
Focus area: Machine Learning

Hanyu Zhang is interested in modeling and forecasting large dynamic systems, particularly transportation systems and electrical grids. Her research includes ridership prediction and traffic flow prediction, capturing the intrinsic spatiotemporal behavior of transportation systems. She is currently working on forecasting renewable energy production for electrical grids.

]]> goberst3 1 1632433160 2021-09-23 21:39:20 1634241351 2021-10-14 19:55:51 0 0 news Ph.D. students Haden Boone, Jorge Huertas, and Hanyu Zhang are the recipients of three ISyE fellowships. You can learn more about them in the profiles published here.

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2021-09-23T00:00:00-04:00 2021-09-23T00:00:00-04:00 2021-09-23 00:00:00 Shelley Wunder-Smith

H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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<![CDATA[ISyE Doctoral Student Spotlight]]> 35757 ARDEN BAXTER // Ph.D. student, Operations Research

With innovative research projects in healthcare, it is no surprise Arden Baxter received a prestigious Graduate Research Fellowship from the National Science Foundation. Her work in humanitarian logistics explores how to allocate scarce resources to meet the most demand, specifically in disaster management scenarios where different resource types must work in coordination.

“In a hurricane setting, you could have flooding in an area but also people who are hurt and need EMS [emergency medical services], necessitating coordination between water rescue services and EMS to get those people out of their homes and treated,” Baxter explained.

She has also been involved in disease modeling for Covid-19, studying the benefits and consequences of nonpharmaceutical interventions, such as voluntary quarantine and school closure, and how they affected the people who were homebound.

“I knew that I wanted to do something where I felt like I was making a difference,” said Baxter. “I've always had this passion for service, and operations research is a great way to combine math and service into one.”

HENRY YUCHI // Ph.D. student, Machine Learning

After studying at the University of Cambridge to earn his undergraduate and master’s degrees in engineering, Henry Yuchi was drawn to Georgia Tech by the diversity of ISyE research and his interest in the interface of engineering, data science, and statistics.

“Across the country, and Europe as well, it is very rare to find a data science or machine learning program in the engineering department,” said Yuchi.

He is studying low-rank matrix completion as well as computer experiments with multiple mesh density variables — work that earned him a student paper award from the American Statistical Association. His research tackles the engineering problem of using computer simulation software to separate a very large model into mesh cells, or boxes, to make estimates of items such as flow speed and velocity.

“I’m trying to find a scheme where we can use different sizes of cells to run different experiments, then combine all the solutions together to improve the accuracy of the experiments, while using fewer computational resources,” Yuchi explained.

JIALEI CHEN // Ph.D. 2021, Industrial Engineering

Jialei Chen has been a research assistant at the Georgia Tech Manufacturing Institute, taking part in interdisciplinary research focused on data analytics and its applications to manufacturing and healthcare. One of his projects, a collaboration with Piedmont Heart Institute, proposes a surgical planning framework to treat aortic stenosis, a severe heart disease caused by the narrowing of the aortic valve. The current procedure, which involves inserting a stent, is a standardized treatment with limited customization.

“Our ambition is to personalize this surgery procedure for the specific patient,” said Chen. “We try to understand through computer simulations and 3D printing experiments which surgery procedure is the best for the patient.”

His work across multiple research areas has earned him the Ellis R. Ott Scholarship from the American Society for Quality, as well as many first-place awards at student paper competitions. Now that his Ph.D. is completed, he will continue his path in academia as an assistant professor in the department of statistics at the University of Georgia.

]]> goberst3 1 1632363109 2021-09-23 02:11:49 1634241690 2021-10-14 20:01:30 0 0 news Arden Baxter, Henry Yuchi, and Jialei Chen are three of ISyE's outstanding Ph.D. students. You can learn more about them in the profiles published here.

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2021-09-22T00:00:00-04:00 2021-09-22T00:00:00-04:00 2021-09-22 00:00:00 Grace Oberst

Communications Assistant
H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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<![CDATA[Get to Know ISyE’s Newest Advisory Board Members]]> 35757 Ron Beerman, Laticia Khalif, Jennifer McKeehan, Evren Ozkaya, and Amy Wheelus joined the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE) Advisory Board in the summer of 2021.

These five, along with 15 other distinguished professional and community leaders, serve as a sounding board for the school chair in an advisory capacity and assist with development goals. Each new member will serve a four-year term (2021-25). Scott Herren (IE 1984), executive vice president and chief financial officer of Cisco, was named the advisory board’s new chair, and Kathryn Cooper (IE 1990), president of World Connections, was named vice chair. Both will serve a one-year term in these roles.

Ron Beerman (IE 1973) is founder and chairman of the board for Profitmaster Displays, Inc., a company that has grown to become the leading supplier of merchandising and point-of-purchase displays for the soft drink and packaged beverage industry. Prior to this role, he was employed by Anheuser-Busch, The Coca-Cola Company, and Mead Corp. in a variety of engineering, marketing, and planning positions. In addition to his ISyE degree, Beerman holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.

What was your takeaway from the ISyE undergraduate experience? “The IE program provided me with a great technical and analytical background on which to build a career. It taught me how to define, approach, and solve a problem, and the value of having a system for everything, disciplines that I know I apply every day, even if sometimes subconsciously.”

Laticia Khalif (IE 1988, M.S. IE 1991) is director of quality, medical device for Aptar CSP Technologies. In this role she is responsible for ensuring compliance with all internal and external requirements, as well as for monitoring the effectiveness of Aptar’s quality management system through maintenance, assessment, and improvement. Prior to this role, she worked at well-established medical device manufacturers as well as startup companies, which have collectively led to an extensive, well rounded, and focused career as a quality professional in the medical device industry.

Who was your favorite professor and why? “My favorite professor was Augustine Esogbue. Not because of the courses he taught, but because of what he represented to African American students at the Institute during those first 25 years of African American students on Georgia Tech’s campus. It was his role modeling, mentorship, and encouragement as the faculty advisor for the National Society of Black Engineers. It was knowing how proud he was going to be when we “got out” of GT. Those are the things that pushed me forward, made me excel and caused me to dig deep — because I wanted to make my favorite professor proud.”

Jennifer McKeehan (IE 2005) is senior vice president, integrated supply chain, for Peloton Interactive. In this role, she and her team are leading the supply chain transformation to scale and support an incredible growth trajectory across people, process and technology. Prior to this role, Jennifer was vice president, supply chain for The Home Depot — leading the inventory planning and replenishment supply chain functions for all fulfillment channels across stores and online, and managing over $15 billion of inventory.

What was your favorite class and why? “I loved probability and statistics — it is the foundation to so many things we use in everyday life. I still bust out my textbook in a meeting every now and then.”

Evren Ozkaya (Ph.D. IE 2008) is the founder and CEO of Supply Chain Wizard, LLC, a management consulting and digital solutions firm helping clients establish and execute cost-effective and scalable digital transformation programs via data-driven decision-making by leveraging state-of-the-art technology. Prior to starting Supply Chain Wizard, Ozkaya was a consultant and led various business transformation programs in industries such as pharmaceuticals, healthcare, consumer goods, industrial, logistics and private equity.

Who was your favorite professor and why? "Pinar Keskinocak. She was my primary Ph.D. advisor and she presented me with lots of cool opportunities at ISyE from internships to research and teaching. She also later became a lifelong friend, collaborator and a person I look up to as she continued to excel in every aspect of her career as a globally recognized leader.”

Amy Wheelus (IE 1990) is vice president of architecture and strategic planning for AT&T’s consumer technology platforms. In her career at AT&T, she has done everything from building buildings to launching new businesses, and held various technology leadership roles across business units including AT&T Labs. She currently serves as board chair for Tech Titans, a forum that connects the regional technology community of north Texas. In addition to her ISyE degree, Wheelus holds an MBA from Emory University.

What is your best ISyE memory? “My best ISyE memory comes not from when I was a student, but rather after I started working at AT&T and submitted a project proposal for Senior Design. Having the opportunity to work with students from ISyE to solve real problems for my company is a great memory.”

]]> goberst3 1 1632362036 2021-09-23 01:53:56 1632510122 2021-09-24 19:02:02 0 0 news Ron Beerman, Laticia Khalif, Jennifer McKeehan, Evren Ozkaya, and Amy Wheelus joined the ISyE Advisory Board in the summer of 2021.

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2021-09-22T00:00:00-04:00 2021-09-22T00:00:00-04:00 2021-09-22 00:00:00 Laurie Haigh

Communications Manager
H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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<![CDATA[Georgia Tech Researchers Receive $2.5 Million Grant to Focus on Improving Atlanta-Area Transportation Through Holistic Community Approach]]> 34760 Researchers from Georgia Tech have been awarded a $2.5 million National Science Foundation Smart and Connected Communities Grant to develop systems that will improve travel mobility, safety, equity, and sustainability using the city of Peachtree Corners, Ga., as an immersive living lab.

During the course of the four-year project, the research team will develop tools and evaluate policies that will allow communities to leverage advances in information, communication, and sensor technologies in a quantifiable manner to achieve sustainable travel goals.

The project’s principal investigator, Frederick R. Dickerson Chair and Professor Srinivas Peeta, explained that the crux of the work lies in analyzing and fusing qualitative and quantitative data from a variety of sources including emerging technologies—like sensors that collect large volumes of data—and communications strategies like community feedback surveys.

“In any city, there are all these resources,” said Peeta, who is jointly appointed in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering. “For transportation engineers, how do we use all of these technologies and all of the data? How do we use all of this to come up with solutions that are holistic?”

Reaching the Community

Through the grant, Peeta and the research team will work to create strategies to meet the needs of a diverse set of constituents, with a particular focus on reaching under-represented communities. These include “information deserts” in lower-income neighborhoods, in which residents do not have as much access to smart phones and internet, as well as senior residents for whom technology is an obstacle.

To foster sustainability values in children, the project will involve initiatives in K-12 schools, including engagement roles for a local high school. The researchers will also develop a new community app to provide Peachtree Corners users with information about travel options and collect feedback.

The Georgia Tech researchers are partnering with the City of Peachtree Corners; Gwinnett County Department of Transportation; Tortoise, an artificial intelligence company focused on last-mile delivery logistics and shared micromobility; Paul Duke STEM High School in Gwinnett County; and Curiosity Lab at Peachtree Corners, a publicly-funded test environment designed to advance intelligent mobility and smart city technology.

“Curiosity Lab is a unique public/private partnership that facilitates innovation by others. We are excited to work with Georgia Tech researchers to advance mobility concepts that benefit future generations,” said Betsy Plattenburg, executive director of Curiosity Lab at Peachtree Corners.

Generating Solutions

Through this grant, the research team will address the challenges of how to integrate disparate, multi-source data from various stakeholders and use it to systematically generate solutions — in the form of partnerships, behavioral interventions, and policy interventions — to meet sustainability objectives at the community level in a systematic, quantifiable manner over time.

The researchers will utilize methods from multi-objective and multi-agent optimization, machine learning, behavioral economics, and data and policy analytics to generate multidimensional solutions.

“We are making steps towards real-time policy analysis and program evaluation with information-based strategies,” said the project’s Co-PI Omar Asensio, an assistant professor in Georgia Tech’s School of Public Policy and director of the Data Science and Policy Lab. “The connections to real-time experiments and observational data feeds will be important. To do this effectively, we will introduce methods of causal inference to isolate the underlying causes of behavior change in travel patterns, which will then feed into more effective machine learning models. Real-time analysis represents a step change in our ability to understand travel choices related to congestion and sustainability.”

Asensio explained that the move towards real-time analytics can be faster, cheaper and potentially more accurate than traditional government transit surveys, which are slow, costly, and update relatively infrequently.

Creating a Framework

The Peachtree Corners project will focus on collaboration among three main constituencies: transportation users, providers, and influencers.

“For the users, how can they have a better travel experience? For influencers, what can they do to share information and reach larger groups? And for providers, how can they collaborate?” Peeta said.

Gwinnett County Transit is the main public transportation provider in Peachtree Corners. But there are also private sector companies that provide micromobility options like electric scooters that supplement traditional public transportation.

Influencers are community pillars such as school districts and major employers that have the opportunity to share information about transportation with their constituents and influence travel behavior.

The transportation users in this project are the residents of Peachtree Corners, a diverse population of different ages, abilities, genders, races and income levels that all have different needs and travel behaviors.

The goal is that after four years, the model will be sustainable in Peachtree Corners and can be replicated in other communities.

“By the end of this project, we hope to have a framework that can be transferred to any city with a smart and connected framework,” Peeta said. “If they’re able to do it there, then it’s transferable elsewhere.”

]]> Laurie Haigh 1 1632331114 2021-09-22 17:18:34 1634241231 2021-10-14 19:53:51 0 0 news Georgia Tech researchers have been awarded a $2.5M NSF Smart and Connected Communities Grant to develop systems improving travel mobility, safety, equity and sustainability.

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2021-09-22T00:00:00-04:00 2021-09-22T00:00:00-04:00 2021-09-22 00:00:00 Melissa Fralick
Communications Manager
School of Civil and Environmental Engineering

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651033 616487 651034 651033 image <![CDATA[Transit Image]]> image/png 1632332459 2021-09-22 17:40:59 1632332474 2021-09-22 17:41:14 616487 image <![CDATA[Frederick R. Dickerson Chair and Professor Srinivas Peeta]]> image/jpeg 1547593343 2019-01-15 23:02:23 1547593343 2019-01-15 23:02:23 651034 image <![CDATA[Assistant Professor Omar Asensio]]> image/png 1632332539 2021-09-22 17:42:19 1632332539 2021-09-22 17:42:19
<![CDATA[On-Demand Multimodal Transit Solution to Bring Equitable, Affordable Transportation to Atlanta’s Underserved Communities]]> 34760 The National Science Foundation (NSF), in partnership with the Department of Energy, has awarded a $1 million Stage 2 Civic Innovation Challenge grant to a team led by A. Russell Chandler III Chair and Professor Pascal Van Hentenryck to pilot an On-Demand Multimodal Transit System (ODMTS) in Atlanta. The goal of the project is to make public transportation in Atlanta faster, more convenient, and more equitable for the city’s residents, especially in underserved communities.

According to Van Hentenryck, who also leads the Socially Aware Mobility Lab, mass transit has a significant first- and last-mile problem: Most people will only walk a quarter of a mile to and from public transportation. If the distance exceeds this threshold, ridership decreases by more than 90%. To address this, Van Hentenryck’s team has created an ODMTS, which uses small on-demand vehicles, in addition to buses and light rail, to take riders to and from their destinations. The on-demand vehicles act as feeders to and from the fixed routes, allowing the transit system to be essentially door-to-door.

Van Hentenryck, a world leader in the fields of artificial intelligence, data science, and operations research, began to tackle the first- and last-mile problems in mobility eight years ago in Canberra, Australia. He then conducted another successful case study in Ann Arbor, Michigan. In both midsized cities, the multi-modal approach resulted in a significant reduction in both cost and passenger wait times. In 2018, Van Hentenryck joined ISyE, shifted his focus to Atlanta, and began a collaboration with the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA). This winter, after more than three years of preparation, the team plans to pilot ODMTS in Atlanta areas with limited public transportation.

While ODMTS will improve the performance and efficiency of public transportation for everyone in Atlanta, the main objective is to provide cost-effective transportation to underserved communities and connect residents in underserved communities to jobs, healthcare, education, and healthy food. The ODMTS pilot will run in MARTA’s four jurisdictions: Clayton, DeKalb, and Fulton counties, and the City of Atlanta.

“It is almost impossible to do this with a traditional system, because these areas are very large and sparsely populated,” said Van Hentenryck. “It is not feasible to put buses in these areas, because they would run empty most of the time, and they require significant capital expenditures. On-demand vehicles, however, are inexpensive to operate and can reach a larger population, because they can be deployed as needed rather than following a set route.”

Though this is not the team’s first pilot, tackling a city like Atlanta is no small feat. Most of the algorithms used in Canberra and Ann Arbor had to be completely rewritten to account for Atlanta’s size and rail system, a component not part of the previous pilots. This creates a four-level system — trains, buses, on-demand vehicles, and walking — to get passengers to and from their locations.

“Atlanta is also a complicated city because it has multiple job centers. In addition to downtown, there are centers in Midtown, Gwinnett, Alpharetta, Buckhead, and near the airport,” said Van Hentenryck. “This makes for a much more complex design since we are taking people from their homes to one of many locations for work.”

Tickets will cost the same as the traditional MARTA system, just $2.50 each way, and riders will be able to purchase fare using the Breeze system. The team is also using a combination of machine learning and optimization techniques to predict rider behavior and ensure the system can scale accordingly.

“If we decrease transit time by 40%, more people will adopt transit because now it is much faster and more convenient than it used to be,” explained Van Hentenryck. “This will increase the demand, so it is important that we size the system correctly to account for this.”

ODMTS will also help decrease traffic congestion in Atlanta and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by enabling more people to use public transportation in place of personal vehicles. The addition of on-demand vehicles will also create jobs since additional drivers will be necessary to operate them. No existing bus routes will be eliminated during the pilot.

Collaboration Leads to Success

“MARTA’s leadership is very forward thinking, and they are working to determine the future of public transportation,” said Van Hentenryck. “They have been extremely collaborative throughout the process and provided us with vast amounts of data and insights to drive the process.”

“We are grateful to the National Science Foundation for this grant and proud to partner with Georgia Tech,” said MARTA Deputy General Manager Collie Greenwood. “Exploring first- and last-mile connectivity options is important in providing transit service that meets the needs of everyone in metro Atlanta.” 

In addition to Van Hentenryck, the Georgia Tech team that will pilot ODMTS in Atlanta includes Professor Subhrajit “Subhro” Guhathakurta in the School of City and Regional Planning, Executive Director for Partnership and Inclusive Innovation Debra Lam, Associate Professor Christopher Le Dantec in the School of Interactive Computing, and Frederick Law Olmsted Associate Professor Kari Watkins in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

The research team will partner directly with residents in pilot communities, as well as with the transportation advocacy organization Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, to ensure transit services and access address the real-world needs of underserved locations.

“Our long history of working directly with Atlanta communities, and with local partners like the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, will help us embed local expertise into the design of last-mile transit service for underserved locations in the city,” said Le Dantec.

The Stage 2 Civic Innovation Challenge grant is the latest in a series of awards to bring ODMTS to Atlanta. The team received the NSF Leap HI (Leading Engineering for America’s Prosperity, Health, and Infrastructure) grant in 2019 in collaboration with the School of Civil Engineering, School of Urban Planning, MARTA, the Atlanta Regional Commission, and the City of Atlanta to scale the algorithms used in Canberra and Ann Arbor with hopes to eventually pilot the program in Atlanta. They were then awarded a Stage 1 Civic Innovation Challenge planning grant in January 2021 to model the mobility patterns in Atlanta in preparation for a pilot in Stage 2.

"Professor Van Hentenryck deserves much credit for having the foresight to bring multidisciplinary, applied research and external partners together to catalyze innovative responses to regional and urban mobility," Lam said. "We are excited to explore how this can be modeled for other communities for greater economic and social growth."

Of the 52 teams selected for Stage 1, only 17 were chosen to move forward with pilot projects in Stage 2. They will have 12 months to complete and evaluate their projects.

"We applaud the efforts of all the teams who worked tirelessly to build partnerships between researchers and community stakeholders" said NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan. "We are excited to see the teams selected for the next phase begin their pilot projects and plant seeds of innovation across the country. This program demonstrates the value of research-community partnerships in rapidly translating cutting-edge science into community-based innovation, and we look forward to seeing its positive impact across urban and rural communities."

Van Hentenryck is eager to implement the pilot. “For me, this is the most successful research that you can have,” he said. “We started more than three years ago with an idea and now we get to make a difference in the lives of people.”

 

About the Socially Aware Mobility Project

The Socially Aware Mobility project is poised to have a tremendous impact on the metro Atlanta area, revolutionizing and modernizing the transit system for the 21st century. Funded in part by a grant by the National Science Foundation, the project aims to bring equitable accessibility, decreased congestion, and increased mobility to all MARTA users. Through optimization and machine learning, the project will create a scalable, On-Demand Multimodal Transit System model, which will be validated through implementation in the Atlanta region. By providing solutions to increase mobility while simultaneously decreasing congestion, the project stands to have a significant impact on how Atlantans navigate around the community.

About Georgia Tech

The Georgia Institute of Technology, or Georgia Tech, is a top 10 public research university developing leaders who advance technology and improve the human condition.

The Institute offers business, computing, design, engineering, liberal arts, and sciences degrees. Its nearly 40,000 students, representing 50 states and 149 countries, study at the main campus in Atlanta, at campuses in France and China, and through distance and online learning.

As a leading technological university, Georgia Tech is an engine of economic development for Georgia, the Southeast, and the nation, conducting more than $1 billion in research annually for government, industry, and society.

]]> Laurie Haigh 1 1632231123 2021-09-21 13:32:03 1634241250 2021-10-14 19:54:10 0 0 news The National Science Foundation has awarded a $1 million Stage 2 Civic Innovation Challenge grant to a team led by Professor Pascal Van Hentenryck to pilot an On-Demand Multimodal Transit System in Atlanta.

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2021-09-21T00:00:00-04:00 2021-09-21T00:00:00-04:00 2021-09-21 00:00:00 Laurie Haigh
Communications Manager

]]>
650953 644546 650950 650955 650945 650946 650953 image <![CDATA[On-Demand Multimodal Transit System]]> image/png 1632232634 2021-09-21 13:57:14 1632232634 2021-09-21 13:57:14 644546 image <![CDATA[A. Russell Chandler III Chair and Professor Pascal Van Hentenryck]]> image/jpeg 1614010312 2021-02-22 16:11:52 1632234459 2021-09-21 14:27:39 650950 image <![CDATA[Professor Subhro Guhathakurta]]> image/jpeg 1632232069 2021-09-21 13:47:49 1632232069 2021-09-21 13:47:49 650955 image <![CDATA[Executive Director for Partnership for Inclusive Innovation Debra Lam]]> image/png 1632233727 2021-09-21 14:15:27 1632235660 2021-09-21 14:47:40 650945 image <![CDATA[Associate Professor Christopher Le Dantec]]> image/png 1632228231 2021-09-21 12:43:51 1632228231 2021-09-21 12:43:51 650946 image <![CDATA[Frederick Law Olmsted Associate Professor Kari Watkins]]> image/png 1632228311 2021-09-21 12:45:11 1632228311 2021-09-21 12:45:11 <![CDATA[Piloting On-Demand Multimodal Transit in Atlanta ]]> <![CDATA[How the System Works ]]> <![CDATA[ODMTS Pilot – Animation]]>
<![CDATA[ISyE Ranked No. 1 for the 27th Year]]> 28766 The H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering’s (ISyE) undergraduate program has been ranked No. 1 in the country by U.S. News & World Report. This marks the 27th consecutive year that ISyE has been so designated. The rankings were released on September 13, 2021.

Nationally, Georgia Tech ranks 38th on the overall list of top universities and 10th among public institutions, tied in both cases with the University of California-Davis, the University of Texas at Austin, and William & Mary.

The College of Engineering is ranked fourth nationally, unchanged from last year’s standing. All undergraduate engineering programs are ranked in the top 5. 

View the complete list of College of Engineering rankings and the Institute's rankings.

]]> Shelley Wunder-Smith 1 1631541573 2021-09-13 13:59:33 1631543663 2021-09-13 14:34:23 0 0 news For the 27th consecutive year, USNWR ranked ISyE's undergraduate program as No. 1 in the nation. The College of Engineering is ranked fourth.

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2021-09-13T00:00:00-04:00 2021-09-13T00:00:00-04:00 2021-09-13 00:00:00 Shelley Wunder-Smith

H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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650691 650691 image <![CDATA[No. 1 for the 27th consecutive year]]> image/png 1631541421 2021-09-13 13:57:01 1631541421 2021-09-13 13:57:01
<![CDATA[Newly Launched MentIEs Program Connects ISyE Undergraduates and Alumni]]> 35757 Thanks to the world-class education they receive as students in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE), many graduates have successful careers in consulting and industry. Because of this real-world experience, ISyE alumni can provide practical insights to current students about best practices for workplace professionalism and mastering teamwork, and many of them are eager to engage with the next generation of industrial engineers.

 “Students who want to have a career outside academia need to learn from people who have been there and know how it is done,” said Damon P. Williams (IE 2002), senior lecturer and director of ISyE’s Center for Academics, Success, and Equity (CASE).

Members of the ISyE advisory board also recognized this need and offered to mentor students to help them transition from college coursework and internships into their careers. Thus, with support from School Chair Edwin Romeijn, ISyE launched MentIEs — a program designed to connect current students with alumni mentors, as part of CASE, in January 2021.

“Our alumni have experiences to share and the passion to give back to our students,” Williams said. “They can teach their mentees how to exceed expectations, be on a team, and contribute to workplace culture, because they have done it themselves.”

ISyE piloted MentIEs with 20 members of its advisory board. Each mentor was paired with three undergraduate protégés for the spring semester, with the program’s curriculum structured around skills discussed in Stephen R. Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

John White (IE 1992) served as a mentor during the pilot and is the retired president and chief executive officer of Fortna Inc., a leading provider of supply chain solutions.

“I’ve personally seen and experienced the positive impact and the power of receiving coaching from professionals that came before me,” White said. “Their taking a personal interest in me had a huge impact, and I know that without them, I would not have been able to achieve a number of milestones in my career. I feel that I owe it to my mentors, and the young professionals that I mentor, to do my best to help them achieve their full potential.”

Groups are asked to meet monthly for one hour during the program, but White met with some of his mentees individually as well while they were navigating their last semester at Tech. He said the relationships he made with these young professionals have continued beyond the official program, and he enjoys seeing them rise to their potential, which helps keep ISyE and its graduates at the top.

“The MentIEs program offers another way for young professionals to leapfrog their peers from other universities and gain insights that they most likely would not get otherwise until they have their own experiences,” White added.

White also believes mentors are learning from their mentees.

“There are many situations in which I feel that I am the one benefiting from the mentor/mentee relationship, as I continue to learn and gain perspectives and insights from my mentees. It is an incredibly rewarding and mutually beneficial relationship,” he reflected.

Because the program began during the Covid-19 pandemic, most MentIEs meetings were held virtually. Now that many of these restrictions have been lifted, the CASE team is also offering in-person events to enhance the networking experience.

Even with the challenges of the Spring 2021 semester, the MentIEs pilot was a resounding success. “Given the overwhelmingly positive feedback we received, we are going to double if not triple the number of mentor/mentee connections in 2021-22,” said Williams.

If you are interested in becoming a mentor for the MentIEs program, contact Damon Williams at damon.williams@isye.gatech.edu

]]> goberst3 1 1631222799 2021-09-09 21:26:39 1684341315 2023-05-17 16:35:15 0 0 news In January 2021, ISyE launched MentIEs, a program designed to connect current students with alumni mentors that is part of the Center for Academics, Success, and Equity (CASE).

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2021-09-09T00:00:00-04:00 2021-09-09T00:00:00-04:00 2021-09-09 00:00:00 Laurie Haigh
Communications Manager

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646968 650610 646968 image <![CDATA[Damon P. Williams]]> image/jpeg 1619618518 2021-04-28 14:01:58 1619618518 2021-04-28 14:01:58 650610 image <![CDATA[John White]]> image/jpeg 1631203441 2021-09-09 16:04:01 1631203441 2021-09-09 16:04:01
<![CDATA[Jorge Guzman, Cofounder of Craft Brewery Antigua Cerveza, on His Entrepreneurial Journey]]> 35757 Growing up in Guatemala, Jorge Guzman (IE 2009) was always aware of Georgia Tech’s excellent academic reputation and dreamed of someday studying at the Institute. This desire was cemented when, at age 11, Guzman flew to London on a family trip and had a conversation with the businessman seated next to him: Ivan Ochoa, then a vice president for American Express, who had earned a degree from the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE) in 1980.

“There was this allure about it,” Guzman recalled. “This was someone who had actually gone to the school I imagined myself attending, and he had gotten a degree in the major I was most interested in.”

Guzman eventually made his own way to Georgia Tech, received his bachelor’s degree from ISyE, and began his professional career — as so many ISyE graduates do — as a banker and consultant. A few years later, he began thinking about starting his own business back in Guatemala. Together with fellow ISyE graduates Taylor Virgil (IE 2009) and Jack Spehn (IE 2010), Guzman and team opened the first craft brewery, Antigua Cerveza, in the Guatemalan colonial city of Antigua in 2015. He discusses this experience in the following interview.

Did you have any exposure to entrepreneurship while growing up?

Both of my parents are entrepreneurs. My dad runs a Spanish school located in Antigua’s town center. Tourists come to visit, take classes for a few days or weeks, and then go out to explore the surrounding area. My mom is a ceramics artist, and she began giving lessons on how to make and paint ceramics. That led to opening a small business selling her work to tourists, and then eventually supplying her pieces to the Guatemalan equivalent of Bed Bath & Beyond. Now she’s exporting ceramic tiles to the United States and Europe.

How did you decide to open your own business?

After graduating from Georgia Tech, I worked as an investment banker for several years. Part of what was great about that experience was getting to talk with so many company founders about how they got their start and what they had learned in the process. I was literally making notes about all this as part of my job, and eventually I had enough enthusiasm and motivation to take that step myself.

I spent some time talking about various business ideas with my friends and fellow ISyE alumni, Taylor and Jack, with whom I had studied abroad and still traveled with. Initially we thought we might start a travel business and headquarter it in Guatemala. That’s where I’m from, of course, but they had also visited and loved the country. We were sitting in a brewpub in Portland, Oregon, having a freshly poured Mirror Pond Pale Ale from Deschutes Brewery, when I spontaneously asked, “What if instead we start a craft brewery?” Taylor said, “I love it, but what do you know about beer — besides drinking it?”

What was the process of educating yourself about brewing beer?

I began reading as many books about brewing as I could find, and I attended a one-week intensive on the subject at the University of California, Davis. The weekend after I flew back from that, I randomly happened to meet and play pool with the head brewer of an Atlanta brewery — I never play pool! — and he invited me to come take a look at his brewing setup. I eventually started working at Jailhouse Brewing Company (unsalaried) and began to learn that there’s a real science behind brewing quality and tasty beer. So much goes into the moment when someone cracks open a beer to make it a fantastic experience for the drinker.

On the topic of creating beers, what does Antigua Cerveza offer its customers?

We barrel-age some beers. We have an American-style amber, an India pale ale (IPA), and a stout, among others. We recently won the gold medal in a local competition for our saison.

Some breweries hone in on one particular style, such as sours or IPAs, but we don’t do that. We serve a little bit of everything, and that’s because we’re trying to educate our customers that there are, in fact, different types of beer out there. Although it’s not yet the industry in Guatemala that it is in the States, craft beer is becoming more popular here. We’ve been able to double our sales year over year since we started.

How did your ISyE training, as well as the friendships you made at Georgia Tech and in your major, contribute to starting and running your own business?

I can’t overstate how impactful it was to graduate from ISyE and Georgia Tech. Out of 33 investors in Antigua Cerveza, about 15 of them are Tech alumni, and I went to school with seven or eight of those people. We would study together for an exam and then go have a beer afterward, and they’re the ones who have trusted me with their investment.  You get close to the people who experience Tech’s challenges alongside you.

What has the past year been like in terms of managing your business during a pandemic?

We managed to grow a business year over year and have now survived Guatemala’s multiple countrywide lockdowns because of Covid-19 by deciding to double down on the business instead of scaling back. We built a beer garden in Antigua’s town center so people could come have a beer in the open air, and by December 2020 we were able to bring back most of our employees at full salary. It was risky, but it was the right move.

What entrepreneurial advice do you have for current ISyE students or young alumni?

The best advice I can offer is to make sure you choose your partners right. I’ve seen so many friends start companies without really knowing the other people with whom they’re going into business. It’s a kind of marriage: If things get dicey — because with startups they will — you need to know that you’re in there with someone who understands and supports you and who can help you solve problems.

I have been incredibly lucky to have Taylor and Jack as my two business partners. Their strengths are where I’m weak, and vice versa. And here we are, almost nine full years from that moment in Portland — we’re still here, and we’re so excited about what the future holds.

]]> goberst3 1 1631222608 2021-09-09 21:23:28 1632249133 2021-09-21 18:32:13 0 0 news ISyE alumnus Jorge Guzman shares his experience opening the first craft brewery in the colonial city of Antigua, Guatemala with fellow ISyE alumni Taylor Virgil and Jack Spehn.

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2021-09-09T00:00:00-04:00 2021-09-09T00:00:00-04:00 2021-09-09 00:00:00 Shelley Wunder-Smith

H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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645844 650606 650608 645844 image <![CDATA[Jorge Guzman]]> image/jpeg 1617032367 2021-03-29 15:39:27 1617032367 2021-03-29 15:39:27 650606 image <![CDATA[Taylor Virgil, Jorge Guzman, and John Spehn]]> image/png 1631202787 2021-09-09 15:53:07 1631202787 2021-09-09 15:53:07 650608 image <![CDATA[Antigua Cerveza beer garden]]> image/jpeg 1631202933 2021-09-09 15:55:33 1631202933 2021-09-09 15:55:33 <![CDATA[Growing Guatemala's Craft Beer Industry]]>
<![CDATA[Alumnus H. Milton Stewart Recognized with Honorary Ph.D. from Georgia Tech]]> 35757 At the Spring 2021 Commencement ceremony, H. Milton Stewart (IE 1961) received an honorary doctorate from Georgia Tech in recognition of his tremendous and longtime service to the Institute.

A leader in the telecommunications industry for most of his career, Stewart is the retired CEO of Standard Telephone Company. He has served on numerous boards including the Georgia Tech Alumni Association, the Georgia Tech Foundation, and the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE) Advisory Board. Stewart and his wife, Carolyn, served as honorary chairs of the public phase of Campaign Georgia Tech. They are members of The Hill Society.

Stewart decided to attend Georgia Tech when George Griffin, then the dean of students, visited his rural Georgia high school. Stewart entered the Institute as an electrical engineering major, then switched to industrial engineering (IE) when he realized the IE curriculum was better suited to his interests in telecommunications and the outdoors.

“I loved statistics,” Stewart recalled in a 2006 interview. “Statistics was material to 20th-century telecommunications in order to optimize electromechanical switching equipment to handle busy-hour call volume.” Other IE coursework that he found helpful throughout his career included plant design and layout, material handling, and engineering economy, in addition to numerous interdisciplinary engineering classes. A highlight of Stewart’s college career was working as a student assistant in the IE office, helmed at the time by Colonel Frank Groseclose.

The School that bears his name has benefited immeasurably from Stewart’s philanthropy. In 1995 he established the H. Milton Stewart Endowment Fund for ISyE programs, and in 1999 he endowed the H. Milton and Carolyn J. Stewart School Chair, the first such chair at the Institute. In 2006 Stewart provided a permanent endowment, which named the School and impacted and enhanced the entire ISyE program. 

“ISyE always makes us proud,” Stewart said. “Receiving the honorary Ph.D. was a wonderful thrill and is a recognition both humbling to and greatly appreciated by Carolyn and me and by our incredibly supportive family.”

]]> goberst3 1 1631222181 2021-09-09 21:16:21 1632248756 2021-09-21 18:25:56 0 0 news At the Spring 2021 Commencement ceremony, H. Milton Stewart (IE 1961) received an honorary doctorate from Georgia Tech in recognition of his tremendous, longtime service to the Institute.

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2021-09-09T00:00:00-04:00 2021-09-09T00:00:00-04:00 2021-09-09 00:00:00 Shelley Wunder-Smith

H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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<![CDATA[ISyE Announces First Cohort of DEI Fellows]]> 35757 The H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE) announced the first cohort of the School’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Fellows: Coca-Cola Foundation Professor Dave Goldsman, Assistant Professor Lauren Steimle, Senior Writer/Editor Shelley Wunder-Smith, and Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies Chen Zhou. ISyE established the DEI Fellowship program in Spring 2021 to support initiatives that enhance diversity within ISyE’s faculty and graduate student body and to highlight a wide range of minority experiences within the entire ISyE community. The program fits within the overall vision and mission of ISyE’s recently created Center for Academics, Success, and Equity (CASE).

“Diversity, equity, and inclusion are paramount to our continued success as a school and a community,” said ISyE School Chair Edwin Romeijn. “The DEI Fellowship program is part of my commitment to ensure that our school is a place where everyone's contributions are valued without exception. The work done by these inaugural Fellows – and those to come – will help ensure that ISyE is not only the No. 1 industrial engineering program in the country academically, but is also a school where all people can achieve their goals and feel welcome.”

Goldsman, who is ISyE’s director of master’s programs, noted in his project proposal that “while ISyE has been the No. 1 program in our field for decades, we continue to have issues attracting women and underrepresented minority students – particularly to our graduate programs.” His focus this year as a DEI Fellow will be to both visit with and host faculty from women’s colleges, HBCUs, and other small colleges in Georgia Tech’s sphere of influence; the goal is to engage with faculty mentors at these institutions who will then be able to recommend both the field of industrial engineering (IE) – and the Stewart School itself – to their brightest students.

Steimle currently serves as the Georgia Tech INFORMS chapter advisor, and through conversations with the chapter’s members, she realized that undergraduates studying math, computer science, and other engineering disciplines are sometimes unaware of industrial engineering and how these fields of study prepare them to be excellent candidates for studying IE and operations research at the graduate level. Evidence suggests that women and students from underrepresented minority groups are attracted to fields with potential for social impact, so there is an opportunity to showcase to students how IE can improve society. In partnership with Georgia Tech INFORMS and CASE, Steimle is offering a series of outreach events to connect with STEM students throughout Georgia, particularly those at the state’s minority-serving institutions and women’s colleges.

Zhou, who has written recently on the moral and ethical implications of supply chain optimization, plans to use his DEI Fellowship funds to connect with HBCU faculty and students who want to research the lack of equity in food access. In his project proposal, Zhou noted that the Covid-19 pandemic exposed the systemic racial and socioeconomic disparities in access to medical care and overall health, and that so-called food deserts and their broader impact are a significant part of the problem.

Last spring, during the social justice protests that followed the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, Wunder-Smith reached out to several Black ISyE alumni and students and invited them to share their thoughts on the current moment, as well as their experiences of being Black in STEM and at Georgia Tech. These interviews, and subsequent others, formed the foundation of the ISyE “In Conversation” series. As part of her DEI project, Wunder-Smith – who has also been selected for the 2021-22 cohort of the Georgia Tech Diversity and Inclusion Fellowship program – plans to work with CASE Director and Senior Lecturer Damon P. Williams to further develop the In Conversation series through a succession of video interviews.

Each spring semester, a call for applications to the ISyE DEI Fellows program will be extended to ISyE faculty and staff. ISyE’s associate chairs, members of the ISyE DEI Committee, and CASE leadership will review the proposals and make recommendations for selection, with final award decisions being made by the School Chair. Up to five Fellows will be chosen for each cohort, which will participate in the program for one academic year.

]]> goberst3 1 1631221801 2021-09-09 21:10:01 1632248835 2021-09-21 18:27:15 0 0 news The DEI Fellowship program was established to enhance diversity within ISyE’s faculty and graduate student body and to highlight minority experiences within the entire ISyE community.

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2021-09-09T00:00:00-04:00 2021-09-09T00:00:00-04:00 2021-09-09 00:00:00 Shelley Wunder-Smith

H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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<![CDATA[ISyE Launches Center for Academics, Success, and Equity]]> 35757 Damon P. Williams (IE 2002) is a senior lecturer in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE) and has won numerous teaching awards since he joined ISyE as a faculty member in 2012. A charismatic and demanding professor, Williams has a unique perspective stemming from his own years of walking ISyE’s halls as an undergraduate. He is passionate about enhancing the student experience and has created a variety of programs to support students, including at-risk advising and the ISyE tutoring center, to name a few. In fall 2021, the Stewart School brought together many of Williams’ programs within the newly launched Center for Academics, Success, and Equity (CASE), an interdisciplinary center designed to encourage academic growth, professional development, and inclusivity for all of ISyE’s constituents.

ISyE is the largest program of its kind in the nation, which contributes to its longstanding No. 1 ranking. This size also provides countless resources to its students, faculty, alumni, and staff, such as academic and industry collaborations, networking opportunities, diverse career opportunities, and access to cutting-edge research. However, with more than 6,000 students in the School’s many programs, it can be difficult for some to navigate.

“We created the Center to foster connection and interaction,” said Williams, who also serves as CASE’s director. “There are so many points at which our various groups need to interact with each other, so we really wanted to build community — with this great push that Georgia Tech has for diversity, equity, and inclusion — while supporting students academically and professionally, and bring all our programs together into one place.”

On the academic side, CASE provides student support through its tutoring center and risk advising program. “All students, including those who are struggling academically, should have a great college experience,” Williams said. “While they may not be in the top 10% of their class, it doesn’t mean they can’t get a good education, have a successful career, and feel supported and connected during their time at the Institute.”

But what really sets CASE apart from other centers on campus is its focus on success and equity, in addition to academics. For students, this includes professional development opportunities and workshops to prepare them for the job market. There are currently two student success workshops each year, and Williams hopes to expand this to a total of six in the 2021-22 academic year.

“Our students want more,” said Williams. “They want to learn how to successfully complete a case interview to get into consulting after graduation. So we have sessions scheduled with representatives from top consulting firms to run mock case interviews and guide them on the process. But students also want to improve their soft skills and learn how to network. We’re going to add additional sessions to provide them with these tools as well.”

The Center also launched MentIEs, a mentoring program that pairs ISyE alumni with current students to provide real-world insight and advice complementing students’ academic experience. The pilot program launched in Spring 2021 with 20 mentors and 60 mentees and was a resounding success. Williams and his team plan to double those numbers this year and beyond.

CASE’s equity initiatives include several activities promoting equality in ISyE while providing sanctuary for our most vulnerable students and the chance to be heard. The team is also working to increase the minority and female student pipeline and improve diversity within the School and its programs.

“We’re working hard to develop relationships with top-tier academic institutions across the country to help identify high-quality potential graduate students or future faculty who are underrepresented minorities or women,” said Williams. “We want to make sure they know about our programs and know when we have open faculty positions so we can get those applications up.”

While CASE is in its inaugural year, Williams has big plans for the future.

“My goal is that within five years, every single member of our community — faculty, staff, students, and alumni — is touched in an academic year by something that CASE does,” Williams said. “And I want everyone in the ISyE network to quintuple individual networks with members of the other groups.”

“I want us to not only be the No. 1 academic industrial engineering department in the nation, but also the No. 1 industrial engineering community in the nation,” he added.

These are lofty goals, but if you have ever personally met Williams, you know he will most certainly make them happen.

]]> goberst3 1 1630532612 2021-09-01 21:43:32 1684341303 2023-05-17 16:35:03 0 0 news CASE is an interdisciplinary center designed to encourage academic growth, professional development, and inclusivity for all of ISyE’s constituents.

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2021-09-01T00:00:00-04:00 2021-09-01T00:00:00-04:00 2021-09-01 00:00:00 Laurie Haigh
Communications Manager

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646968 650380 646968 image <![CDATA[Damon P. Williams]]> image/jpeg 1619618518 2021-04-28 14:01:58 1619618518 2021-04-28 14:01:58 650380 image <![CDATA[CASE was created to support the entire ISyE community through a variety of support programs and equity initiatives]]> image/jpeg 1630532407 2021-09-01 21:40:07 1630532407 2021-09-01 21:40:07
<![CDATA[Alumna Ann Dunkin's Journey to CIO of the U.S. Department of Energy]]> 35757 Ann Dunkin’s (BSIE 1986, MSIE 1988) impressive career spans leadership in both the public and private technology sectors. She is used to facing challenges with resilience, tackling the difficulties of leading during the Covid-19 pandemic while balancing two jobs at the same time. Now, she’s the CIO for the U.S. Department of Energy – the result of an incredible journey.   

After finishing her master’s degree in manufacturing systems engineering from the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE), Dunkin worked for many years at Hewlett-Packard (HP), mostly in the areas of manufacturing, research and development, and IT. After leaving HP, she held several public service roles, including CIO for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). However, she always had the intention of someday returning to the private sector.

At the end of February 2020, Dunkin started a new role as a Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for Dell. To kick off her first day at work, she facilitated a panel at the RSA conference, a prominent international conference series on IT security. However, the first Covid-19 lockdown began just two weeks later, and her main focus quickly became tackling the hurdles of going virtual. Suddenly, millions of people working and learning remotely needed laptops.  

“The lesson for the world is that immobile devices are something that should be a part of our past,” said Dunkin. “In our world today, there is no reason for a device not to be mobile.” Even before Covid-19, she was already pushing for organizations to make the switch from desktops to laptops.

For the first few months of the pandemic, vendors did not have enough inventory to go around. With so many orders in the queue, the supply chain was disrupted, and they could not provide as many devices as anticipated. Dunkin facilitated difficult conversations with the public sector to explain the situation and help leaders find alternative solutions in the absence of equipment. The virtual transition impacted K-12 education the most due to the huge complexity of educating young children online.

As a CTO at Dell, Dunkin’s position was originally meant to be heavily shaped by in-person interaction with CIOs and talking to people at events and conferences – opportunities that came to a halt with Covid-19. Though she still worked with CIOs across the U.S. and Canada, the virtual nature of the job meant a loss in depth of interaction. As many companies continue to offer remote and hybrid options, she stresses the importance of face-to-face collaboration in the workplace.

“I think there is real value to seeing people in person,” said Dunkin. “No matter how much you let people work remotely, there needs to be time when people get together.”

One silver lining to the pandemic, however, was that it created the perfect environment for writing. While speaking at an event, Dunkin had received an invitation to co-author a book, which she ended up working on during the first six months of lockdown. Titled Industrial Digital Transformation, the book provides a framework for people trying to lead the effort to integrate digital technology into an organization, including the necessary cultural transformation.

“I think that the easy part about digital transformation is technology,” said Dunkin. “People, process, and policy – those are the hard things.” The book contains case studies that outline how to implement the strategies presented.

Later that year, Dunkin was presented with another opportunity: joining the Biden-Harris transition team, which prepared for President Joe Biden to take over administration of the U.S. government. She started working on the team with just a few days’ notice, but she needed to simultaneously fulfill her responsibilities at Dell. Between 14-hour workdays, sometimes seven days a week, and working through the winter holidays, she managed to make her hectic schedule work.  

On the Biden-Harris transition team, Dunkin served as the technology lead for the EPA transition team and was also a member of the transition-wide technology group. Being a former CIO of the EPA gave her years of preparation, but since four years had passed, she also had a lot to catch up on.

Working with the transition team made Dunkin realize that she was more inspired by her work in public service. After engaging in discussions with different departments, she was offered her role as CIO the Department of Energy (DOE), a natural progression from her time at the EPA.

Though only a few months into her position as CIO, Dunkin has many goals to accomplish. This includes tackling cybersecurity, which is a tremendous challenge across the government, as well as supporting the transition to clean energy and continuing the journey of moving the DOE’s data centers into the cloud. Her team is also working on Biden’s Justice40 initiative, which ensures that at least 40% of the benefits of relevant federal projects go to disadvantaged and underserved communities. 

Furthermore, the DOE is a unique organization in terms of its relationships with the 17 national laboratories, which are a system of research and development centers overseen by the DOE, such as the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories. These labs are federally funded, but they function relatively independently within their management and operations contracts. One of Dunkin’s focus areas as CIO will be to grow and develop relationships with lab leaders.

As a long-time leader, Dunkin has years of experience in the technology sector successfully managing large organizations and high-budget projects. But does she believe in the phrase “natural born leader”?

“I think some people are more inclined to leadership than others, but almost anyone can learn the skills they need to lead,” said Dunkin. “I am just as uncomfortable in a roomful of total strangers as anyone else – I've learned how to do these things, and anyone can learn how to do them, too.”

Even at her level, Dunkin feels that she must continue to prove herself in new roles, though she says this is something all leaders face. However, she believes there remains a lot of skepticism toward women in leadership, and they still face a higher bar in business and technology.

Looking back on her career, Dunkin stands by her choice to attend Georgia Tech and maintains that it is one of the best decisions she has ever made, saying, “ISyE is a broad technical education that teaches students how to manage people, processes, and technology, providing an amazing foundation to be successful leaders.”

Dunkin will always be a proud Yellow Jacket, and there’s undeniable proof: One of her cats is affectionately named “Buzz.”

You can read more about Ann Dunkin, including how she started her career at Hewlett-Packard, here.

]]> goberst3 1 1630026140 2021-08-27 01:02:20 1630334177 2021-08-30 14:36:17 0 0 news Dunkin’s impressive career spans leadership in both the public and private technology sectors, but her passion for public service is what led her to the DOE.

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2021-08-26T00:00:00-04:00 2021-08-26T00:00:00-04:00 2021-08-26 00:00:00 Grace Oberst

Communications Assistant
H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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650153 650153 image <![CDATA[Ann Dunkin]]> image/jpeg 1630025587 2021-08-27 00:53:07 1630025587 2021-08-27 00:53:07
<![CDATA[Georgia Tech Leads Industry Effort to Tackle the Composite and Hybrid Materials Challenge]]> 35757 Composites and hybrid materials will define the future of manufacturing – and with good reason: These strong yet lightweight materials that comprise half of all commercial twin-aisle airplanes and most electrical vehicles are lighter and more fuel efficient, lessening their carbon footprint.  

However, because composites are unique (combining different materials), it is difficult to model how they will degrade and fail during use. Also, impact damage may not be visible or may be barely visible, making it harder to detect than damage to metallic structures. Furthermore, repairing these materials and structures is both time-consuming and expensive due to the complexity of composite parts and lack of experience or knowledge and data.

Based at the Georgia Institute of Technology, the Center for Composite and Hybrid Materials Interfacing (CHMI) intends to dramatically improve how composite and hybrid structures are joined and repaired. The Center is one of four active NSF Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers (IUCRCs) at Georgia Tech.

Funded for five years with an NSF IUCRC grant, the Center will work closely with an industry consortium of leading manufacturers and government organizations that will underwrite research projects.

Housed in the Georgia Tech Manufacturing Institute (GTMI), the Center incorporates three university research teams from Georgia Tech, Oakland University, and University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UT). Each research and development partner brings decades of composite and hybrid materials research focus in specific industries: Georgia Tech in aerospace, Detroit-based Oakland University in automotive composite systems, and UT in infrastructure and medical devices.

“The study of the interface between composite, metallic and other electronic materials is really the future of manufacturing,” said Ben Wang, executive director of GTMI. “The Center amplifies the thought leadership of Georgia Tech advancement in composites. It also puts us in the nexus of three areas -- advanced manufacturing, innovative materials and data analytics.”

Improving Composite Repair Efficiency with Analytics and Automation

Center director Chuck Zhang, Harold E. Smalley Professor in Georgia Tech’s H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE), will drive CHMI’s vision to transform the current labor-intensive, experience-based joining and repair practice into fast, automated and reliable processes.

“Using advanced computation, experimental data analytics, and digital techniques and tools, we hope to reduce by 50% the overall cost, cycle time and variation of these processes in the next 10 years,” Zhang said.

As an IUCRC, the Center will engage Georgia Tech and partner faculty and researchers and students, in addition to industry partners. Each university partner will rotate hosting in-person briefings with the consortium every six months, with the first meeting set for October at GTMI.

The frequent engagement between researchers and industry partners will “help ensure a strong understanding of the challenges and possible solutions. The outcome is really a very robust research agenda,” said Wang.

The Center will solve key challenges facing industries that rely on composite materials. To illustrate, a bird striking a plane can damage a composite structure on the wing of the aircraft. The airline company or maintenance provider must then deploy specialized, expensive patches – often to remote locations. There are training challenges with technicians, as well as the high cost of grounding a plane. Pulling an Airbus A350 out of service for a single day costs an airline an estimated $100,000 or more in lost revenue.

Repairing composites represents a supply chain challenge beyond one company’s capabilities to solve. 

“No company can do this on their own – it's too multidisciplinary,” said Rob Maskell, chief scientist of global composite manufacturer Solvay Materials. “Solving this challenge is critical to the increased adoption of composites, and I think Georgia Tech brings a lot of competencies that, when combined with Solvay’s expertise, gives us credibility.”

Solvay Materials: Finding Solutions to a Multi-Disciplinary Challenge

Solvay Materials has been involved from the beginning and is one of the Center’s eight founding consortium members. The Belgium-headquartered company is the leading supplier of structural adhesives for composite bonding on aircraft. It is estimated that 55% of all twin-aisle commercial jets contain composites.

“Joining industry and academia in this Center is an essential piece on the road to the increased commercialization and adoption of composites,” Maskell said.

Maskell noted that the current manual repair process for composites could be replaced with analytics, automation, and digital technologies. He also sees additive manufacturing – or 3D printing of composite parts – as a future key efficiency driver.

Building Future Workforce while Enhancing Skills of Current Engineers

The Center also will help support workforce development in the composite area, both to educate graduate and undergraduate students and create a funnel for future workers in the industry once they graduate. Wang said the Center will also create a technology and knowledge database of new tools for companies to use in their production lines. Georgia Tech leadership sees it as a win-win for researchers and industry.

“Getting this Center approved will benefit quite a few faculty members. We have expertise in trends and applications in artificial intelligence and machine learning,” said Edwin Romeijn, ISyE H. Milton and Carolyn J. Stewart School Chair and professor. “The Center also touches on issues of supply chain design and management, and transportation and autonomous vehicles, which are very big strengths of ISyE as well.”

Joining Zhang from Georgia Tech are co-principal investigators Christopher Muhlstein and Donggang Yao, both professors in the School of Materials Science and Engineering. Yao focuses on creating materials and developing material systems to make and join composites together, while Muhlstein studies the mechanical behavior of these materials. Zhang’s background in multifunctional composites, additive manufacturing, and applications of data analytics ties it all together.

“As an engineer of composites, you need all these pieces,” explained Muhlstein, who strives to create a more predictable, reliable, and high-confidence bond between the composites and the structures. “The moment that you can use the composite all the way to its limit, and do that with confidence, now you enable whole new classes of airplanes and cars ― or even completely new applications.”

Guided by Technology Roadmap, Industry Engagement

The CHMI launches with a well-defined technology roadmap, having benefited from earlier grant and collaborative discussions with industry partners.

According to Zhang, the concept for the Center originated in 2015, when Georgia Tech received a National Institute of Standards and Technology grant to identify top challenges and R&D needs facing aerospace companies and then develop a 10-to-15-year technology roadmap focused on research in that area. More than 50 companies and government organizations, including Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Airbus, and component manufacturing suppliers were polled on their top five technology challenges, and “composite joining and repair was one of the top three technology areas cited,” Zhang recalled.

The Georgia Tech principal investigators consider the deep materials and analytics expertise at Georgia Tech a key strength of the Center. Having industry involvement ensures that “we as researchers get great problems to work on,” said Muhlstein. “This Center allows us to create a convergent platform where industry comes together with academia in both a structured and targeted way to advance manufacturing in the U.S.”

The CHMI’s founding industry coalition members are Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Boeing, Corvid Technologies, Hexcel, RUAG Space USA, Spirit AeroSystems, Solvay, and Top Flight Aerostructures.

*Editor's note: All photos and video for this story were taken in July 2021, prior to updated mask guidance issued by Georgia Tech. 

 

 

]]> goberst3 1 1629754430 2021-08-23 21:33:50 1630073868 2021-08-27 14:17:48 0 0 news The Georgia Tech Center for Composite and Hybrid Materials Interfacing, led by ISyE's Chuck Zhang, intends to dramatically improve how composite and hybrid structures are joined and repaired.

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2021-08-23T00:00:00-04:00 2021-08-23T00:00:00-04:00 2021-08-23 00:00:00 Anne Wainscott-Sargent

Institute Communications

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<![CDATA[Assistant Professor Juba Ziani Joins ISyE]]> 35757 Assistant Professor Juba Ziani joined ISyE on August 1, 2021. He studies the optimization, game theoretic, economic, ethical, and societal challenges that arise from transactions and interactions involving data. In particular, his research focuses on the design of markets for data; on data privacy with a focus on differential privacy; on fairness in machine learning and decision making; and on strategic considerations in machine learning.

Before coming to Georgia Tech, Ziani was a Warren Center Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania.

Ziani received his Ph.D. in computing and mathematical sciences from the California Institute of Technology, his M.S. in operations research from Columbia University, and his B.S. in engineering, energy, and information sciences from Ecole Supérieure d'Electricité (now Centrale-Supélec).

]]> goberst3 1 1629252519 2021-08-18 02:08:39 1629466028 2021-08-20 13:27:08 0 0 news Ziani studies the optimization, game theoretic, economic, ethical, and societal challenges that arise from transactions and interactions involving data.

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2021-08-17T00:00:00-04:00 2021-08-17T00:00:00-04:00 2021-08-17 00:00:00 Shelley Wunder-Smith

H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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<![CDATA[Assistant Professor Gian-Gabriel Garcia Joins ISyE]]> 35757 Assistant Professor Gian-Gabriel Garcia joined ISyE on August 1, 2021. Garcia’s research integrates data-driven prediction and decision models to address high-impact problems in health policy and personalized medicine. He is especially interested in how equity considerations and social/behavioral dynamics impact optimal decision-making. This research spans applications to concussion, opioids, and chronic diseases and has been awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, an INFORMS Bonder Scholarship, the SMDM Lee B. Lusted Prize, and first prize in the INFORMS Minority Issues Forum Paper Competition.

Before joining ISyE, Garcia was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School.

Garcia received his Ph.D. and M.S. from the University of Michigan and his B.S. from the University of Pittsburgh. He is also passionate about supporting underrepresented students in engineering through mentorship and outreach.

]]> goberst3 1 1629252216 2021-08-18 02:03:36 1629466765 2021-08-20 13:39:25 0 0 news Garcia’s research integrates data-driven prediction and decision models to address high-impact problems in health policy and personalized medicine.

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2021-08-17T00:00:00-04:00 2021-08-17T00:00:00-04:00 2021-08-17 00:00:00 Shelley Wunder-Smith

H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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<![CDATA[Assistant Professor Diego Cifuentes Joins ISyE]]> 35757 Assistant Professor Diego Cifuentes joined the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE) on July 1, 2021. His research centers around the development of mathematical optimization methods and the application of these methods in engineering areas such as machine learning, statistics, robotics, power systems, and computer vision. He also works in the theoretical analysis of optimization methods, leveraging geometric and combinatorial information to improve efficiency and robustness.

Prior to ISyE, Cifuentes served as an applied math instructor at MIT and as a postdoctoral researcher in the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences.

He earned his Ph.D. and M.S. in electrical engineering and computer science from MIT, and his B.S. in mathematics and B.S. in electronics engineering from Universidad de los Andes.

]]> goberst3 1 1629252011 2021-08-18 02:00:11 1629468058 2021-08-20 14:00:58 0 0 news Cifuentes' research centers around the development of mathematical optimization methods and the application of these methods in engineering areas including machine learning, robotics, and computer vision.

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2021-08-17T00:00:00-04:00 2021-08-17T00:00:00-04:00 2021-08-17 00:00:00 Shelley Wunder-Smith

H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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<![CDATA[SCL Welcomes Americold's Jason DeLoach to its Industry Advisory Board]]> 27233 Jason DeLoach has been with Americold since 2013 and currently serves as VP of Supply Chain Solutions. Americold is the largest publicly traded cold storage logistics company in the world with 242 facilities in 14 countries across 4 continents. During his 8 years with Americold, Jason has led the development of the Supply Chain Strategy, Design, and Development functions – as well as the comprehensive portfolio of Customer Supply Chain Solutions for Americold’s go-to-market strategy. With a cross-functional approach to customer value creation, Jason leads end-to-end supply chain solutions development for many of the largest food manufacturers and distributors in the world.

Jason brings 27 years of experience and leadership in Supply Chain Strategy, Analytics, Design, Engineering, and Implementation. Prior to Americold – Jason held strategic Supply Chain roles with Fortna, Ross Stores, and The Gap.

Jason lives in Roswell with his wife Shelley and his two children. When he’s not working, he enjoys boating on the lake and touring microbreweries.

The Georgia Tech Supply Chain and Logistics Institute is honored to have Jason join us to help determine SCL's future direction.

]]> Andy Haleblian 1 1629215117 2021-08-17 15:45:17 1629215283 2021-08-17 15:48:03 0 0 news Jason DeLoach is VP of Supply Chain Engineering Solutions at Americold. Jason brings 27 years of experience and leadership in Supply Chain Strategy, Analytics, Design, Engineering, and Implementation.

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2021-08-17T00:00:00-04:00 2021-08-17T00:00:00-04:00 2021-08-17 00:00:00 649758 649758 image <![CDATA[Jason DeLoach, VP of Supply Chain Engineering Solutions, Americold]]> image/jpeg 1629205722 2021-08-17 13:08:42 1629205722 2021-08-17 13:08:42 <![CDATA[SCL Industry Advisory Board members]]>
<![CDATA[Valerie Thomas Named Chair of National Academies Committee to Study Life Cycle Analysis of Low-Carbon Transportation Fuels]]> 28766 Renewable and low-carbon fuel standards, such as the Federal Renewable Fuel Standard and the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard, are major U.S. programs for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from transportation fuels. These standards rely on life cycle assessment as a method to estimate fuel greenhouse gas emissions. However, current life cycle assessments differ notably in how they are implemented, with disagreements pertaining to data quality, modeling approaches, and key assumptions. Now, a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) committee will study Current Methods for Life Cycle Analyses of Low-Carbon Transportation Fuels in the United States. Professor Valerie Thomas, Anderson-Interface Chair of Natural Systems in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering, has been appointed to chair the committee, which will meet through April 2022 to do its work.

Thomas, who holds a joint appointment in Georgia Tech’s School of Public Policy, is an expert in life cycle assessment, sustainability, and science and technology policy. Her current research projects include life cycle assessment of biofuels made from algae, of carbon dioxide captured from air, of chemicals made from biomass, and of alternative technologies for conventional and urban agriculture. 

Under Thomas’ leadership, the committee will consider direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions; that is, direct greenhouse gas emissions from producing feedstock for fuel and making and using the fuel, and emissions from indirect effects such as land use change. Indirect effects can occur, for example, when land used for one purpose – such as growing corn for food – instead is used to grow feedstock for biofuel. 

The committee will also consider key assumptions and the quality of the data used to estimate greenhouse gas emissions, and may assess needs for additional data and model development. The group also will consider methods used to evaluate biofuels, electricity as a transportation fuel, hydrogen fuels, low-carbon diesel fuels, and aviation and maritime fuels, among others.

“Transportation is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions, and multiple alternative-fuel technologies are being developed to address this challenging problem,” said Thomas. “Our committee has been tasked with providing recommendations for potential use in a national low-carbon fuels program. Our aim is to provide policy makers and the public with a robust, useful set of findings on the state-of-the-science in evaluating greenhouse gas emissions of low-carbon transportation fuels.”

]]> Shelley Wunder-Smith 1 1629208735 2021-08-17 13:58:55 1629757772 2021-08-23 22:29:32 0 0 news Thomas, an expert in life cycle assessment, sustainability, and science and technology policy, will lead the committee's considerations of direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions.

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2021-08-17T00:00:00-04:00 2021-08-17T00:00:00-04:00 2021-08-17 00:00:00 Shelley Wunder-Smith

H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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649762 649761 649762 image <![CDATA[Human use of fossil fuels, especially for transportation, is a major producer of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.]]> image/jpeg 1629208434 2021-08-17 13:53:54 1629208434 2021-08-17 13:53:54 649761 image <![CDATA[Valerie Thomas]]> image/jpeg 1629208349 2021-08-17 13:52:29 1629208349 2021-08-17 13:52:29
<![CDATA[Gaming Meets Education: Inspirit Reshapes the Future of STEM Learning with 3D Interactive Models]]> 35757 Amrutha Vasan was a fourth-year student at the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE) when she and fourth-year computer science student Aditya Vishwanath began working with Neha Kumar, associate professor in the College of Computing, to develop smartphone-based virtual reality (VR) content for the classroom. They tested the effectiveness of their technology in a study involving almost 350 high school and middle school students, seeing promising results in not only improved grades but also in engagement and interest levels.

Several years later, Vasan and Vishwanath have transformed what was once a research project into the ed tech startup Inspirit. The app they designed, which teaches STEM concepts through 3D models built in the game engine Unity, combines Duolingo-style learning with the highly interactive environments of popular games like Minecraft and Fortnite. But how did they develop this technology, thus unlocking a new form of virtual learning that is changing the possibilities of education?

After graduating from Georgia Tech in 2018, Vasan took a job at Proctor & Gamble (P&G), and Vishwanath headed to Stanford University for a Ph.D. in learning sciences and technology design. Working in the Virtual Human Interaction Lab at Stanford, Vishwanath’s studies centered around improving learning outcomes, engagement, and retention. Through their experiences, the pair realized that above all, they needed to tap into core pedagogical principles.

“It wasn't really the VR that mattered, it was the interaction -- that's what drove the learning outcomes,” Vasan said. “STEM education is supposed to be experiential, and students should be driven by curiosity.”

The co-founders continued to work on Inspirit for another year and started pitching the company to venture capital (VC) firms in the summer of 2019. After signing with their first investor, Vasan quit her job at P&G and moved back to her home country of India to build a team of employees and work full-time on the startup.

Now, the Inspirit smartphone app includes more than 1,000 accurate, 3D interactive models that facilitate learning through an immersive experience. Students can break apart the human respiratory system, travel inside a plant cell, or explore the DNA replication process, taking quizzes to unlock new levels. Inspired by games like Candy Crush and Minecraft, features such as leaderboards, lives, avatars, and forums incentivize players to keep learning.

Inspirit’s first full curriculum, advanced placement (AP) biology, will be released this fall. The self-serve aspect of the app means that students whose schools do not offer AP biology can learn the coursework entirely through Inspirit, and it can also act as a supplement for those who need extra help. Since AP classes require skills like critical reasoning, Inspirit worked with AP biology teachers to ensure the app facilitated the necessary learning outcomes.

A second function of the app is the community portal, which offers 3D multiplayer functionality, i.e., live classroom sessions. The Inspirit team’s goal is for students to be able to enter the environment on their phones without the app crashing, which is one of the main challenges for these types of applications. During these virtual classroom sessions, teachers have access to the 3D models and can use them as part of their instruction.

The goal of Inspirit is not to overtake in-person learning, however. “I don't think you can replace the human touch with technology,” Vasan said. “Kids in school need peer-to-peer connection. To me, education still needs to be driven by a good teacher, but you can give teachers access to the tools they need to teach specific concepts.”

Deciding what type of technology to use for their product was not an easy process. The Inspirit team tried building out true VR experiences using systems like Google Cardboard, Oculus Go, and HTC Vive. The Covid-19 pandemic, however, made them seriously consider the question of accessibility. Most students do not have access to VR headsets, so a phone app is the most inclusive option.

Understanding their customer base was crucial, and that’s why Vasan and Vishwanath went directly to their target demographic: Gen Z. Inspirit has a Discord channel where students can be part of the development process by joining protocol design calls and beta-testing the app. Right now, the startup has a community of about 250 students, but they expect this number to grow significantly as the app progresses.

This past summer, Vasan and Vishwanath expanded engagement by offering internships for high school students with the goal of promoting curiosity and interest in STEM education through online events that cater to their peers and are open to students across the world. Together, the student interns set up debates, movie and trivia nights, home experiments, and even a science-themed Minecraft build.

Young people are not the only ones supporting the vision, though. This year, Inspirit attended the South by Southwest Education Conference & Festival and entered into the Launch, a competition for early stage startups to pitch their company and mission. As first-time founders surrounded by entrepreneurs on their second or third business with years of experience, Vasan and Vishwanath didn’t expect to win, but they ended up coming in first out of five finalists from all across the country. The accomplishment was an incredible PR boost that resulted in many new investors reaching out to them.

Though Inspirit is now further along in development, Vasan stresses the importance of pitching yourself as a founder, especially in the beginning of raising funding. “Most investors aren't looking for you to have the answers. When they're investing you in the first round, they don't care about the idea, they care about the founders,” she explained. “If they think you're capable of finally coming up with the right solution, they will invest in you.”

Finding Inspirit’s first investor was a challenging process. The pair started raising for the pre-seed round of funding last summer, which they soon realized was the least optimal season. After receiving rejection after rejection, they planned to wait six months, redo their pitch, and try again – until the last company they were waiting on, Unshackled Ventures, said yes.

Inspirit’s main investors are Unshackled Ventures and Sierra Ventures, which invested during the seed round. Unshackled Ventures is uniquely immigrant focused, only funding startups where at least one founder is not a U.S. citizen. Starting a company as an international student in college can be extremely difficult, but Unshackled Ventures provides additional support for founders, such as help with immigration processing.

Vasan praised both Inspirit’s investors and her team, emphasizing the importance of recruiting the right people who can be trusted to make critical decisions. “I think the team matters more than anything else,” she said. “You need to have a team whose strengths and weaknesses are balanced among the members. If your team is cohesive, and everyone is aligned with your mission, you will figure it out.”

In the future, Inspirit will work toward making the app, currently available on iOS, also available on Android, and they want to expand the curriculum to include chemistry, physics, and other subjects. Further on, the team wants students to be able to develop their own content on the platform because they believe education also should be about creation, not just consumption.

But is there a future for true VR in education, as Vasan and Vishwanath experimented with in the early stages of the startup? Vasan says VR technology hasn’t hit the mainstream market yet -- but when it does, Inspirit will be ready to make the shift.

]]> goberst3 1 1629152566 2021-08-16 22:22:46 1630084723 2021-08-27 17:18:43 0 0 news Amrutha Vasan (IE 2018) and Aditya Vishwanath (CS 2018) founded an ed tech startup that has developed a smartphone app to teach STEM concepts through gamified learning.

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2021-08-16T00:00:00-04:00 2021-08-16T00:00:00-04:00 2021-08-16 00:00:00 Grace Oberst

Communications Assistant
H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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649527 649712 649713 649527 image <![CDATA[Amrutha Vasan and Aditya Vishwanath]]> image/jpeg 1628739349 2021-08-12 03:35:49 1628739349 2021-08-12 03:35:49 649712 image <![CDATA[Inspirit app]]> image/jpeg 1629152388 2021-08-16 22:19:48 1629152388 2021-08-16 22:19:48 649713 image <![CDATA[Live room]]> image/jpeg 1629152527 2021-08-16 22:22:07 1629152527 2021-08-16 22:22:07
<![CDATA[ISyE Student Roy Gabriel Turns Passion for Teaching into Entrepreneurship]]> 35866 Because of his family, Roy Gabriel, a fifth-year in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE), has always had a sense of service. “I grew up in the Middle East, and since I was young, I have noticed a lot of inefficiencies there,” he said. “My parents always helped in any way through the community and the church, and so I thought, ‘Maybe I can contribute to that somehow.’”

This call to help others stayed with Gabriel when he moved to the U.S. for a dual-degree program. He spent three years at Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, Georgia and is now approaching his second and final year at Georgia Tech. One way he is passionate about helping others is teaching. Gabriel helped his friends with math and science courses in high school, was a teaching assistant for his native language, Arabic, at Covenant, and has offered private teaching throughout college as a source of income.

“I started tutoring more often than not to the extent that I started noticing places where I could say, ‘If I could teach that subject, then I would make that educational program better,’” he said. “So, as opposed to just coming to you for a private session, I can actually make current educational programs better.” 

And with that thought, Gabriel’s business, Makademy, was born. Makademy is an educational business that serves to improve or create educational platforms for companies. Gabriel’s current client is IvyLine Capital Group, an investment firm with an educational arm that he was a student in himself. Gabriel works specifically with IvyLine’s educational cohort, creating lecture videos and tests on the application of machine learning in finance.

“Once I joined that program, I learned a lot about how to invest, but then I realized through my industrial engineering studies, you can use machine learning to invest,” he said. Gabriel then created his own algorithm using machine learning and derivative training that proved successful and wanted to give back to IvyLine. “I approached the founder and said, ‘You guys taught me a lot about investing, all the basics, so how can I make the educational program better? I’ll add statistical modeling. How can we remove the investor’s emotion from the factor or the risks? I can minimize them by using my teachings.’”

Gabriel’s future goals for Makademy include adding more clients, building a website with educational programs, expanding the subjects taught, and hiring private tutors. He plans to continue this after graduation while also working toward his master's degree in quantitative and computational finance at Georgia Tech.

“Makademy is here for any institution looking to revamp its educational cohort,” he said. “For example, if you work at a certain company, and they have learning modules that you’d like to make better, whether they're too old-school or you’d like them to be more graphically intensive for Gen Z, then you can sign up with Makademy.”

Gabriel’s main motivation is to give everyone access to quality education. “Because every person learns a different way, if you can resonate with a student, you can make an impact in not only your community but the world,” he said. “The idea is when you grew up in school, whatever you ended up doing afterwards was because, in my opinion at least, you had good teachers teaching you that. If I can help everyone get good teachers in all these different subjects, then imagine what the world would be like in 10 or 20 years.”

]]> afu34 1 1628728192 2021-08-12 00:29:52 1628772767 2021-08-12 12:52:47 0 0 news Rising fifth-year Roy Gabriel used his teaching experience to create Makademy, an educational business that serves to improve or create educational platforms for companies.

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2021-08-11T00:00:00-04:00 2021-08-11T00:00:00-04:00 2021-08-11 00:00:00 Angeline Fu
Communications Assistant
H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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<![CDATA[ISyE Alumna Emily Parrish: Fulfillment Design Engineer and Forbes 30 Under 30]]> 35757 Emily Parrish is an experienced industrial, automation, and robotics engineer and a 2016 graduate from the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial Systems and Engineering (ISyE). Always eager to learn, she has a diverse range of interests and did not originally know what career path she would end up pursuing. So what led her to engineering, and how did she achieve recognition from Forbes so early in her career?

Originally born in Germany, Parrish moved with her family to Boston and then to Baltimore before finally settling down in Georgia at seven years old. Passionate about music, she played instruments her whole life, including drums, flute, piano, and now guitar. She was also very competitive in sports, playing soccer since an early age. And, as it turns out, engineering ran in her family — her father was working in operations engineering with a background in mechanical engineering.

Because of the Zell Miller Scholarship and the opportunity to stay close to home, Georgia Tech was a natural choice for Parrish. She applied as a business major and dabbled in aerospace engineering before settling on industrial engineering, which drew her interest because of the mixture of process improvement and business elements. She was also accepted into the Denning Technology & Management (T&M) program, a two-year course of study that allows engineering students to receive a minor in engineering and business.

After her first year at Georgia Tech, Parrish landed a co-op at UPS Supply Chain Solutions. Her experience at UPS solidified her excitement for process efficiency and continuous improvement, and she had the opportunity to attend Modex, an Atlanta-based tradeshow that is the largest manufacturing and supply chain expo in North America. Modex features equipment and solutions for assembly logistics, fulfillment and delivery, IT, and other emerging technology solutions.

At the expo, Parrish saw Amazon’s fulfillment center robots for the first time and immediately fell in love with them. Inspired to work for Amazon, she later landed her first role as an innovation and design engineer, working on automating warehouse systems.

“I wanted to be at a company that was fast paced and really changing the way that warehousing and automation were working,” said Parrish.

Immediately after graduating, she moved to Seattle and eventually worked her way up to senior hardware development engineer. Throughout Parrish’s career at Amazon, the systematic approach of industrial engineering allowed her to apply her skillset to any role. One project she worked on with her team was automating the sortation process for multiple item orders, and the new item sortation machine she developed is pending patent, along with several other customer experience inventions.

This year, Parrish’s accomplishments are being recognized on a larger scale, as she was selected for the 2021 cohort of Forbes 30 Under 30 in the Manufacturing and Industry section.

“I never thought it would happen,” said Parrish about her achievement. “I'm so humbled. The people in Forbes are amazing and so talented — a lot of them are startup CEOs who have created so many different products. I'm honored to be among them.” She described the surreal moment of waking up to find out she made the list and was already receiving congratulatory messages from friends.

Being part of Forbes 30 Under 30 has enabled her to connect with other accomplished people and learn about different industries. “It’s been really great to meet genuinely brilliant people across the nation who are curious to learn, too,” said Parrish.

Now, she has a new role as a principal design engineer working on designing fulfillment centers at a prominent, multi-billion-dollar valuated startup. She still enjoys being in Seattle and seeing the beautiful view while living near the water.

Looking back on her college experience, Parrish credits her Georgia Tech education as instrumental in building a foundation of skills that has enabled her to reach the place she is in today. In particular, the Denning T&M program was an enriching experience with a curriculum that exposed her to a wide range of topics, including innovative technologies, biogenetics, cryptocurrencies, sustainability, and more. She especially valued interacting in a small, multidisciplinary class setting, and the program also offered numerous networking opportunities and helped her refine her interview and presentation skills.  

Some of Parrish’s favorite memories from Georgia Tech are from joining the crew team and the barbell club, where she was able to spend time with other students who also liked sports and staying fit. Overall, she recalls the incredible experiences of getting to meet other intelligent people with the same ideas and drive, many of whom she is still friends with today.

When asked about her future plans, Parrish said, “My goal is just to keep learning and exposing new technologies to people. I try to make sure that I'm happy every day and doing something that I'm passionate about and that is really helping change the world.”

]]> goberst3 1 1628722102 2021-08-11 22:48:22 1628795141 2021-08-12 19:05:41 0 0 news Alumna Emily Parrish (IE 2016) is an industrial, automation, and robotics engineer who was selected for the 2021 cohort of Forbes 30 Under 30 in the Manufacturing and Industry section.

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2021-08-11T00:00:00-04:00 2021-08-11T00:00:00-04:00 2021-08-11 00:00:00 Grace Oberst

Communications Assistant
H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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<![CDATA[Chen Zhou on Aligning Supply Chains with Human Needs]]> 35757 Industrial engineering focuses on efficiency and cost reduction, which can lead to unintended consequences when optimization is not aligned with social and environmental issues. That’s why engineers should also serve human needs, as stated in Georgia Tech’s mission “to develop leaders who advance technology and improve the human condition” and focus on “making a positive impact in the lives of people everywhere.”

In an article published in a recent issue of the ISE magazine from the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers, the moral complications of supply chain optimization are discussed by Chen Zhou, associate chair for undergraduate studies and associate professor in the H. Milton School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE).

“Over the years, ISE has developed many tools for logistics and supply chain, analytics, manufacturing, ergonomics, quality improvement and work system design,” Zhou wrote in the article. “However, the challenge in modern society is that improvements in cost reduction and efficiency improvement are not sufficient to supply human needs.”

This misalignment is easily visible in the case of food deserts, where convenience stores and fast-food restaurants thrive because of their low costs and high efficiency. They do not provide sufficient nutrition, but supermarkets and family restaurants cannot compete against them because fresh produce has a shorter shelf life and is difficult to transport and store.

Another key example is the healthcare system, which is filled with invisible contracts that lead to high healthcare costs when pricing information is not transparent. Between hospitals and patients, there are other players – value added networks, group purchasing organizations, and pharmacy benefit managers – who are all optimizing their interests.

Georgia Tech Senior Design students have found a lot of waste in hospitals that arises when insurance companies are not concerned about product charges if their costs are covered by premiums, leading to potential overconsumption of medical services. This case of supplier-induced demand is just one instance of many moral hazards in the healthcare system.

To create supply chains designed to meet human needs, industrial engineers need to lead the way. “ISEs have an advantage to supplement their tools on cost and efficiency with a few more tools, such as a deterrent to moral hazards and the internalization of externalities, to address some of the most important social and environmental issues,” Zhou noted.

Read the article in its entirety.

This article is provided for informational purposes only with permission of the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers from the July 2021 issue of ISE magazine, Copyright©2021. All rights reserved.

]]> goberst3 1 1628657456 2021-08-11 04:50:56 1629914911 2021-08-25 18:08:31 0 0 news In an article published in the ISE magazine from the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers, Chen Zhou discusses the moral complications of supply chain optimization.

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2021-08-11T00:00:00-04:00 2021-08-11T00:00:00-04:00 2021-08-11 00:00:00 Shelley Wunder-Smith

H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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<![CDATA[The Seth Bonder Camp Expands Reach and Representation]]> 35757 The Seth Bonder Camp in Computational and Data Science for Engineering is a five-day summer program for high school students. The camp is supported by the generous gifts of the Seth Bonder Foundation and led by Pascal Van Hentenryck, A. Russell Chandler III Chair and professor in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE). Like last year, the camp was held online due to Covid-19, but Van Hentenryck leveraged the virtual format to significantly increase the number of students reached, especially among underrepresented minorities.  

The camp’s curriculum featured several modules that were offered in four levels ranging from basic to advanced. The first module offered an introduction to the visual programming language Snap! and was followed by units in more advanced programming as well as computational data science, optimization, machine learning, and computational biology.

Van Hentenryck used a Marvel theme for the course material, which included a movie trailer-style introduction, the Avengers theme song as an intro to each lecture, and even wearing a Nick Fury costume while teaching. “The students become superheroes by learning how to code,” he explained.

Thanks to the flexibility of the online format, the program expanded to include five different versions of the camp. Two were were open specifically to students attending minority and rural high schools – one with Booker T. Washington High School in Atlanta and a high school in Puerto Rico, and one with Banneker High School in Fulton County and Savannah High School.

Two other camps were offered in collaboration with Kids Teach Tech, a non-profit founded by Arjun Mulchandani, a student from California passionate about teaching other kids how to code. His team encompasses a community of children who create and teach programming classes to their peers, both in person and online, reaching youth not only across the United States but also internationally.

The first camp – exclusively for students from Kids Teach Tech – prepared them to deliver the material themselves. In the following camp session, those same students hosted their own Seth Bonder Camp, in conjunction with the Georgia Tech team, UC Berkeley Engineering and the Urban League of Greater San Francisco Bay Area. The camp was a huge success, and over 80% of the attendees were underrepresented students.

“The partnership with Kids Teach Tech enabled us to reach students in California and leverage the existing ecosystem there, indicating that the Seth Bonder Camp model is replicable and can grow organically,” said Van Hentenryck.

The final Seth Bonder Camp was open to all high school students. Total enrollment across all five camps reached 150 students, a huge leap from previous years that averaged 20-30 participants. To help with the camp, Van Hentenryck has a team of post-docs, Ph.D. students, and undergraduate students who serve as teaching assistants and are supported by Seth Bonder Fellowships.

Already, the camp has inspired high schoolers to pursue engineering. Neil Barry, who attended the camp in 2019, is now a rising second-year ISyE student conducting research with Van Hentenryck. “The Seth Bonder camp was a great experience for me because it showed me how useful and rewarding ISyE can be,” said Barry. “I grew more interested in the power of using data to make informed decisions, especially with computer programming. Professor Van Hentenryck was engaging as a teacher and is helpful as a research advisor.”

Next year, Van Hentenryck wants to transform the Seth Bonder camp into a longitudinal program that offers increasingly sophisticated camps by secondary school grade, with the goal of keeping high school students interested over time. He is also working on offering the camp throughout the school year and says that partnering with high schools and organizations like Kids Teach Tech is key to the future success of the camp.

To learn more about the Seth Bonder Camp in Computational and Data Science for Engineering and to partner with the camp, visit sethbondercamp.isye.gatech.edu.

]]> goberst3 1 1628656807 2021-08-11 04:40:07 1629810382 2021-08-24 13:06:22 0 0 news Pascal Van Hentenryck leveraged the virtual format of the camp to partner with high schools and the nonprofit Kids Teach Tech, reaching 150 students across all five camps.

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2021-08-10T00:00:00-04:00 2021-08-10T00:00:00-04:00 2021-08-10 00:00:00 Grace Oberst

Communications Assistant
H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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<![CDATA[Brookings Institution Spotlights Improving the Manufacturing Sector]]> 28766 From Washington D.C., the Brookings Institute recently convened a virtual panel of manufacturing experts that included Ben Wang, executive director of the Georgia Tech Manufacturing Institute. Wang holds the Gwaltney Chair in Manufacturing Systems and is a professor both in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering and the School of Materials Science and Engineering. He served as the previous chair of the National Materials and Manufacturing Board.

The panel’s topic: “Can the Biden Administration Improve the Manufacturing Sector?”

Other panelists included: David Cicilline, member of the U.S. House of Representatives; Monica Gorman, deputy assistant secretary, manufacturing industry & analysis, U.S. Department of Commerce; Elisabeth Reynolds, special assistant to the President for manufacturing and economic development, National Economic Council, the White House; Darrell West, vice president and director governance studies, the Brookings Institution; and John Hazen White, Jr., executive chairman, Taco Family of Companies Trustee, the Brookings Institution.

During the panel’s second session, Wang emphasized, “advanced manufacturing is foundational to our [nation’s] economic prosperity, resilience and the national security.” He was previously involved with President Obama administration’s advanced manufacturing partnership from 2011 to 2013.

“Building a strong manufacturing base in the U.S. is a national imperative,” said Wang. “We know that technology-based innovation is the dominant driver of economic growth in the 21st century. Our national security, standard of living, and rebuilding the middle class in our society all depends on a strong globally competitive manufacturing base.”

Wang stressed the need to have a vibrant innovation value chain tightly coupled with a strong manufacturing ecosystem. “We cannot separate innovation from manufacturing,” said Wang.
“Some policymakers believed that we could continue to innovate and leave manufacturing to other nations. As it turned out, not only did we lose our ability to produce high tech products, we began to lose our ability to innovate.”

“If we want to compete well globally, we must maintain both the technological innovation leadership and advance manufacturing leadership [in the United States],” said Wang.

The need was also stressed to support small and medium-sized manufacturers who contribute to the nation’s supply chain and overall GDP in a significant way, but lack resources to evaluate and adopt new, state of the art manufacturing technologies.

National and state Manufacturing Extension Partnerships (MEP) can play a critical role in helping these smaller entities with technology adoption.

According to Wang, regional ecosystem actors must work together to identify common manufacturing challenges and common opportunities. And then co-innovate around those common challenges and opportunities. This type of regional approach will push local companies to rethink how they should interact with one another and help ensure that benefits are shared by all.

Wang’s entire presentation and the full panel discussion which was sponsored and moderated by the Brookings Institution can be found here.

]]> Shelley Wunder-Smith 1 1628516096 2021-08-09 13:34:56 1629757814 2021-08-23 22:30:14 0 0 news The Brookings Institute recently convened a virtual panel of manufacturing experts that included ISyE's Ben Wang.

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2021-07-30T00:00:00-04:00 2021-07-30T00:00:00-04:00 2021-07-30 00:00:00 Walter Rich

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<![CDATA[Team Led by ISyE’s Pascal Van Hentenryck Awarded $20M NSF Grant to Fund Center for Study of AI and Optimization]]> 28766 A team led by Pascal Van Hentenryck, A. Russell Chandler III Chair and professor in Georgia Tech’s H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE), has been awarded a five-year, $20 million grant by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to fund the NSF Artificial Intelligence (AI) Institute for Advances in Optimization (AI4OPT). AI4OPT will focus on bringing together the fields of artificial intelligence and mathematical optimization to achieve research breakthroughs in automated decision making that could not be attained separately. 

“AI4OPT, with its focus on AI and optimization, will create new pathways for novel tools that allow better engineering applications to benefit society,” said Raheem Beyah, dean of Georgia Tech’s College of Engineering and Southern Company Chair. “This will allow engineers to build higher-quality materials, more efficient renewable resources, new computing systems and more, while also reinforcing the field as a career path for diverse students. The new institute complements the College’s commitment to the integration of AI in engineering disciplines.”

The interinstitutional team includes researchers and faculty from Georgia Tech, as well as the University of California, Berkeley; the University of Southern California (USC); Clark Atlanta University; the University of Texas at Arlington; and Spelman College.

“Optimization is now ubiquitous in society. Without it, the world would come to a halt,” said Van Hentenryck. “It is also at the core of the machine learning revolution. But as the world becomes increasingly interconnected, and also more uncertain, optimization problems have become daunting and incredibly challenging. Our institute will fuse AI and optimization to push the frontiers in decision making at massive scales.

“The vision is to merge AI and optimization to create intelligent agents that predict and quantify uncertainty, reason and optimize, continuously learn, and coordinate and collaborate. So, in a sense, the institute will transform optimization solutions into networks of intelligent systems.”

The team is driven by use cases in several areas of significant societal impact: energy systems and the use of massive, distributed renewable resources and demand response programs; green supply chains to support the growth of e-commerce; resilience and sustainability, particularly in how to develop local food production; and circuit design and control for accelerating the development of new computing systems that can solve these evermore challenging problems.

According to Van Hentenryck, a second significant component of the institute is to “democratize access to AI education, research, and jobs” for underrepresented minority and female students and teachers. Van Hentenryck brings experience to this task through his design and delivery of the Seth Bonder Camp in Computational and Data Science for Engineering, an online course and on-campus summer camp designed to increase awareness of the fields of data science and operations research among high school students. AI4OPT will build on this initiative by offering longitudinal camps to engage middle and high school students in these topics for the entirety of their secondary school education. The institute will also bring new AI education and research programs to HBCUs and Hispanic-serving colleges throughout the U.S., addressing the widening gap in job opportunities.

Van Hentenryck’s co-PIs are George Lan, ISyE A. Russell Chandler III Associate Professor; Justin Romberg, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering Schlumberger Professor; Professors Alper Atamturk and Dorit Hochbaum at UC Berkeley; Associate Professor Bistra Dilkina at USC; and Professor Charles Pierre at Clark Atlanta University. A significant number of faculty from computer science, civil and environmental engineering, electrical and computer engineering, and industrial and systems engineering across the various institutions are also involved, fostering the interdisciplinary nature of the institute.

For the first time, this year’s program includes major corporations, and the NSF Artificial Intelligence (AI) Institute for Advances in Optimization is partially funded by Intel Corporation. Van Hentenryck noted that industry collaborations represent a key constituency for AI4OPT: They drive the methodology research with use cases that represent fundamental societal challenges. 

In partnership with the United States Department of Agriculture, the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Science & Technology Directorate, and the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, the NSF is funding 11 centers within its National AI Research Institutions program. Georgia Tech has been awarded two of the grants: AI4OPT and AI Institute for Collaborative Assistance and Responsiveness Interaction for Networked Groups (AI-CARING), led by College of Computing Associate Professor Sonia Chernova to support aging-related issues.

“I am delighted to announce the establishment of new NSF National AI Research Institutes as we look to expand into all 50 states,” said NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan. “These institutes are hubs for academia, industry, and government to accelerate discovery and innovation in AI. Inspiring talent and ideas everywhere in this important area will lead to new capabilities that improve our lives from medicine to entertainment to transportation and cybersecurity and position us in the vanguard of competitiveness and prosperity.”

To learn more about the NSF Artificial Intelligence (AI) Institute for Advances in Optimization, visit https://www.ai4opt.org/.

]]> Shelley Wunder-Smith 1 1627568158 2021-07-29 14:15:58 1628019631 2021-08-03 19:40:31 0 0 news AI4OPT is bringing together the fields of AI and mathematical optimization to achieve research breakthroughs in automated decision making that separately are unattainable.

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2021-07-29T00:00:00-04:00 2021-07-29T00:00:00-04:00 2021-07-29 00:00:00 Shelley Wunder-Smith

H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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649123 649124 649125 649123 image <![CDATA[Pascal Van Hentenryck]]> image/png 1627567329 2021-07-29 14:02:09 1627567329 2021-07-29 14:02:09 649124 image <![CDATA[The use cases AI4OPT will focus on are in these four areas of social impact.]]> image/png 1627567832 2021-07-29 14:10:32 1627568779 2021-07-29 14:26:19 649125 image <![CDATA[AI4OPT Logo]]> image/png 1627567922 2021-07-29 14:12:02 1627567922 2021-07-29 14:12:02
<![CDATA[Self-Taught Entrepreneur Aaron Brown Transforms His Vintage Toy Company as an Industrial Engineer]]> 35757 Rising fifth-year Aaron Brown was only a second grader when he first founded Tin Toy Arcade (TTA), an online business that sells vintage-style toys. He steadily built the company, developing his own database and acquiring a warehouse as the operations grew too big for his childhood home. After attending a high school summer camp at the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE), he realized industrial engineering was the perfect path to help him continue to build TTA.

In high school, Brown was still figuring out how to improve the efficiency of TTA’s operations, which led to impromptu challenges, such as needing to pack toy orders while studying for finals. But by the time Brown arrived at Georgia Tech, most of the work was already automated. As a result, he could focus on high-level management while continuing to refine TTA’s supply chain system.

Tapping into the marketing side of the business, Brown created a new website for TTA, a modern upgrade to the original, more archaic design that no longer fit with current trends. He noticed that many of the company’s sales either came from repeat customers or from one-off shoppers, maintaining an already established customer base. This helped him to realize the increasing importance of advertising campaigns that use the right media and keywords to fully benefit from search engine optimization.

Brown also decided to shift a large portion of TTA’s sales to Amazon. The Amazon search algorithm favors consistency and quality on single items, and he discovered that products intentionally targeting the system saw a definite spike in sales. Since Amazon takes a large cut of the profit, he initially experimented with the platform to determine if the move was worth the investment and how to best approach advertising.

Now that TTA has a much bigger online presence, Brown is amazed by the company’s evolution. “I started this business when I was my own salesman; the website was its own storefront,” he said. “Now it’s like I'm in a street market with a bunch of other people, some of whom have purchased things from me and are selling them at a cheaper price.”

Though resellers are numerous in the toy industry, sourcing remains as exclusive as before – Brown is one of only a few distributors acquiring toys from Germany and is the only one sourcing from India. Knowing that he is the sole seller of most of his products makes it easy to spot them in commercials, TV shows, and more. While watching The Good Witch, he was thrilled to recognize a large rack of toys assembled just like the front page of the TTA website. Furthermore, he has even noticed his toys used as window displays in the retro shops in Disneyland.

With the continued stability of the business, however, came unexpected strains to TTA’s supply chain. When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, TTA saw a surge in overall sales as consumers increasingly moved to shopping online. Furthermore, some items exploded in popularity, which he speculates could be linked to those items trending on social media. Luckily, the pandemic meant that Brown had more free time to devote to the company and tackle the parts of its system that were no longer running smoothly.

Challenging new order patterns meant that Brown needed to rethink his inventory management strategy to ensure he had enough warehouse space for popular items, as well as redesign the picking system to continue to support the fast shipping that TTA offers. The changes he implemented were critical; due to Covid-19 safety restrictions, one employee sometimes needed to do the work of five.

Brown credits his continuous improvements to TTA to the skills he has learned in his academic studies. Though his self-taught, trial-by-error engineering is what carried him through the early stages of the business, it was not enough to bring TTA to its current level. ISyE classes have not been easier for him because of his background, but he appreciates his perspective of having real-life experience with applications of systems theories.

“It's really cool to see when it starts to click in my mind,” said Brown. “I took some supply chain concentration classes – warehousing design, flow layouts, value-stream mapping – things I wouldn't have known how to do on my own. Maybe it's the right sequence of events for me to have experienced the hard way of doing everything manually because I now understand the system better.”

The most notable improvement Brown made was shifting from an exclusively pick-by-order system to one that includes a pick-by-item process. Previously, workers would bin products based on order. Now, to address sudden popularity spikes, they pick by item when those products’ sales volumes exceed a certain threshold for the given day. The new process has resulted in tremendous time savings overall.

According to Brown, the most useful class for his business was optimization, which helped him figure out the cutoff for switching between the two picking systems. Another class he enjoyed was cornerstone design, which included performing time studies while sitting in Caribou Coffee and watching the servers walk back and forth. He used the experience to conduct time studies for TTA, feeding the data collected into his optimization algorithms. Through iterative improvement, he eventually saw positive results.

Surprisingly, Brown’s chosen ISyE concentration is operations research, not supply chain. Because he has been heavily involved in the business for so long, he wanted to focus more on the applied math and coding aspects of ISyE, skills he was originally less confident in. Though Brown aims for a full-time job in global logistics or product management after graduating, he is interested in further education and may pursue an MBA or a master’s in analytics in the future. And as he moves forward in his career, he wants to continue his business and keep the legacy of tin toys alive.

“Thanks to everything I've done, between internships and Georgia Tech classes, I can actually adapt the business and feel confident in doing so,” said Brown. “I see a positive future for Tin Toy Arcade.”

You can read more about Brown’s inspiration for founding Tin Toy Arcade and how he originally developed the company here.

]]> goberst3 1 1627337815 2021-07-26 22:16:55 1627566934 2021-07-29 13:55:34 0 0 news Rising fifth-year Aaron Brown used his ISyE skills to refine the supply chain of his company, Tin Toy Arcade, an online business that sells vintage-style toys.

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2021-07-26T00:00:00-04:00 2021-07-26T00:00:00-04:00 2021-07-26 00:00:00 Grace Oberst

Communications Assistant
H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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<![CDATA[Supply Chain Crisis Forcing Shoppers to Buy Early]]> 34760

According to Chelsea White, professor in the Georgia Tech Manufacturing Institute, “supply chains don’t like disruptions—especially low-cost supply chains—and they’re all low cost.”

White is the Schneider National Chair in Transportation and Logistics and professor in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Georgia Tech​.

“When demand is smooth and supply is balanced with demand, supply chains run well and inexpensively,” said White.

However, covid has caused dramatic drops and increases in demand, thus adding to supply disruptions. A rapid recovery in the United States has helped spike that dramatic increase.

In addition to dramatic demand flucuation, the supply side of this was also interrupted with shipping workers in China contracting covid, reducing the capacity to move goods out of major Chinese ports. With the dramatic rise in demand, congestion has been causing further delays even though the supply chains have plenty of capacity according to White.

White says some of this lack of smooth supply and demand is self-inflicted, “container ships have gotten much bigger, naturally causing surges all over the freight transportation system – ocean carriers, rail, and trucks. The tariffs kicking in caused ‘front loading,’ which we’re seeing now to ensure shelves will be stocked during the holidays at the end of the calendar year.”

“We’re finding out that the global freight transportation system is less resilient than originally thought,” said White. “My prediction for 2021 is there will be toys on the shelves for the Christmas holidays, but perhaps not as many toys and their prices may be higher.”

Chelsea White, along with other experts, were recently interviewed by CBS News in Atlanta, Georgia. You can view White’s interview and learn more about the supply chain crisis topic here: CBS46 News, Supply Chain Crisis Forcing Shoppers to Buy Early.

]]> Laurie Haigh 1 1626792869 2021-07-20 14:54:29 1626876886 2021-07-21 14:14:46 0 0 news Experts share their thoughts about the holiday shopping season

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2021-07-19T00:00:00-04:00 2021-07-19T00:00:00-04:00 2021-07-19 00:00:00 Walter Rich

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648914 648873 648914 image <![CDATA[Schneider National Chair in Transportation and Logistics and Professor Chelsea "Chip" White]]> image/png 1626796843 2021-07-20 16:00:43 1626796843 2021-07-20 16:00:43 648873 image <![CDATA[CBS46 News, Supply Chain Crisis Forcing Shoppers to Buy Early]]> image/jpeg 1626707181 2021-07-19 15:06:21 1626707181 2021-07-19 15:06:21
<![CDATA[Nick Sahinidis Joins ISyE as Inaugural Butler Family Chair]]> 35866 Professor Nick Sahinidis joined Georgia Tech’s H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE) as the inaugural Gary C. Butler Family Chair in August 2020, with a joint appointment in the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.  

As an undergraduate, Sahinidis studied chemical engineering at Greece’s Aristotle University where he first realized that he particularly enjoyed math and writing code. Through these interests, he discovered optimization and its many applications. Then, when he was in graduate school – earning a doctorate in chemical engineering – at Carnegie Mellon, Sahinidis encountered the academic journals Operations Research and Management Science, and he read every past issue he could get his hands on. He also took business classes in mathematical programming, which led him to integer and linear programming. 

“I tried out optimization, and I loved it, so I stuck with it. By the end of my graduate studies, I was firmly entrenched in systems engineering, and my first faculty appointment was at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in the industrial engineering program, where I taught basic operations research classes,” Sahinidis reflected. 

He had learned that optimization was helpful for efficiently planning and scheduling chemical processes – and much more: supply chain management, airline scheduling, and device designs. He explained, “The math underneath is the same. Application agnostic algorithms can be applied by many people in different domains, and that was what particularly fascinated me.” 

Sahinidis spent 13 years as a professor at his alma mater as the John E. Swearingen Professor of Chemical Engineering. During his tenure at Carnegie Mellon (where he still holds a courtesy appointment), he continued the development of BARON (Branch-and-Reduce Optimization Navigator), a global optimization software system. BARON solves challenging nonconvex optimization problems, including continuous, integer, and mixed-integer nonlinear problems. Sahinidis also created ALAMO (Automated Learning of Algebraic Models), which is a black-box modeling tool that generates simple yet accurate algebraic models from data. 

Given his unstinting interest in optimization, it is perhaps unsurprising that Sahinidis would eventually arrive at the No. 1-ranked Stewart School, with its renowned optimization researchers. 

“ISyE has the world’s best optimization group – and a top machine learning group, too. I am excited that I am working with [Institute Emeritus Professor] George Nemhauser and [A. Russell Chandler III Professor] Santanu Dey on some problems – linear, mixed, and nonlinear – that our field has struggled for decades to solve,” said Sahinidis. “There’s a famous collection of challenging test problems in this area that originate from applications, including nuclear reactor management, facility location, pipeline design, and other engineering problems. When I first started working on them, we were able to solve about 5-10% of them. Now, we can solve about two-thirds of those problems, and I’m hoping that what we’re researching with Santanu and George will push the capabilities of optimization solvers for these problems close to 100%.” 

Specifically, Sahinidis’ current research activities are at the intersection between computer science and operations research, with applications in various engineering and scientific areas, including theory, algorithms, and software; informatics problems in chemistry and biology; and process and energy systems engineering. 

The ability to perform significant interdisciplinary work with other Georgia Tech faculty members also drew Sahinidis to ISyE, and his affiliate appointments at the Institute underscore this: He is also involved with the Algorithms, Combinatorics, and Optimization Program; the Institute for Data Engineering and Science; the Parker H. Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience; the Manufacturing Institute; and the Strategic Energy Institute.  

“Optimization is ubiquitous in applications in science and engineering. With the recent advances in machine learning, optimization is fueling developments in areas we never imagined we could address before. It is truly exciting to be at Georgia Tech, where I can collaborate with world-class colleagues and graduate students on optimization and its applications,” Sahinidis concluded. 

]]> afu34 1 1626390226 2021-07-15 23:03:46 1626876856 2021-07-21 14:14:16 0 0 news Sahinidis joins ISyE as the inaugural Gary C. Butler Family Chair, with a joint appointment in the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.

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2021-07-15T00:00:00-04:00 2021-07-15T00:00:00-04:00 2021-07-15 00:00:00 Shelley Wunder-Smith

H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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648828 648828 image <![CDATA[Nick Sahinidis]]> image/png 1626389620 2021-07-15 22:53:40 1626389620 2021-07-15 22:53:40
<![CDATA[Improving the Human Condition Through ISyE Senior Design]]> 35866 In 2020, Georgia Tech announced its new mission statement: “to develop leaders who advance technology and improve the human condition.” Some students in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE) are meeting this challenge through their Senior Design projects. With these projects, ISyE students typically solve complex problems presented by real-world clients, and for the Spring 2021 semester, two teams produced solutions that have made a direct community impact.

“Georgia Tech ISyE students are equipped with the skills and knowledge to tackle opportunities in public service with the same passion and rigor they apply to private companies,” noted ISyE Director of Professional Practice and Senior Design Coordinator Dima Nazzal. “The impact of the data-driven solutions they devise can be measured not only by monetary savings but also -- more importantly -- societal impact.”

One such team, nicknamed “Watt-lanta,” was led by Jordi Sabria (IE 2021). After meeting with a handful of companies, the team chose to work with the Atlanta Department of Transportation (ATLDOT) because they would not only be helping the client but the local community as well. ATLDOT tasked the team with identifying specific neighborhoods and streets that could benefit from streetlights.

“We looked at multiple studies showing that increasing lighting actually reduced crashes and crime by a significant amount, so our client believed there was a big opportunity here,” said Sabria.

Accordingly, team Watt-lanta identified the neighborhoods, most of which were located in the south and west areas of Atlanta, and the streets in most need of lighting.

“This was not just a technical problem; this was also a social problem,” Sabria said. “We had to take into account the city’s people, society, constituents, public safety, and equity.”

Watt-lanta’s work was so impactful that its results garnered local media coverage.

“Our team had the chance to present to the transportation committee of the City of Atlanta,” said Sabria. “Immediately that afternoon, the mayor announced a historic expansion of 10,000 streetlights. This was exciting news for us, because it means that it’s going to get done.”

Another team that made a significant social impact was “Improving the Children’s Condition,” led by Morgan Knowlton (IE 2021).

Having experiences with foster care in their own families, Knowlton and her teammates reached out to the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS). Reducing the burden on caseworkers improves outcomes for both the caseworkers and children under the care of the state, an idea the team used as the basis for their project. 

“One of the main conclusions we reached was that it’s beneficial for neighboring counties to share case managers,” said Manny Jonson (IE 2021). “Not only did we give DFCS specific numbers on how many caseworkers we suggest they hire, but we also targeted smaller counties specifically, where it wouldn’t take much investment for them to dramatically reduce employee workloads.”

From their conclusions, the team created a deliverable that provided explicit information to help DFCS equally distribute caseloads now and in the future.

“The experience itself was encouraging -- it is reassuring to know the future of the world is in the hands of such an impressive group of young men and women,” said DFCS Division Director Tom Rawlings.

Knowlton was inspired by the Institute’s new mission statement to choose this risky and unique project, reflected by her team’s name.

“I saw the new mission statement as a call to action, a challenge, given by Georgia Tech to its students. I felt like this was the direction that Georgia Tech wanted to go, and that gave me the final push of confidence that I needed to pursue this project,” she said. “I had an amazing team, and I hope that our project encourages future teams to prioritize selecting a project with a social good aspect. If we’re going to be engineers who improve the human condition, we’ve got to get into these spaces.”

]]> afu34 1 1626308343 2021-07-15 00:19:03 1628019718 2021-08-03 19:41:58 0 0 news Through their projects, Senior Design teams "Watt-lanta" and "Improving the Children's Condition" produced solutions that have made a direct -- local -- community impact.

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2021-07-14T00:00:00-04:00 2021-07-14T00:00:00-04:00 2021-07-14 00:00:00 Angeline Fu

Communications Assistant
H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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<![CDATA[Renato Monteiro Appointed to Coca-Cola Foundation Professorship]]> 35757 Renato D.C. Monteiro, professor in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE) has been appointed to a Coca-Cola Foundation Professorship. The Coca-Cola Foundation Professorship was established to enhance the Stewart School’s ability to attract and retain eminent teacher-scholars to this position of academic leadership. 

“I am very thankful to the Stewart School and to the Institute for appointing me to a Coca-Cola Foundation Professorship,” said Monteiro. “This appointment will enable me to further support student research assistants, travel, equipment, and interaction with industry and research community leaders in my area. It will also have a strong impact in the continued success of my academic career, and I feel deeply honored by it.”

Monteiro’s research interests lie in the area of continuous optimization and complexity of algorithms. More specifically, he is interested in the theory, complexity analysis and implementation of algorithms for solving large scale linear programming (LP), convex quadratic programming (CQP), semidefinite programming (SDP), complementarity problems, convex programming, saddle-point problems, variational inequalities and general nonlinear programming.  He is also interested in computational optimization with specific interest in the development of numerical codes for solving large scale optimization problems.

In 2020, Monteiro was awarded the INFORMS Computing Society Prize for the second time, making him one of the few researchers who have won it more than once. He joined the ISI List of Highly Cited Researchers in Mathematics in 2004, and he is heavily involved in Georgia Tech’s interdisciplinary Algorithms, Combinatorics, and Optimization program.

Monteiro has served on the editorial boards of several prestigious journals, including Operations Research, the INFORMS Journal on Computing, Mathematics Methods of Operations Research, and Mathematics of Operations Research. He has also served as vice-chair and chair of the INFORMS Optimization Section.

]]> goberst3 1 1625841023 2021-07-09 14:30:23 1625845657 2021-07-09 15:47:37 0 0 news The Coca-Cola Foundation Professorship will support Monteiro's research work in  the areas of continuous optimization and complexity of algorithms.

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2021-07-09T00:00:00-04:00 2021-07-09T00:00:00-04:00 2021-07-09 00:00:00 Shelley Wunder-Smith

H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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<![CDATA[GT Students Provide Consulting to Nonprofits in Atlanta: Q&A with ISyE Student Aaron Brown]]> 35866 For students in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE), consulting is a popular career to pursue. Rising ISyE 5th-year Aaron Brown never considered this career path until he joined Epic Intentions (EI). EI is a project-based consulting club at Georgia Tech, focused on serving nonprofits in Atlanta. In this Q&A, Brown shares his experience in leadership in EI -- as Director of Strategy, and now, President. 

What is Epic Intentions?

Epic Intentions is an interdisciplinary, project-based consulting club on campus. Our members act as both the consultants to nonprofits and as the product managers for the deliverables handed off each semester. Epic Intentions’ objective is to enable students to use what they’ve learned at Georgia Tech to serve the Atlanta community, specifically in the areas of homelessness, food insecurity, and underrepresented communities.

How did you get involved in Epic Intentions, and why this particular consulting organization over the others also at Georgia Tech?

I heard about EI before I enrolled at Georgia Tech, but after speaking to the president at the end of my first semester, I was sold and joined the next term as a general consultant. During my first term in EI, I worked on a website rebranding project for a children’s Type 1 Diabetes camp. I was drawn in by the project-oriented nature of the organization. Although strategy consulting is incredibly insightful for a nonprofit, these organizations typically don’t have the resources to follow through with the research done. Epic Intentions does both, so I was able to experience the traditional consulting and the agile development cycle in producing a solution for the camp.

How has your involvement in EI complemented your ISyE studies, and has it shaped your post-graduation plans?

I never considered consulting as a career I’d pursue, but after absolutely loving my time working on Epic Intentions’ projects and serving as the director of strategy, I’ve interned in and plan on pursuing consulting after I graduate. I gained a massive amount of respect for nonprofits’ efforts to help others with extremely limited resources. I’d love to continue working with nonprofits’ long-term planning.

What was an unexpected challenge when you served as director of strategy? What has been a success you're proud of? 

Over the three years I held that position, I was most surprised by the difficulty of retaining members. Not only does Epic Intentions see great opportunity to improve member retention, but we’ve also facilitated numerous partnerships with nonprofits suffering from the same problem. 

In the past two years, we’ve seen many returning nonprofit partners from previous terms praising the quality and depth of Georgia Tech students’ work. In my first couple terms, the organization struggled with finding nonprofits and recruiting members – now we cannot host all nonprofits or students who apply to join our network. I’m excited to see the strong foundation of EI, through both increased nonprofit and student requests.

Describe your transition from director of strategy to president. How is your role different now, and what goals do you have as president?

During my four years in Epic Intentions, I worked closely with four presidents with different leadership styles and strategic objectives. The rapid exposure to their executive directions with varying beneficial effects on the organization and on members’ enjoyment in participating has given me a sampling of how I can best use my skills to lead my executive team and my membership. Now that I’ve taken the seat of president, I’ve redistributed my previous role as director of strategy to all members so that they can contribute to EI’s strategic growth and process improvement. As we continue to grow, I aim to help expand  EI beyond its current footprint as a student organization and potentially partner with other colleges in the Metro Atlanta area to maximize the impact to the Atlanta community with our interdisciplinary -- and soon, interinstitutional -- projects.

Why should ISyE students get involved with EI?

Many Epic Intentions projects require the skills learned in industrial engineering, such as data analytics, database research and management, dashboard building, and process improvement. What makes EIs so interesting is the interdisciplinary nature of all our projects. Although the principal focus of a project might be planning and creating a database system, you might realize it would be even better if you could dive deeper into the data and perform some market research to help inform the nonprofit. These exciting questions of “what if” allow us to explore how ISyE perfectly complements many unexpected fields. Combining consulting with project management, Epic Intentions is a great snapshot into the field of industrial engineering.

New EI members are recruited each semester. For more information on Epic Intentions, visit the EI website  or @epic_intentions on Instagram.

]]> afu34 1 1625695005 2021-07-07 21:56:45 1625839911 2021-07-09 14:11:51 0 0 news ISyE student Aaron Brown serves as president after four years in Epic Intentions, a project-based consulting club at Georgia Tech focused on serving nonprofits in Atlanta.

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2021-07-07T00:00:00-04:00 2021-07-07T00:00:00-04:00 2021-07-07 00:00:00 Angeline Fu

Communications Assistant
H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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<![CDATA[Scheller’s TI:GER Program: Q&A with ISyE Ph.D. Students Jana Boerger and Emma Wu]]> 35757 New technologies often lead to innovative startups. Because of this, Georgia Tech has numerous options for students interested in entrepreneurship. One of these exciting opportunities is TI:GER® (Technology Innovation: Generating Economic Results), a 12-credit, three-semester program that pairs Tech MBA and Ph.D. students with Juris Doctor (JD) students from the Emory University School of Law to transform ideas into successful technology innovations.

TI:GER offers participants an immersive, practical educational opportunity through a combination of classroom instruction, innovation projects, and real-world experience. It also prepares them to work with the Creative Destruction Lab (CDL-Atlanta), a mentoring program for seed-stage, science-based startups directed by Scheller College of Business.

In Spring 2021, two ISyE graduate students joined TI:GER and completed the first semester of the program. This includes Jana Boerger, Ph.D. student in machine learning, and Emma Wu, Ph.D. student in operations research. Boerger transitioned out of the program to complete two internships at the Boston Consulting Group and Shopify, but Wu will continue on with TI:GER. In this interview, they talk about their experience with the program, how their perspectives of entrepreneurship have shifted, and their future plans.

What motivated you to apply for the TI:GER program?

JB: I was always interested in entrepreneurship, and more recently, how to get from an idea to an actual business. When I saw the program and that they take Ph.D. students, I thought it sounded perfect.

EW: I talked to one of my mentors, who is a Georgia Tech alumna, and she told me that the program is awesome and that it has benefitted her a lot during her job – that’s why I decided to apply. I would like to expand my horizons with TI:GER and learn more about entrepreneurship.

During the program, Ph.D. students can use their own research for their team’s innovation project. Were you interested in commercializing your research?

JB: Actually, Emma and I both brought an idea. For me, it wasn’t exactly my research question but very similar. My team worked on an algorithm that improves decision making in warehouses, and we found that there is a need for it. It’s very difficult to implement because every client has their own warehouse management system, so we need to adjust the product for each client – that’s a big finding we had.

EW: My research is about machine learning in quantitative trading strategies. I feel my research project has the possibility of commercialization, and one of the ways I could do that is by setting up a startup that uses my trading algorithms to give people the quantitative insights about the market and help people manage their financial portfolios.

Describe the classes you have taken so far.

JB: The lab portion was on research methods. At Tech, we're very much into quantitative research, so it was helpful to learn more about qualitative research, such as how to do interviews with people without leading the witness. When you want to find out if a company would be interested in your product, you don’t tell them you already have it. You’re trying to learn more about their problems, and that’s how you get information.

For the innovation analysis course, we learned about the steps of customer discovery. First, you figure out your idea and determine your value propositions for a potential customer. Then, you build hypotheses, such as how many hours you can save in a customer’s process or how much money you can save. Once you've built these hypotheses, you reach out to people in that industry who could be a potential client to see if you are correct. We cold-called people and reached out to people on LinkedIn whom we thought would fit the profile and had conversations with them to figure out if our technology would be helpful in their warehouses.

EW: I’ve never done customer discovery before, and it was very beneficial. One of the customers I talked with is a Georgia Tech alumnus who also went through the TI:GER program. The product that I'm going to build is related to an investment management software like a robo-advisor, and I figured out through talking to him that there are some entrepreneurs who barely invest in the financial markets and instead they invest all of their money into their business they own. That was one of the interesting things I learned.

Another person I talked to is a Georgia Tech alumna who works as a credit risk quant manager. She told me that there have been some firms that tried to sell their investment management software to banks (which was my original idea), but that banks do not prefer software built by third parties because they have the analytical skills to build the products by themselves. She recommended that I think more about trading strategies that can beat the market and to focus more on the asset management side. Also, I didn't expect that my product could be useful and popular in cryptocurrency, but customers are quite excited about crypto trading because it's a hot topic now. Overall, by talking to different customers, you could learn more about the real needs of customers and find the right market for commercialization.

Did you have any experience with entrepreneurship before?

EW: I had a short experience running a small startup with my friends after I graduated with my bachelor’s degree. We traded commodities in the Chinese market by building trading algorithms. I learned a lot from that experience, and I found that a better understanding of complicated models would be helpful. So, I decided to come back for graduate school, and the TI:GER program is perfect. It helped me to reconsider some of the steps that could have been improved and to discover potential weaknesses.

What has it been like to work with MBA and JD students?

EW: For our team, my role was more like a technology consultant. I introduced them to my research and helped my teammates to brainstorm potential markets. The MBAs were quite proactive about exploring different markets, and they were really excited about coming up with marketing strategies and thinking about potential investments. As for the JDs, they helped us with things like drafting contracts for filing patents and understanding the steps to becoming licensed if we wanted to start a family office or a capital investment fund. This has been an eye-opening experience for me; I enjoyed learning from my team members and exploring their brilliant ideas together.

What was the end result for your projects after the first semester of the program?

JB: At the end of the semester, all the groups presented to the rest of the class and our two professors, one from Scheller and one from Emory Law. We talked about our research findings: how big the market is, how valuable we think our product would be, and so forth. In our case, it was a “go” decision, but since I'll be dropping out, and it was my project, we won’t continue working on it.

EW: For the final presentation, our group decision is to go, but I have not officially received approval for my project yet. Personally, I'm okay with either outcome – working on other projects that have better potential or continuing my project – since I feel this is more of a learning experience. Before I joined the program, I thought that after the program, I would have a real startup with teammates who are interested in running the startup together. But the purpose of TI:GER is to be an educational program, and you try to learn as much as possible.

What are some of your takeaways from the program so far?

JB: Definitely that understanding the customer discovery process – how to do interviews – is a very valuable skill, not just if you want to become an entrepreneur, but in any environment where you need to test your hypotheses. I have a good idea now as to what the genuine steps are in the process of going from an idea to an actual venture. You can build the coolest project product in the world, but if no one is going to buy it, you have a failed venture.

EW: Before, I thought that creating a startup was an art, where you never know if you will succeed or fail. But through this course, we learned that there are actual steps you can take, test, and learn. Also, if you focus only on your research, you will probably just see it from the academic side. Through the customer discovery and disciplined entrepreneurship courses, we spent a lot of time exploring the real needs from the customer side, the potential markets, and the competitors on the market. So, I also got the opportunities to touch the business side of my research.

Do you see yourself building your own startup in the future?

JB: Yes, absolutely. I could see myself founding a company down the road; it’s definitely something that I don't want to miss – maybe when the perfect idea comes around.

EW: I'm very passionate about starting my own firm, but I probably wouldn't do it very early. I figured out that the main reason I quitted the first startup attempt was lack of experience. I would prefer to go to an investment firm first to equip myself with more knowledge about markets and technology, as well as network with talented people who have the same goals. I’m spending this summer as a quant strategist intern at Bank of America, and I’m very excited about this internship.

Is there anything else you would like to mention?

JB: It’s funny you ask, because we learned in our customer discovery class to always end on that question, “Is there anything else you want to add?” And we also learned to always ask, “Who else should I talk to?” It’s a super helpful question that we've gotten lots of leads from.

EW: I highly recommend this program. You don’t get many opportunities to work with MBAs and JDs – especially JDs because Georgia Tech doesn’t have a law school. Being able to collaborate with all those students, where everyone can bring their own specific and unique perspectives, is amazing. I would recommend TI:GER to anyone who wants to explore how to commercialize technology innovations.

]]> goberst3 1 1625687656 2021-07-07 19:54:16 1626291392 2021-07-14 19:36:32 0 0 news TI:GER is a three-semester program offering an immersive practical education that teaches participants how to transform ideas into successful technology innovations.

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2021-07-07T00:00:00-04:00 2021-07-07T00:00:00-04:00 2021-07-07 00:00:00 Grace Oberst

Communications Assistant
H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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648615 648615 image <![CDATA[Jana Boerger and Emma Wu]]> image/jpeg 1625688017 2021-07-07 20:00:17 1625688017 2021-07-07 20:00:17
<![CDATA[Exploring Science Through Art: Q&A with Science.Art.Wonder's Rayen Kang and Daisy Zhou]]> 35866 Rising fourth-years in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE) Rayen Kang and Daisy Zhou both grew up taking art lessons. When they came to Georgia Tech, they wanted to find a way to continue their passion for art. This is how Rayen and Daisy became Science.Art.Wonder’s (SAW) president and artist/research coordinator, respectively. In the following Q&A, Rayen and Daisy share their thoughts on the impact of combining art and science through SAW.

Briefly tell us about SAW and its mission. 

RK & DZ: As a student organization at Georgia Tech, Science.Art.Wonder’s mission is to support interdisciplinary inquiry, promote science education, and connect scientists with the public. We strive to create opportunities for students to explore scientific fields that are of interest to them by involving them with the research done at both Georgia Tech and the greater Atlanta area. We also work to increase recognition and understanding of our researchers by promoting their work through various forms of art. Each year, we pair artists and researchers together so they can collaborate on an art piece -- such as a sculpture, movie, or painting -- that reflects the researcher’s work. 

Why did you get involved in SAW?

RK: I joined Science.Art.Wonder because I thought it was really interesting that its activities combined the two vastly different fields, STEM and art, and I was curious to find out how it worked. 

DZ: In high school, I was focused only on STEM, so when I looked at organizations to join in my second year at Georgia Tech, I became interested in how Science.Art.Wonder combines the arts with STEM -- which I had always considered as two separate fields. 

Georgia Tech is a STEM-heavy campus. How do the arts contribute to the STEM environment (i.e., STEAM)?

RK: SAW’s activities introduce an artistic side to campus, like a gateway. Many STEM-oriented people relate more to the topics they study, so even those who typically aren’t interested in art find themselves drawn to the scientific backgrounds of the artwork our members create. 

DZ: While research is presented in the form of academic journals and papers, this work may not be as easy to understand from the public’s perspective. Art, however, as a visual form of communication, can help convey complex ideas and concepts discovered through research. 

Briefly describe your own involvement in the arts (pre-Georgia Tech) and how that has carried over to your college experience.

RK: I had been taking art lessons outside of school for almost 10 years and occasionally taught kids how to draw. When I came to Georgia Tech, I realized that there are quite a lot of people here who enjoy art, though it takes some searching to find these communities. Now that I’ve found them, I’m glad I can still continue my hobby with my fellow classmates here. 

DZ: I also had taken art lessons since I was little but stopped when I was in high school. After coming to Georgia Tech, I realized how much I missed being immersed in the arts, so I decided to join Science.Art.Wonder. While I have not participated in any projects through SAW myself, I occasionally like to draw in my free time. 

What projects have you personally done as part of SAW?

RK: I participated in SAW as an artist last year in the annual art and research collaboration. SAW introduced me to a graduate student from Georgia State University who researched dendrite development in fruit flies, and after we discussed her research throughout those few months, I created a piece inspired by the images she showed me from her lab. It was an exciting experience, being able to connect with the researcher and learning about current neuroscience research topics.

Is there anything else you'd like students to know about SAW and its initiatives?

 RK: Many people who pursue STEM careers still enjoy the arts — we know this and try to offer a way for people to connect these interests together through our organization. SAW also provides a great opportunity to get to know both researchers and artists at Georgia Tech, so we welcome anyone who is interested in art and science to join us and take advantage of that. 

DZ: There also aren’t many opportunities for students to learn about the research being done at Georgia Tech, outside of working as research assistants or personally reaching out to professors. Every year, we host a showcase both on-campus and at the Atlanta Science Festival so that not only students but also the entire Atlanta community can get a behind-the-scenes look at the research that Georgia Tech’s faculty members and graduate students are working on.

]]> afu34 1 1625089457 2021-06-30 21:44:17 1626291527 2021-07-14 19:38:47 0 0 news ISyE students Rayen Kang and Daisy Zhou serve on the executive board of Science.Art.Wonder, a student organization that promotes science education through various forms of art.

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2021-06-30T00:00:00-04:00 2021-06-30T00:00:00-04:00 2021-06-30 00:00:00 Angeline Fu

Communications Assistant

H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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648452 648453 648455 648456 648457 648458 648452 image <![CDATA[Rayen Kang (left) and Daisy Zhou (right)]]> image/png 1624996235 2021-06-29 19:50:35 1624997173 2021-06-29 20:06:13 648453 image <![CDATA[Art by Rayen Kang, paired with researcher Erin Lottes]]> image/png 1624997561 2021-06-29 20:12:41 1624997561 2021-06-29 20:12:41 648455 image <![CDATA[SAW Showcase Art 1]]> image/png 1625001306 2021-06-29 21:15:06 1625001306 2021-06-29 21:15:06 648456 image <![CDATA[SAW Showcase Art 2]]> image/png 1625002507 2021-06-29 21:35:07 1625002507 2021-06-29 21:35:07 648457 image <![CDATA[SAW Showcase Art 3]]> image/png 1625003105 2021-06-29 21:45:05 1625003105 2021-06-29 21:45:05 648458 image <![CDATA[SAW Showcase Art 4]]> image/png 1625004107 2021-06-29 22:01:47 1625004107 2021-06-29 22:01:47
<![CDATA[Jing Li Appointed to Harold E. Smalley Professorship]]> 35757 Professor Jing Li has been appointed to a Harold E. Smalley Professorship in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering. The Harold A. Smalley Professorship was created to enhance the Stewart School’s ability to attract and retain eminent teacher-scholars to this position of academic leadership in the field of health systems.

Li’s research develops statistical machine learning algorithms for modeling and inference of complex-structured datasets with high dimensionality (e.g., 3D/4D images), multi-modality, and heterogeneity. The objectives of these methodological developments are to provide capacities for monitoring, diagnosis, and prediction and prognosis.

The application domains for her research mainly include health and medicine, focusing on medical image data analytics, as well as the fusion of images, genomics, and clinical records for personalized and precision medicine. Her research outcomes support clinical decision making for diagnosis, prognosis, and telemedicine for various conditions affecting the brain: brain cancer, post-traumatic headaches and migraines, traumatic brain injury, and Alzheimer’s disease. 

“This appointment is a great honor and will facilitate broadening my research collaboration, advancing scholarly contribution, and making use-inspired impacts in health and medicine,” said Li.

Li’s research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense, and others. She is currently an editor for IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering and an associate editor for IISE Transactions on Healthcare Systems Engineering. She holds one patent and has two patents pending.

]]> goberst3 1 1624999399 2021-06-29 20:43:19 1627580817 2021-07-29 17:46:57 0 0 news Li’s research develops statistical machine learning algorithms for modeling and inference of complex-structured datasets such as 3D/4D images, multi-modality, and heterogeneity.

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2021-06-29T00:00:00-04:00 2021-06-29T00:00:00-04:00 2021-06-29 00:00:00 Shelley Wunder-Smith

H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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638072 638072 image <![CDATA[ISyE Professor Jing Li]]> image/png 1597846169 2020-08-19 14:09:29 1597846169 2020-08-19 14:09:29
<![CDATA[Modeling Finds Relaxing Covid-19 Safety Protocols During Vaccination Period Risky]]> 35757 A new mathematical simulation has concluded that the continued practice of mask wearing and social distancing during ongoing vaccinations could help stem a potential surge in Covid-19 cases, particularly as more infectious variants emerge.

The study was conducted collaboratively by researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of North Carolina (UNC), and North Carolina State University (NCSU). This includes Pinar Keskinocak, William W. George Chair and professor in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE), as well as Julie Swann, department head of North Carolina State University’s Fitts Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering.

Researchers evaluated how many Covid-19 cases could be avoided in North Carolina if more people get vaccinated and continue to follow mask and physical distancing guidelines. They used an agent-based model originally developed at Georgia Tech for pandemic flu that was later adapted to Covid-19 and modified to test additional scenarios.

“The main takeaway from the paper is that while the increasing vaccine coverage in the U.S. has a positive impact, we are not really there yet. We still need to follow preventive measures such as mask wearing,” said Keskinocak in the article.

Swann concurred, saying, “Current variants are more infectious, and there are still locations with less than 30% of the population vaccinated.”

You can read more about their findings here.

]]> goberst3 1 1624995441 2021-06-29 19:37:21 1625753161 2021-07-08 14:06:01 0 0 news The continued practice of mask wearing and social distancing during ongoing vaccinations could help stem a potential surge in Covid-19 cases, particularly as more infectious variants emerge.

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2021-06-29T00:00:00-04:00 2021-06-29T00:00:00-04:00 2021-06-29 00:00:00 Shelley Wunder-Smith

H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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648450 648450 image <![CDATA[Pinar Keskinocak and Julie Swann]]> image/jpeg 1624995309 2021-06-29 19:35:09 1624995309 2021-06-29 19:35:09
<![CDATA[Georgia Covid-19 Vaccine Dashboard Breaks Down Vaccination Trends by Race at County Level]]> 35757 New findings from the researchers behind the Georgia COVID-19 Vaccine Dashboard say that although Covid-19 vaccinations are gradually increasing nationwide, disparities exist among vaccination rates across race and geographic areas among Georgia’s counties.

The dashboard was developed by a team from the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE), including Pinar Keskinocak, William W. George Chair and professor, and Dima Nazzal, Director of Professional Practice. They worked alongside Ph.D. students Akane Fujimoto and Tyler Perini in collaboration with the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH).

“There is a lot variability in different regions of the state, so we wanted to take a closer look from an equity perspective,” said Keskinocak in the article.

As of June 3, the dashboard indicated that vaccination rates among white residents are higher than those of Black residents in all large metro counties as well as around 70% of all Georgia counties. In addition, vaccination coverage among adults was lower among those living in counties with lower socioeconomic status and with higher percentages of households with children, single parents, and persons with disabilities.

You can read the entire article about their findings here.

]]> goberst3 1 1624995089 2021-06-29 19:31:29 1625753184 2021-07-08 14:06:24 0 0 news New findings say that although Covid-19 vaccinations are gradually increasing nationwide, disparities exist among vaccination rates across race and geographic areas among Georgia’s counties.

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2021-06-29T00:00:00-04:00 2021-06-29T00:00:00-04:00 2021-06-29 00:00:00 Shelley Wunder-Smith

H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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648448 648448 image <![CDATA[Dima Nazzal, Akane Fujimoto, and Tyler Perini]]> image/jpeg 1624994932 2021-06-29 19:28:52 1624994932 2021-06-29 19:28:52
<![CDATA[Ph.D. Student Caleb Ju Receives Premier DOE Fellowship for High Performance Computing]]> 35757 Caleb Ju, a Ph.D. student in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE) has been awarded a highly competitive Department of Energy Computational Science Graduate Fellowship (DOE CSGF). The DOE CSGF is a four-year-long fellowship that provides robust benefits and opportunities to students pursuing doctoral degrees in fields that use high-performance computing (HPC) to solve complex science and engineering problems. 

Ju’s research interest primarily focuses on creating scalable optimization algorithms with applications to problems such as decision making under uncertainty.

“Since I am interested in both theory and practice, I specifically applied to the math and computer science track of the fellowship,” said Ju. "I enjoy designing algorithms from scratch, analyzing their theoretical properties, and applying those results to software to solve real-world problems."

Most of Ju’s application discussed research from his time spent as an undergraduate student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; he worked to solve large-scale graph problems – some of which included over 200 million edges – using a unique method.

“Instead of solving graph problems using a discrete method, we solved it using continuous optimization, specifically linear programming,” Ju elaborated. “One advantage of our approach is generality. While general solutions are typically slower, our algorithm with an efficient line search becomes competitive with some of the fastest discrete methods. This means users of our software can get the same performance as specialized codes, without needing to spend months developing new algorithms and software.”

While the award emphasizes HPC research, Ju is a nontraditional winner of the fellowship. He originally applied for the funds while a graduate student in Georgia Tech’s College of Computing, planning to research computer science with HPC applications. He has since transferred to ISyE, where he will be advised by A. Russell Chandler III Associate Professor George Lan, with a focus on operations research.

“I often found the algorithms used to solve an optimization problem were not well-suited for today’s supercomputers due to large data movement between processors, lack of parallelism, and so forth,” said Ju. “By transferring to ISyE, I will be able to combine my training in mathematical modeling and optimization, as well as my background in computer science, to design new algorithms cognizant of modern computer architectures to achieve better performance.”

Lan said, “My warmest congratulations go out to Caleb for winning this highly competitive award. With the support of DOE CSFG, Caleb will work with me on the design of efficient dynamic stochastic optimization algorithms that can both exploit problem structures and utilize HPC in an effective manner.”

While he is interested in optimization, generally, Ju also keeps in mind possible applications for his work. One example of this is reinforcement learning.

“In this area, with the use of fast optimization algorithms, machines can outperform humans in video games,” he explained.” I am looking to extend these results to help solve fundamental scientific and engineering problems.

“I try to keep in mind what the application will be, and whether it will be useful to a scientist or engineer,” Ju added.

The original version of this news release was written by Kristen Perez.

]]> goberst3 1 1624977404 2021-06-29 14:36:44 1624981724 2021-06-29 15:48:44 0 0 news Ju’s research interest primarily focuses on creating scalable optimization algorithms with applications to problems such as decision making under uncertainty.

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2021-06-29T00:00:00-04:00 2021-06-29T00:00:00-04:00 2021-06-29 00:00:00 Shelley Wunder-Smith

H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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648433 648433 image <![CDATA[Caleb Ju]]> image/jpeg 1624977080 2021-06-29 14:31:20 1624977080 2021-06-29 14:31:20
<![CDATA[Jeff Wu Receives Sigma Xi’s Monie A. Ferst Award]]> 28766 Jeff Wu, Coca-Cola Chair in Engineering Statistics and professor in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE), has been honored with Sigma Xi’s Monie A. Ferst Award. This national-level award, sponsored by Georgia Tech’s Sigma Xi chapter, recognizes those who have made "notable contributions to the motivation and encouragement of research through education." Wu joins just a handful of Institute faculty members who have been so recognized since the award’s inception in 1977.

Wu’s dedication to educating future researchers can be seen throughout his distinguished academic career. He has supervised 49 doctoral students, 35 of whom are teaching in major research departments or institutions in statistics, engineering, and business around the globe.

In their award nomination letter, ISyE School Chair Edwin Romeijn, A. Russell Chandler III Professor Roshan Joseph, and Associate Professor Enlu Zhou noted that "[Dr. Wu is considered a visionary in statistics, which is exemplified by his famous 1997 lecture 'Statistics=Data Science?' a term now embraced by people all over the world. ... Dr. Wu has influenced multiple generations of researchers and students through his devoted teaching and mentoring. … More than 1,800 papers are published by his students to date without Dr. Wu being a co-author. Four of his former students have become editors of Technometrics and Journal of Quality Technology, two of the most prominent journals in engineering statistics. His students would agree on one thing: Dr. Wu is more than a research advisor. He remains in their lives as a mentor, friend, and guide even after graduation.”

The Monie A. Ferst Award is not the only prestigious honor Wu has received this spring. He has also been given the Class of 1934 Distinguished Professor Award, the highest honor Georgia Tech can bestow on a faculty member. These two awards are the latest in a long line of accolades for Wu, which include his 2004 election to the National Academy of Engineering as the first academic statistician so chosen. In addition, Wu has won almost all awards given in the field of engineering statistics, including the ENBIS Box Medal and Shewhart Medal.

“This award came as a pleasant surprise and gives me consolation during this difficult time,” said Wu. “Educating and mentoring students is like polishing diamonds – it takes patience and effort, and the whole process is inspiring and rewarding.”

On November, 11, 2021, Wu will be honored for this achievement with an in-person symposium. The proceedings will begin with a continental breakfast, followed by four sessions of 30-minute presentations by colleagues and friends of Wu, and an evening banquet that will wrap up the event. The list of presenters is as follows:

About the Monie A. Ferst Award

The Monie A. Ferst Award is named eponymously for the engineer and businessman who graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering from Georgia Tech in 1911 and helped found the Georgia Tech Research Institute. The award comes with a medal and $10,000. In addition, a day-long symposium is held to showcase the achievements of the winner’s former students.

About Sigma Xi

Founded at Cornell University in 1886, Sigma Xi, the scientific research honor society, is the international honor society of science and engineering. One of the oldest and largest scientific organizations in the world, Sigma Xi has a distinguished history of service to science and society. It has nearly 60,000 members in over 500 chapters around the world.

 

]]> Shelley Wunder-Smith 1 1624474019 2021-06-23 18:46:59 1624477889 2021-06-23 19:51:29 0 0 news The award recognizes those who have made notable contributions to the motivation and encouragement of research through education. Wu will be honored at an in-person symposium on Nov. 11, 2021.

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2021-06-23T00:00:00-04:00 2021-06-23T00:00:00-04:00 2021-06-23 00:00:00 Shelley Wunder-Smith

H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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621780 621780 image <![CDATA[Coca-Cola Chair in Engineering Statistics and Professor Jeff Wu]]> image/jpeg 1558356066 2019-05-20 12:41:06 1558356066 2019-05-20 12:41:06 <![CDATA[Wu Honored with Class of 1934 Distinguished Professor Award]]>
<![CDATA[Roshan Joseph Appointed to A. Russell Chandler III Chair]]> 35757 Professor Roshan Joseph has been appointed to an A. Russell Chandler III Chair in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE). The A. Russell Chandler III Chair was created to enhance the Stewart School’s ability to attract and retain eminent teacher-scholars to this position of academic leadership. Prior to this appointment, Joseph held an A. Russell Chandler III Professorship, as well as a Coca-Cola Junior Chair Professorship.

Joseph’s research focuses on, broadly, applied and computational statistics. Specifically, experimental design, statistical modeling, Bayesian computation, quality engineering, uncertainty quantification, machine learning, and big data analysis. He has several years of consulting experience in solving quality-related problems in industries.

“Congratulations to Roshan on this great honor and recognition of his work developing novel statistical methods for solving complex engineering problems,” said ISyE School Chair Edwin Romeijn. “He has made many contributions to ISyE, to Georgia Tech, and to the field, and I look forward to his future accomplishments and leadership in the field of engineering analytics.”

“I am humbled and honored to receive this recognition,” said Joseph. “The chair position comes with great prestige and visibility that will help tremendously in advancing my research activities to a much higher level. I am thankful to ISyE and Georgia Tech for entrusting me with this prestigious position and very much look forward to contributing more to the field of engineering analytics, and to the School and institute’s mission in this new role.”

Joseph’s research has been honored since early in his academic career. He received the Distinguished Dissertation Award from the University of Michigan, where he completed his doctoral work (2003); a CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation (2005); the Jack Youden Prize from the American Society for Quality (2005); a Best Paper Award from IISE Transactions (2009); an INFORMS Edelman Laureate (2017); the Statistics in Physical & Engineering Sciences Award from the American Statistical Association (2019); and the SPAIG Award from the American Statistical Association (2020).

He is a Fellow of the American Statistical Association (2012) and of the American Society for Quality (2020). Currently, Joseph serves as editor-in-chief of Technometrics (2020-22), a premier journal of statistics in physical and engineering sciences.

]]> goberst3 1 1624377480 2021-06-22 15:58:00 1624391709 2021-06-22 19:55:09 0 0 news Joseph looks forward to contributing further to the field of engineering analytics through this prestigious appointment.

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2021-06-22T00:00:00-04:00 2021-06-22T00:00:00-04:00 2021-06-22 00:00:00 Shelley Wunder-Smith

H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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642266 642266 image <![CDATA[Roshan Joseph]]> image/jpeg 1608312280 2020-12-18 17:24:40 1608312280 2020-12-18 17:24:40
<![CDATA[George Lan Appointed to A. Russell Chandler III Professorship]]> 35757 Associate Professor George Lan has been appointed to an A. Russell Chandler III Professorship in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE), effective June 15, 2021. The A. Russell Chandler III Professorship was created to enhance the Stewart School’s ability to attract and retain eminent teacher-scholars to this position of academic leadership.

Lan’s research and teaching interests lie in theory, algorithms, and applications of stochastic optimization and nonlinear programming. Most of his current research concerns the design of efficient algorithms with strong theoretical performance guarantees and superior practical performance for solving challenging optimization problems. He is actively pursuing the application of stochastic and nonlinear optimization models in large-scale data analysis, including machine learning, image processing and simulation input/output analysis. His research has been supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Office of Naval Research (ONR), Army Research Office, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“I am deeply honored to receive the A. Russel Chandler Professorship, which will provide my students and me necessary financial support for various research and learning activities,” noted Lan. “Ultimately, it will help us push forward the frontier of a few relevant research directions. I am very grateful, on behalf of my research group, for the generous support of the A. Russell Chandler III faculty endowment fund.”

Lan’s academic honors include an NSF CAREER Award; first place in the INFORMS JFIG Paper Competition; finalist for the Mathematical Optimization Society Tucker Prize; second place for the INFORMS George Nicholson Prize; and first place in the INFORMS Computing Society Student Paper competition.

Lan received his Ph.D. from ISyE in 2009 and joined the School’s faculty in 2016. He is the associate director of machine learning and data science for the Machine Learning Center at Georgia Tech.

]]> goberst3 1 1624377222 2021-06-22 15:53:42 1624391077 2021-06-22 19:44:37 0 0 news Lan will use the professorship's funds to pursue applications for stochastic and nonlinear optimization models in large-scale data analysis.

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2021-06-22T00:00:00-04:00 2021-06-22T00:00:00-04:00 2021-06-22 00:00:00 Shelley Wunder-Smith

H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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645934 645934 image <![CDATA[George Lan]]> image/jpeg 1617198672 2021-03-31 13:51:12 1617198672 2021-03-31 13:51:12
<![CDATA[Dave Goldsman Appointed to a Coca-Cola Foundation Professorship]]> 35757 Professor Dave Goldsman has been appointed to a Coca-Cola Foundation Professorship in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE). The Coca-Cola Foundation Professorship was established to enhance the Stewart School’s ability to attract and retain eminent teacher-scholars to this position of academic leadership. Goldsman also directs ISyE’s master’s degree programs.

“This was really an unexpected honor, and I thank the Coca-Cola Foundation and my colleagues in the Stewart School for making it possible,” said Goldsman. “I’ll be using this professorship to attract students and visitors to ISyE.”

Goldsman’s research interests include simulation output analysis; statistical ranking and selection methods; and medical and humanitarian applications of operations research. 

Together with ISyE Professor Christos Alexopoulos, Goldsman won the 2007 INFORMS Simulation Society Outstanding Simulation Publication Award for their paper “To Batch or Not to Batch?” Goldsman, Alexopoulos, Claudia Antonini, and Jim Wilson were recognized with the 2010 IISE Transactions Best Paper Award in Operations Engineering and Analysis for “Area Variance Estimators for Simulation Using Folded Standardized Time Series.”  

Goldsman received the 2002 INFORMS Simulation Society's Distinguished Service Award. He also received a Fulbright fellowship in 2006 to lecture at Boğaziçi and Sabancı Universities in Istanbul, Turkey. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Industrial and System Engineers and a Fellow of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences.

]]> goberst3 1 1624376984 2021-06-22 15:49:44 1624391010 2021-06-22 19:43:30 0 0 news Goldsman, who also directs ISyE's master's programs, plans to use this professorship's funds to help attract elite students and academic visitors to the School.

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2021-06-22T00:00:00-04:00 2021-06-22T00:00:00-04:00 2021-06-22 00:00:00 Shelley Wunder-Smith

H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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648273 648273 image <![CDATA[David Goldsman]]> image/jpeg 1624376934 2021-06-22 15:48:54 1624376934 2021-06-22 15:48:54
<![CDATA[ISyE’s Eileen Liu Is Part of the 2020 Cohort of Clark Scholars]]> 35757 First-year student Eileen Liu from the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE) did not always know that she would end up studying engineering. In high school, she was incredibly music-oriented, passionate about playing violin and piano. She served as the concertmaster of her school’s orchestra, a member of the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra and the Emory Youth Symphony Orchestra, and led her own quartet.

But Liu knew that she didn’t want to pursue music as a career, and when she applied to colleges, she mostly secured admissions to STEM schools. While trying to decide if she should attend Georgia Tech, she received an email about her acceptance to the College of Engineering’s Clark Scholars Program. Having never heard of it before, she didn’t realize it was a real opportunity until David Torello, the program’s faculty advisor and lecturer from the Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, personally called her.

“Clark Scholars definitely played a big role in me choosing to come to Georgia Tech,” said Liu. The scholarship, which is granted to 10 engineering students every year, covers full tuition, room and board, and program costs.

After committing to Georgia Tech, Liu started thinking about what major to choose. After doing some research and talking to friends, she grew interested in ISyE. “I liked ISyE because of its focus on optimization,” said Liu. She considers herself a perfectionist and was interested in the idea of improving efficiency.

The Clark Scholars Program is more than just a scholarship, however. Founded on the pillars of scholarship, service entrepreneurship, and leadership, the program strives to build well-rounded students in a multidisciplinary setting. Scholars take business classes or participate in CREATE-X, volunteer in community service activities, receive mentorship, and attend enrichment seminars.

Though the in-person activities were cancelled because of Covid-19, the Clark Scholars still attended virtual events twice a month, such as the StrengthFinders program, a resume building workshop, and Q&A sessions with the Institute’s current and past deans of engineering.

The StrengthFinders program involved the Clifton Strengths test, which Liu found to be insightful and helped her to identify traits she had never considered strengths before. “You can really see an individual’s different strengths through the test,” she said. “It was interesting to see how people’s strengths would mesh with other ones in different scenarios.”

The Clark Scholars Program has different goals for each of the four years. A major component of the program is the community project that each cohort works together to complete. “They have a mission to help us be more altruistic and give back to the community,” said Liu. She’s looking forward to working on the project, which typically happens in the second year.

Starting college during the Covid-19 pandemic was a challenge, however. Since she was taking online classes from home, it was difficult to feel connected to Georgia Tech. “It was definitely really tough for my mental health,” said Liu. “But on the bright side, I feel like I learned a little bit more about myself — my study habits and what I can I accomplish on my own — and that was also pretty beneficial.”

Having the Clark Scholars meetings, despite being online, helped her to feel more like she was in college. Torello also held monthly one-on-one meetings to connect with each student. “It was a really good mental health check-in,” said Liu.

In addition to attending Clark Scholars events, Liu joined a couple of clubs. In high school, she served as the president of the National Chinese Honors Association, so becoming a member of the Chinese Student Association was a natural decision. She also joined Common Good, a service organization that provides tutoring and mentoring to Atlanta High School students.

As Georgia Tech returns to in-person classes this fall, Liu hopes to have a more authentic college experience. She is looking forward to exploring the ISyE curriculum in more depth and continuing with the Clark Scholars program. Eventually, she would like to study abroad through a program such as ISyE's Summer Program in Europe or Summer Program in Asia, or at Georgia Tech-Lorraine in Metz, France.

Meet the entire Georgia Tech 2020 cohort of Clark Scholars here.

]]> goberst3 1 1623778693 2021-06-15 17:38:13 1623949080 2021-06-17 16:58:00 0 0 news Being accepted into the College of Engineering’s Clark Scholars program played a big role in this first-year ISyE student's decision to come to Georgia Tech.

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2021-06-15T00:00:00-04:00 2021-06-15T00:00:00-04:00 2021-06-15 00:00:00 Grace Oberst

Communications Assistant
H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

]]>
648135 648135 image <![CDATA[Eileen Liu]]> image/jpeg 1623778446 2021-06-15 17:34:06 1623778446 2021-06-15 17:34:06 <![CDATA[Introducing the 2020 Georgia Tech Clark Scholards]]>
<![CDATA[Covid-19 Research Team Awarded Rockefeller Foundation Grant]]> 35757 The Covid-19 Modeling Accelerator, funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, launched in April 2021 to fast-track medical research and provide public health officials with widespread access to Covid-related decision-making tools. Overseen by the Society of Medical Decision Making, the Accelerator provides a unique combination of grant funding and technical assistance to researchers working on the numerous and varied problems engendered by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Turgay Ayer, George Family Foundation Early Career Professor in Georgia Tech’s H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE), is part of a research team that received funds from the first round of grants. The Foundation recognized the work of Ayer and ISyE Ph.D. student Jade Yingying Xiao, along with their partners from Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital – led by Assistant Professor Jagpreet Chhatwal, and Boston Medical Center – led by Associate Professor Benjamin Linus.

Last spring as the Covid-19 pandemic was taking hold in the United States, this multi-institutional team devised the widely used Covid-19 Simulator, which helps inform public health responses to the pandemic on the state and local level. (The simulator website includes other tools created by the team, including an outbreak detection tool and an immunity detector, which shows the proportion of each state’s population with Covid-19 antibodies.)

With the Accelerator grant, Ayer’s team will broaden the Simulator’s impact to inform the timing of each state’s lifted restrictions and a gradual return to normal activities. The Simulator’s recommendations are based on Covid-19 vaccination rates, as well as the new Covid-19 variants that are cause for concern.

“The Covid-19 Simulator mimics current Covid-19 epidemiology and pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical interventions, including public health policies, at the state level,” said Ayer. “With the rapid uptake of vaccines in the United States, the estimations from Covid-19 Simulator show that we could go back to life on a near-normal basis by the end of 2021 or early 2022.”

Throughout his career, Ayer has worked on healthcare analytics, creating models to help slow the spread of various infectious diseases, including Hepatitis C. He also serves as the research director for healthcare analytics and business intelligence in the Center for Health and Humanitarian Systems at Georgia Tech and holds a courtesy appointment at Emory Medical School.

]]> goberst3 1 1623353634 2021-06-10 19:33:54 1623952808 2021-06-17 18:00:08 0 0 news The grant will fund expansion of the team's Covid-19 Simulator to project how quickly states can return to normal activities given vaccine uptake.

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2021-06-10T00:00:00-04:00 2021-06-10T00:00:00-04:00 2021-06-10 00:00:00 Shelley Wunder-Smith

H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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635391 635391 image <![CDATA[Turgay Ayer]]> image/jpeg 1589481251 2020-05-14 18:34:11 1589481251 2020-05-14 18:34:11
<![CDATA[ISyE Senior Design Team Prototypes Energy Prediction Software for CREATE-X Capstone ]]> 35757 On average, convention centers use 22 million kilowatt hours of energy annually, which translates to an enormous $2.6 million spent on electricity. However, with no efficient way to track this expense, they are unable to charge clients for their power usage, which can lead to unprofitable events. That’s what motivated one Senior Design team to consult with the Georgia World Congress Center (GWCC) to develop Enercast Solutions, a software platform based in Amazon Web Services that provides a tool for convention centers to predict electricity consumption.

The entrepreneurial nature of the project made it a great fit for the team to join Georgia Tech’s CREATE-X Capstone to complete their Senior Design project. This was the first time students from the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial Systems and Engineering (ISyE) participated in CREATE-X Capstone. It also gave them an opportunity to diversify their skill set by adding two computer science majors to the team.*

The creators of Enercast Solutions are the members of team “Helluva Energy-neers” (advised by ISyE Professor Craig Tovey), which includes Abdulhafiz Abdullahi, Ronnie Bian, Jackson Burke, Aarushi Khajuria, Sonakshi Mishra, Junzhe Ruan, Laura Zhang, and Sam Zimmerman from ISyE, as well as computer science students Jordan Rodrigues and Vale Tolpegin.

“We were interested in learning about entrepreneurship, and this seemed like a really good opportunity,” said Zhang about their decision to join CREATE-X Capstone. “With traditional Senior Design, your scope of impact is just one client, but in the CREATE-X entrepreneurship path, we had the potential to influence several hundred convention centers across the United States.”

Led by mechanical engineering Professor Craig Forest, this special capstone design section is dedicated to developing entrepreneurial prototypes and exploring their market demand. The multidisciplinary program has been running for several years now and is open to students from the departments of biomedical engineering, mechanical engineering, computer science, electrical and computer engineering, and now ISyE.

The ISyE students assembled during pre-Senior Design, where their high potential for entrepreneurship was identified by Dima Nazzal, ISyE director of professional practice and leader of the Senior Design program. "ISyE students are increasingly interested in entrepreneurship and multi-disciplinary projects, which motivated us to explore this pathway,” said Nazzal. “It turned out to be a successful experiment with excellent potential for expansion and continuity.”

The energy prediction tool they created uses machine-learning techniques to model energy consumption with several input factors: square footage utilized, forecasted attendance, whether special equipment will be used, and the event dates. Based on predicted electricity usage, the tool outputs a baseline cost for the convention center, as well as an upper and lower bound on how much the event will cost. Convention centers can use these estimates to decide the appropriate amount to charge their clients for the increase in electricity use resulting from their events.

Enercast Solutions topped the competition by winning the CREATE-X best project award across 13 teams and were invited to present their prototype pitch at the ISyE Best of Senior Design presentations.

“Despite their lack of experience in the course compared to the other majors, the ISyE students jumped to the fore because they had already explored customer relationships over the preceding semester and had identified a client as their first customer,” said Forest. “They were able to use this as a springboard, meeting dozens or hundreds of more potential customers who had the same problem, enabling them to assess the size of the market.”

Although pre-Senior Design gave the team a head start, choosing CREATE-X Capstone came with many challenges. “CREATE-X is a different mindset than a lot of the other design projects,” said Tolpegin. “You have to find a problem, and people discount the difficulty of that — that's why 95% of startups fail. Early in the semester, we came up with two different project ideas, and it was a very challenging decision to figure out what path to go down.”

Customer discovery was instrumental in finding a relevant problem space, which meant ensuring that their product would be applicable to most, if not all, convention centers. The team leveraged GWCC partners, cold-called event spaces, and messaged convention center personnel through LinkedIn to secure interviews. In total, they consulted 55 event spaces across the United States and globally. By performing market research and analyzing data from GWCC, the team was able to identify electricity consumption as one of the highest expenses convention centers incur.  

In addition to customer discovery, user testing was an important step in prototype creation. “We were able to get user feedback very early on in the process, and that gave us the ability to adapt and grow our solution based on customer needs,” Tolpegin explained.

Throughout the development cycle, the team conducted a series of tests to refine the Enercast Solutions website. User testing involved recording the amount of mouse clicks and time needed to accomplish various tasks on the website. They also interviewed the testers about their experience and had them fill out a system usability scale – a basic questionnaire used to get feedback on a prototype. Employing standard industry metrics for evaluating software products ensured they obtained objective data.

Another crucial hurdle to overcome was coordination; with 10 members, the team was larger than the typical Senior Design team. “Meeting and ensuring everyone is on the same page can be a lot to do, because you want to make sure that everyone feels like their voices are being heard,” said Khajuria. They came up with a framework to split the members into smaller sub-teams for the second half of the semester, which proved successful.

Though team organization was challenging, they cited working in an interdisciplinary team as a very valuable opportunity. “We've had experience building prediction models with other ISyE students, but this time – working with the CS students – we could see the different ways we approach forecasting,” said Abdullahi.

Ultimately, the team’s hard work and dedication paid off, enabling them to deliver a top-notch product solution that gave GWCC access to information they had never been able to collect before. “We appreciate how easy this tool is to use,” said Vince Almoina, national sales manager at GWCC. “It’s a very simplified platform that delivers exactly the information needed with minimal steps.” In addition to GWCC, two other convention centers also expressed interest in Enercast Solutions services, though the team ultimately decided not to continue with their company.

With their commitment to the challenge and impressive win in the CREATE-X Capstone competition, this team sets a high bar for future students. “I was especially impressed by the students’ professionalism, clear communication, and energy throughout the semester,” said Forest. “If this team, which was named best in the entire class, is representative of what ISyE students bring to the table, then I can’t wait to have more in the class in Fall 2021 and beyond.”

*A second Senior Design team primarily comprising ISyE students also participated in the CREATE-X Capstone Course. The team, nicknamed "Big Things Come in Small Parcels," includes Reed Bethune, Bill Doran, William DuPre, Chase Hubbard, Colin McCormick, Mary Claire Solomon, and Emma Taylor. Aaron Lopes, a computer science major, is also a member. They were advised by Professor Emeritus Leon McGinnis and did not have a client.

]]> goberst3 1 1622568213 2021-06-01 17:23:33 1622579489 2021-06-01 20:31:29 0 0 news For the first time, ISyE students joined CREATE-X Capstone to complete their Senior Design project, and one team won the best project award across 13 teams.

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2021-06-01T00:00:00-04:00 2021-06-01T00:00:00-04:00 2021-06-01 00:00:00 Grace Oberst

Communications Assistant
H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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647854 647854 image <![CDATA[Senior Design team “Helluva Energy-neers” ]]> image/jpeg 1622567703 2021-06-01 17:15:03 1622567703 2021-06-01 17:15:03
<![CDATA[From Side Hustle to Successful Business: ISyE Student Jonathan Fitch and Next Gen Integration, LLC]]> 35757 The summer after his junior year of high school, Jonathan Fitch was looking for something to do. By the suggestion of his mom, he decided to start a side hustle helping people with their tech devices in their homes and businesses. Now, as a third-year in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE), Fitch’s side hustle has transformed into a growing and successful business called Next Gen Integration, LLC. 

Next Gen Integration uses custom software to integrate and automate the security, lighting, and audio systems in large homes and businesses. The software and language is an open system that requires certification to work with and install, and Fitch designs and tailors the software to each client. Because the business stems around efficiency, Fitch has incorporated many of his ISyE skills into it.

“The goal in what I do is to optimize and make these systems as integrated as possible so there are no bugs and glitches within the program files, and the client is able to easily operate their system,” he explained. “I found ISyE to be the right major for me as it is all about streamlining and optimization. With my business the entire premise is integrating buildings and streamlining the systems within them.”

By word of mouth, Fitch’s business has expanded. He’s been able to hire five part-time employees and manages over 50 client and business accounts in the Atlanta area. Because of this, balancing both school and work can be challenging.

Fitch frequently works odd hours, including weekends, early mornings, and late nights throughout the week. He also tries not to accept new jobs outside of a certain radius to minimize time spent in travel and plans his academic schedule to be as tight as possible to create a more efficient day, with less downtime between his studies and work.

Though he has not yet decided if he will make Next Gen Integration his full-time job after graduation, Fitch is keeping the option in mind. He has considered taking the company to the next level by doing more with general contracting, designing, and building integrated homes and buildings from the ground-up.

“In the beginning, there were times where I would go weeks without a job, and it was a bit demotivating, however, sticking through it and being persistent got me to where I am now,” he said. “If you want a lifestyle -- albeit one that can be hectic and ever-changing -- that you get to dictate and have control of, there is nothing better than having your own business.”

]]> goberst3 1 1622136955 2021-05-27 17:35:55 1624020322 2021-06-18 12:45:22 0 0 news Next Gen Integration, founded by Fitch as a high schooler, uses custom software to integrate and automate security, lighting, and audio systems in large homes and businesses.

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2021-05-27T00:00:00-04:00 2021-05-27T00:00:00-04:00 2021-05-27 00:00:00 Angeline Fu

Communications Assistant
H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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647786 647787 647788 647789 647786 image <![CDATA[Jonathan Fitch]]> image/jpeg 1622129677 2021-05-27 15:34:37 1622129677 2021-05-27 15:34:37 647787 image <![CDATA[Next Gen Integration system installment]]> image/jpeg 1622133351 2021-05-27 16:35:51 1622133351 2021-05-27 16:35:51 647788 image <![CDATA[Custom software ]]> image/jpeg 1622133518 2021-05-27 16:38:38 1622133518 2021-05-27 16:38:38 647789 image <![CDATA[System installment]]> image/jpeg 1622133573 2021-05-27 16:39:33 1622133573 2021-05-27 16:39:33
<![CDATA[In Conversation: ISyE Undergraduate Lucia Colina on Her Involvement with GT-SHPE]]> 35757 ISyE fourth-year Lucia Colina first came to the U.S. with the goal of going to college and earning an industrial engineering degree. When she began her college studies, she discovered the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), which serves to empower the Hispanic community to realize its fullest potential and impact the world through STEM. Colina joined SHPE, and upon transferring to Georgia Tech, found her place in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE) and GT-SHPE. In the following interview, Colina shares her journey to Georgia Tech and SHPE and the impact GT-SHPE has had on her. It has been lightly edited for clarity and length.

What brought you to Georgia Tech and ISyE as a transfer student?

Since I was a child, I knew I wanted to study industrial engineering (IE). With hard work and my family's support, I came to the U.S. to obtain my college degree. I was able to start my degree journey at a great community college. When it was time to transfer to another school, I started searching for the top IE programs in the nation, which is how I found Georgia Tech. After searching for more information about the school and falling in love with the campus, I knew Georgia Tech was where I wanted to study to become that engineer I dreamed of being as a kid. 

Studying at Georgia Tech in the ISyE program has been challenging but incredible. I have grown and learned so much in my time here. However, what brought me to the Institute was the perseverance of becoming a professional industrial engineer who can make this world a better place. My parents are also an essential part of what brought me here. They have been my biggest support throughout this process.

Tell us about your involvement with the Georgia Tech chapter of Society for Hispanic Professional Engineers. 

I have been involved in SHPE since community college. The passion and love that the SHPE chapter members there had for the organization were so incredible that I felt connected right away. When I transferred to Georgia Tech, I wanted to continue my journey with GT-SHPE, and even though it took some time to adapt to a new school and city, I knew GT-SHPE was going to be that place where I could make a difference. So I decided to apply for the executive board as secretary. In this position, I am responsible for managing three different branches of our organization: academic and professional development; philanthropy; and our signature event, Taste of Latin America.

As a transfer student, coming to a new city was potentially challenging, but GT-SHPE allowed me to meet new people and obtain great professional opportunities. I have grown so much, both as a person and as a professional!  

What is something students outside GT-SHPE might not know about the organization?

We are an organization that looks to shape our members not only in becoming better professionals but better people as well. We have so many resources to help you succeed, such as professional workshops and boot camps, social events, Taste of Latin America, philanthropy events, scholarships, and so much more. This organization is not only for Hispanic students but for any student who is looking to make a positive impact in their community. Therefore, I invite any student to join GT-SHPE -- you will not regret it!

What are one or two of your favorite initiatives offered by GT-SHPE?

Two of my favorites initiatives offered by GT-SHPE are Kit Operations and Taste of Latin America (TLA). Kit Operations is a fairly new initiative that the philanthropy team at GT-SHPE is trying to support so it happens every year. The purpose of Kit Operations is to create hygiene kits for people experiencing homelessness  in Atlanta. This has been a tough year for many people, especially for this particular community.          

My other favorite initiative is Taste of Latin America. We show the larger Georgia Tech community what it means to be a Latino with cultural food, music, and a performance that everyone can enjoy. This year, the event had a different concept since we needed to make sure it followed safety protocols demanded by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The TLA team has been exceptional, and I am proud and happy that even with all the challenges we faced during the planning process, we made this event possible.

]]> goberst3 1 1622128418 2021-05-27 15:13:38 1684341385 2023-05-17 16:36:25 0 0 news In this interview, fourth-year ISyE student Lucia Colina shares her journey to Georgia Tech and how her involvement with the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers has impacted her.

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2021-05-27T00:00:00-04:00 2021-05-27T00:00:00-04:00 2021-05-27 00:00:00 Shelley Wunder-Smith

H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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647782 647782 image <![CDATA[Lucia Colina]]> image/jpeg 1622127933 2021-05-27 15:05:33 1622127933 2021-05-27 15:05:33
<![CDATA[Srinivas Peeta Receives 2020 Matthew G. Karlaftis Best Paper Award]]> 34760 Srinivas Peeta, who holds the Frederick R. Dickerson Chair in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering and a joint appointment in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering, has been recognized with the 2020 Matthew G. Karlaftis Best Paper Award. The award is given annually for the best paper that appears in the Journal of Infrastructure Systems. Peeta and his former Ph.D. student, Mohammad Miralinaghi, currently a postdoctoral research associate at Purdue University, were honored for “Design of a Multiperiod Tradable Credit Scheme under Vehicular Emissions Caps and Traveler Heterogeneity in Future Credit Price Perception.”

In particular, the award committee cited Peeta and Miralinaghi’s work for its novel pricing-based market-driven mechanism to manage vehicular emissions in an effort to achieve sustainability for urban transportation infrastructure.

You can read more about their research and the award, given in honor of the late Professor Matthew G. Karlaftis, here.

]]> Laurie Haigh 1 1622029724 2021-05-26 11:48:44 1622029724 2021-05-26 11:48:44 0 0 news The award is given annually for the best paper that appears in the Journal of Infrastructure Systems.

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2021-05-26T00:00:00-04:00 2021-05-26T00:00:00-04:00 2021-05-26 00:00:00 Shelley Wunder-Smith
ISyE Communications

]]>
616487 616487 image <![CDATA[Frederick R. Dickerson Chair and Professor Srinivas Peeta]]> image/jpeg 1547593343 2019-01-15 23:02:23 1547593343 2019-01-15 23:02:23 <![CDATA[Our Autonomous Transportation Future]]> <![CDATA[India's Top Engineering College Honors Srinivas Peeta as Distinguished Alumnus]]> <![CDATA[New Simulator Puts People in a Full-size Car to Understand Their Driving Behavior]]>
<![CDATA[ISyE Spring 2021 Senior Design Results in Tied Winning Teams and National Competition Winners]]> 34760 This semester, 26 teams comprised of 197 students from the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE) presented their projects at the Georgia Tech Capstone Expo (virtual) on April 27, 2021. In addition, three top teams were selected to participate in the ISyE Best of Senior Design competition; two teams — Amazon Freight and Robins Air Force Base — placed first and third, respectively, in the Institute of Industrial & Systems Engineers (IISE) Outstanding ISE Capstone Senior Design Project national competition.

“The spring semester Capstone Senior Design teams worked across several industries, from public service and government agencies to healthcare providers,” said Dima Nazzal, Senior Design coordinator and projects evaluator. “They not only designed solutions that impacted the bottom line for businesses, but also increased social equity, efficiency of tax dollar spending, and battle readiness for the US Air Force.

“We had many outstanding teams, and it was very difficult to select the finalists,” she added. “The three selected were very representative of the depth of excellence in methodology, impact, professionalism, and technical communication.”

Georgia Tech Capstone Expo

Senior Design team “New Homes for Radomes,” the ISyE Capstone winner, worked with the 402 Commodities Maintenance and Electronics Maintenance Groups at Robins Air Force Base to repair and test aircraft radomes, which house radar and other electronics. The project goal was to design a process flow and workstation layout for a new facility to decrease cycle times, increase capacity, and add capability for managing demand variation. The facility layouts and trade-off analysis provide a customizable solution that will meet increasing demands on-time and remain adaptable as Air Force requirements change.

The team included Vishal Hansali, Rahil Manji, Matthew Oswald, Kathryn Otte, Harper Power, and John Raj. They were advised by ISyE Professor Emeritus Gunter Sharp.

The Capstone Expo’s People’s Choice Award went to Senior Design team “Forecasting MoDELL,” who worked with client Dell Technologies to improve the drive return process to decrease overage and shortage costs. The team included Marc Al Haj, Mukram Aljandali, Heewoon Jeong, Juan Redondo Albetos, Joan Saheb, Jiamzhe Xu, and Haolin Ye. They were advised by A. Russell Chandler III Chair and Professor Alexander Shapiro.

ISyE Best of Senior Design

Out of the 26 teams from the Stewart School, three were chosen to participate in the virtual ISyE Best of Senior Design competition on May 4, 2021. The finalists included Team “The Fastest Picker Upper” and their project with National Automotive Parts Association (NAPA); Team “Watt-lanta” and their project with the City of Atlanta Department of Transportation (DOT); and Team “Cold Chain Soul Train” and their project with Amazon Freight. DOT and NAPA were selected as tied winners. Each winning team will receive $1,500 to split among their team members.

The Fastest Picker Upper partnered with NAPA, an aftermarket automotive parts provider, to improve the labor productivity of their newest distribution center (DC) in Nashville, Tennessee. The team’s solution strategies addressed the putaway, picking, and consolidation operations — the three most important areas within this high-volume DC. The team delivered three tools that NAPA can easily integrate into their warehouse management system. Results of a two-week pilot at the DC coupled with extensive backtesting of the proposed solutions demonstrate that NAPA can expect to improve productivity by more than 7%.

Team members included Sofia Carvajal, Ethan Channell, Paulina Cucalon, Jay Lee, Ved Mohan, Isabella Pappaterra, Camila Pozo, and Michael Tang. They were advised by Associate Professor Steve Hackman.

The other winning team, Watt-lanta, worked with the Atlanta DOT, a government entity tasked with managing and promoting transportation infrastructure. Specifically, the team wanted to provide the Atlanta DOT with a data-driven methodology that maximized the impact of investments made into streetlights, with the goal of reducing overall crashes and crime. The team’s approach was centered around building a sociodemographic-conscious priority model of roads and a costing tool to give the Atlanta DOT the ideal level and order of intervention. This will ultimately transform the City’s installation of streetlights from a reactive to proactive system. As a result of this project, the mayor’s office has announced a historic expansion of 10,000 streetlights in the City of Atlanta.

Watt-lanta team members included Monica de Armas, Andres Farach, Willem Hartog, Isaac Hergott, Gabriella Marenco, Jordi Sabria, Alyssa Sullivan, and Esteban Ulloa. They were advised by ISyE Professor Emeritus Leon McGinnis.

The third finalist team, Cold Chain Soul Train, worked with Amazon Freight and spent the semester working to create a cold chain design for the company. Despite offering a variety of refrigerated goods to their customers, Amazon does not currently have the capability to transport refrigerated goods without contracting to third parties. The team developed a computational engine that provides recommendations about the strategic acquisition and operational deployment of a cold chain fleet. The proposed solution will reduce both total system cost and reliance on third-party logistics, helping Amazon to continue building a better customer experience.

Team members included John Browning, Thomas Culwell, Charlie Howard, Isabelle Liffiton, Matthew Link, Riley Martin, Viviana Osorio, and Shrey Udhaya. They were advised by Associate Professor Steve Hackman.

ISyE Teams Win IISE National Competition and CREATE-X Capstone

Cold Chain Soul Train and New Homes for Radomes also competed in the IISE Outstanding ISE Capstone Senior Design Project competition with 21 other teams from across North America. This award “recognizes individual students or teams for practical application of ISE knowledge and skills, resulting in significant impact to an organization.” Cold Chain Soul Train was selected as the overall winner, and New Homes for Radomes placed third.

“The fact that Georgia Tech ISyE teams placed first and third in a national capstone competition is another testimony to the strength of our program, the dedication of our faculty advisors, and the excellence of our students. We should be very proud of our graduates who contribute to our No. 1 ranking,” said Nazzal.

In addition, for the first time ever, ISyE students joined the CREATE-X Capstone course to complete their Senior Design project. Team “Helluva Energy-neers,” an ISyE-dominated team that worked with the Georgia World Congress Center (GWCC), won the Best Project award across 13 teams. The team worked with the GWCC to predict an event’s electricity usage and cost more accurately, which could lead to an estimated increase in annual profit of 17%.

Team members included Abdulhafiz Abdullahi, Ronnie Bian, Jackson Burke, Aarushi Khajuria, Sonakshi Mishra, Junzhe Ruan, Jordan Rodrigues, Vale Tolpegin, Laura Zhang, and Sam Zimmerman. They were advised by Professor Craig Tovey.

“For the first time ever, ISyE students participated in the CREATE-X Capstone course as an alternative pathway for completing their Senior Design requirement. ISyE students are increasingly interested in entrepreneurship and multi-disciplinary projects, which motivated us to explore this pathway. It turned out to be a successful experiment with excellent potential for expansion and continuity,” said Nazzal. “We’re proud of the 15 students who agreed to be in this inaugural cohort and of how well they represented our program and managed to partner with other disciplines to design original products. We wish them well in their future entrepreneurial endeavors.”

]]> Laurie Haigh 1 1621350676 2021-05-18 15:11:16 1622209218 2021-05-28 13:40:18 0 0 news Twenty-six teams comprised of 197 students from the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering completed projects across a wide variety of industries.

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2021-05-26T00:00:00-04:00 2021-05-26T00:00:00-04:00 2021-05-26 00:00:00 Laurie Haigh
Communications Manager

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647561 647814 647564 647563 647562 647561 image <![CDATA[ISyE Senior Design Team "New Homes for Radomes."]]> image/png 1621348958 2021-05-18 14:42:38 1621349530 2021-05-18 14:52:10 647814 image <![CDATA[ISyE Senior Design Team "Forecasting Mo-DELL"]]> image/jpeg 1622209146 2021-05-28 13:39:06 1622209146 2021-05-28 13:39:06 647564 image <![CDATA[ISyE Senior Design Team "The Fastest Picker Upper"]]> image/png 1621349731 2021-05-18 14:55:31 1621349731 2021-05-18 14:55:31 647563 image <![CDATA[ISyE Senior Design Team "Watt-lanta"]]> image/png 1621349439 2021-05-18 14:50:39 1621349439 2021-05-18 14:50:39 647562 image <![CDATA[ISyE Senior Design Team "Cold Chain Soul Train"]]> image/png 1621349222 2021-05-18 14:47:02 1621349493 2021-05-18 14:51:33
<![CDATA[Clone of New Master of Science in Urban Analytics to Launch in the Fall ]]> 34760 Georgia Tech is launching a new interdisciplinary degree this fall: the Master of Science in Urban Analytics (MSUA). The School of City and Regional Planning will administer the degree in partnership with the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE), the School of Computational Science and Engineering (CSE), and the School of Interactive Computing (IC). 

Urban analytics is an emerging field that incorporates smart cities, urban informatics, and urban science. The goal of urban analytics is to leverage data science in addressing major issues cities continue to face, including air, water, and land pollution; carbon emissions; traffic congestion; inadequate housing options; and disparities in access to services. The skills and knowledge necessary to tackle such challenges require an integrated multidisciplinary approach, which this degree is designed to provide. 

It is aimed at students who are interested in solving urban problems through the acquisition, integration, and analysis of various forms of data. Undergraduate preparation for this degree can include a range of fields such as engineering, planning, computing, and various social science disciplines. 

Georgia Tech is the only university in the University System of Georgia offering an urban analytics degree. Programs of this kind are quickly gaining national relevancy — similar graduate programs exist at Carnegie Mellon University, New York University, Northeastern University, and the University of California at Berkeley. 

Subhro Guhathakurta, chair of the School of City and Regional Planning and the director of the Center for Spatial Planning Analytics and Visualization, noted that Tech’s urban analytics program stands out from the others given its strategic partnership with top-ranked programs in engineering and computing to offer this multidisciplinary degree.

“The objective is to harness Georgia Tech’s recognized strengths and expertise in data analytics to focus on the critical problems facing urban regions,” he said.

Read also: Gulsah Akar Appointed New School of City and Regional Planning Chair

Additionally, there are many aspects of industrial engineering that can be applied to urban analytics, Pascal Van Hentenryck, associate chair for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and A. Russell Chandler III Chair and Professor in ISyE, said. 

“Many supply chain logistics concepts and solutions can be applied to address the inefficiencies in public transportation, accessibility, and the relationship between mobility and the built environment. This program is pioneering in that it links many viewpoints holistically, from the concepts to the mathematical and computational tools, and their applications to problems faced by our growing cities,” he said.

Georgia Tech’s ISyE program is ranked as the No. 1 graduate program in in the industrial, manufacturing, and systems specialty and has held the top rank for 31 years.

Advances in computation are also essential to ensure the sustainable development of modern cities and guarantee that they operate effectively, Haesun Park, Regents' Professor and chair of CSE, said. 

“Understanding and planning for the interdependent and interactive quality of city infrastructures require computational models and tools of increasing complexity and scale. This is where data, computing, and networks are ubiquitous, with computation playing unprecedented new roles in the management and operation of cities,” she said.

Besides new introductory courses, several existing classes in the degree-participating schools are available as part of a well-rounded curriculum. These courses are carefully selected to meet four core competencies: urban systems, spatial analysis, computational statistics including machine learning, and modeling and visualization.

The curriculum will place special emphasis on social end-values such as sustainability, justice, and resilience, and on individual data rights including: permission for collection; privacy through aggregation; and transparency through open data.

"One of the most exciting aspects of this new degree is the diversity of academic programs working together on this topic of urban analytics. It will unite faculty and students from across campus to work on solving many important challenges," John Stasko, Regents' Professor and interim chair of IC, said.

Specialization within the degree is encouraged. The one-year program spans fall and spring semesters, with a summer workshop.

Applications for the Fall 2021 cohort open this summer. For more information, click here.

]]> Laurie Haigh 1 1621963674 2021-05-25 17:27:54 1653584976 2022-05-26 17:09:36 0 0 news Urban planning, computing, and industrial and systems engineering combine to fix big city problems

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2021-05-25T00:00:00-04:00 2021-05-25T00:00:00-04:00 2021-05-25 00:00:00 College of Design

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647725 647725 image <![CDATA[Atlanta Skyline]]> image/jpeg 1621948808 2021-05-25 13:20:08 1621948808 2021-05-25 13:20:08
<![CDATA[New Master of Science in Urban Analytics to Launch in the Fall ]]> 27469 Georgia Tech is launching a new interdisciplinary degree this fall: the Master of Science in Urban Analytics (MSUA). The School of City and Regional Planning will administer the degree in partnership with the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE), the School of Computational Science and Engineering (CSE), and the School of Interactive Computing (IC). 

Urban analytics is an emerging field that incorporates smart cities, urban informatics, and urban science. The goal of urban analytics is to leverage data science in addressing major issues cities continue to face, including air, water, and land pollution; carbon emissions; traffic congestion; inadequate housing options; and disparities in access to services. The skills and knowledge necessary to tackle such challenges require an integrated multidisciplinary approach, which this degree is designed to provide. 

It is aimed at students who are interested in solving urban problems through the acquisition, integration, and analysis of various forms of data. Undergraduate preparation for this degree can include a range of fields such as engineering, planning, computing, and various social science disciplines. 

Georgia Tech is the only university in the University System of Georgia offering an urban analytics degree. Programs of this kind are quickly gaining national relevancy — similar graduate programs exist at Carnegie Mellon University, New York University, Northeastern University, and the University of California at Berkeley. 

Subhro Guhathakurta, chair of the School of City and Regional Planning and the director of the Center for Spatial Planning Analytics and Visualization, noted that Tech’s urban analytics program stands out from the others given its strategic partnership with top-ranked programs in engineering and computing to offer this multidisciplinary degree.

“The objective is to harness Georgia Tech’s recognized strengths and expertise in data analytics to focus on the critical problems facing urban regions,” he said.

Read also: Gulsah Akar Appointed New School of City and Regional Planning Chair

Additionally, there are many aspects of industrial engineering that can be applied to urban analytics, Pascal Van Hentenryck, associate chair for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and A. Russell Chandler III Chair and Professor in ISyE, said. 

“Many supply chain logistics concepts and solutions can be applied to address the inefficiencies in public transportation, accessibility, and the relationship between mobility and the built environment. This program is pioneering in that it links many viewpoints holistically, from the concepts to the mathematical and computational tools, and their applications to problems faced by our growing cities,” he said.

Georgia Tech’s ISyE program is ranked as the No. 1 graduate program in in the industrial, manufacturing, and systems specialty and has held the top rank for 31 years.

Advances in computation are also essential to ensure the sustainable development of modern cities and guarantee that they operate effectively, Haesun Park, Regents' Professor and chair of CSE, said. 

“Understanding and planning for the interdependent and interactive quality of city infrastructures require computational models and tools of increasing complexity and scale. This is where data, computing, and networks are ubiquitous, with computation playing unprecedented new roles in the management and operation of cities,” she said.

Besides new introductory courses, several existing classes in the degree-participating schools are available as part of a well-rounded curriculum. These courses are carefully selected to meet four core competencies: urban systems, spatial analysis, computational statistics including machine learning, and modeling and visualization.

The curriculum will place special emphasis on social end-values such as sustainability, justice, and resilience, and on individual data rights including: permission for collection; privacy through aggregation; and transparency through open data.

"One of the most exciting aspects of this new degree is the diversity of academic programs working together on this topic of urban analytics. It will unite faculty and students from across campus to work on solving many important challenges," John Stasko, Regents' Professor and interim chair of IC, said.

Specialization within the degree is encouraged. The one-year program spans fall and spring semesters, with a summer workshop.

Applications for the Fall 2021 cohort open this summer. For more information, click here.

]]> Kristen Bailey 1 1621948713 2021-05-25 13:18:33 1621961056 2021-05-25 16:44:16 0 0 news Urban planning, computing, and industrial and systems engineering combine to fix big city problems

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2021-05-25T00:00:00-04:00 2021-05-25T00:00:00-04:00 2021-05-25 00:00:00 Ann Hoevel

College of Design

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647725 647725 image <![CDATA[Atlanta Skyline]]> image/jpeg 1621948808 2021-05-25 13:20:08 1621948808 2021-05-25 13:20:08
<![CDATA[Sarah Canastra Tackles Sustainability through Data Science and Public Policy ]]> 35757 For the past three consecutive years, interdisciplinary teams of students from Georgia Tech have finished first at JUMP into STEM, an online competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The competition focuses on creative ideation in the field of building science, which supports the advancement of building technology and broadly includes aspects such as indoor thermal environment, lighting, air quality, and building resource use. This year’s outstanding team includes Sarah Canastra, a second-year student from the H. Milton School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE). She worked alongside Hunter Hancock and Lucas Kiefer, who are computer science majors.  

Their project, “Load Shifting with Smart Water Heaters: Conservation Without the Cold Showers,” won the Grid Interactive Efficient Buildings (GEB) challenge in the first round of the competition. Canastra went on to present their project at the final event, where she became one of four overall winners and received a summer internship at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Tennessee.

The objective of the GEB challenge, one of three competition categories, was to create a conceptual design that optimizes the operation of a building by maximizing energy efficiency. Born out of an initial curiosity about the possible applications of using smart water heaters, the team designed an algorithm to predict water use and recommend the best time to heat water in a home. The project proposal also includes a mobile application for tracking user preferences.

“A smart water heater learns when you need hot water, and it's only going to heat it when you need it,” Canastra said. “We came up with a solution of how to shift the load of the energy grid to reduce the demand during peak demand hours.” This reduces the need for “peaker plants,” which are power plants run during hours of peak energy demand; these are typically more expensive and use more inefficient fuels.

The project is aimed at low occupancy households (LOHs), which are one- or two-member households. LOHs make up over half of all U.S. households, and many have older, less efficient water heaters. Because they have longer periods between hot water requests, LOHs are the perfect target population for the load-shifting algorithm.

“Load shifting works better when there's less people, because if you have all these demand response events – a lot of people saying [they] need hot water right now – [the water heaters] still have to keep heating continuously,” Canastra explained. Their algorithm reduces peak energy usage due to water heaters by 46% on average.

The winning project originated in the Fall 2020 Data Science for Policy course (PUBP 3042) taught by Omar Isaac Asensio, assistant professor in the School of Public Policy. Students in the course were placed into multidisciplinary teams, which aligned with the DOE’s objective to encourage the diversity of thought and background in building science by requiring cross-disciplinary engagement as part of idea submissions.

“In total, we had six Georgia Tech teams compete this year with students from public policy, computing, and engineering,” Asensio said. “We knew we could be very competitive again this year, having won the previous two years in a row. In the end, the excellent research creativity of our students and our particular brand of technology development, integrated with rigorous policy analytics and social theories, proved to be a competitive edge.”

Canastra’s team worked incredibly well together, despite the challenge of being in different time zones, and she enjoyed interacting with other students. “It was really cool to make those connections with people in the class, because it’s hard to get to know people with the online format,” she said.

Another exciting aspect of the project was being able to apply skills Canastra learned from a previous course, Data Input and Manipulation (CS 2316), which is part of the core ISyE curriculum. The course teaches coding in Python, specifically focusing on coding packages useful for data science, which helped her to make data visualizations for the project.

“Having some prior experience working with data [ensured that] I wasn't intimidated by looking at the data sets,” Canastra said. She has already chosen analytics and data science as her ISyE concentration and is minoring in computer science.

This summer, Canastra’s internship at ORNL will be in the building science department, where she will be working on the EMPOWER wall project. The EMPOWER wall is a 5-by-8-foot smart wall that functions as a cooling system for a room with the goals of reducing energy use, decreasing peak time energy demand, and utilizing renewable energy, all while maintaining occupant comfort.

Through its thermal storage and active insulation systems, the wall acts as a thermal battery, adjusting its temperature and the amount of heat released or absorbed according to the season. This reduces electricity costs by lowering the use of the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), which is responsible for a large percentage of energy use in buildings. Canastra will be involved with curating and analyzing data from the wall to evaluate energy and peak demand savings.

Canastra’s experience in her public policy class also led her to Georgia Tech’s Data Science and Policy Lab, directed by Asensio. Currently, she is involved in a sustainable plastics project funded by the National Science Foundation. As part of the beginning phase of the project, she is researching potential data sources, and working on a literature review of different plastics policies and their effectiveness.

Originally, Canastra began her studies at Georgia Tech as a pre-health chemistry major, but she quickly realized that pre-health was not the right path for her. When she started researching different majors and came across ISyE, she was intrigued by the combination of math, computer science, and business concepts in the curriculum.

“One of the things that drew me to [industrial engineering] was how many different types of classes there were,” Canastra said. She is interested in the applications of ISyE to public policy and sustainability, such as making systems more efficient and better for the environment.

These incredible experiences – winning JUMP into STEM, joining the Data Science and Policy Lab, and her upcoming internship at ORNL – all came out of her decision to take an extra class. Canastra already had a prior interest in public policy, and when she discovered Data Science for Policy, she knew it would be the perfect combination of her passions. Balancing a busy course load can be challenging, but she encourages other students to explore classes outside of their majors as well.

PUBP 3042 Data Science for Policy meets Georgia Tech’s general education requirements for Area E: Social Sciences, making it accessible to undergraduate students broadly across the Institute. In the next offering of the course, PUBP 3042 will also open available seats as part of Georgia Tech’s Honors program.      

]]> goberst3 1 1620924052 2021-05-13 16:40:52 1621526651 2021-05-20 16:04:11 0 0 news Second-year ISyE student Sarah Canastra is one of four overall winners of the 2021 JUMP into STEM competition and will be interning at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory this summer.

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2021-05-13T00:00:00-04:00 2021-05-13T00:00:00-04:00 2021-05-13 00:00:00 Grace Oberst

Communications Assistant
H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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647442 647442 image <![CDATA[Sarah Canastra]]> image/jpeg 1620923128 2021-05-13 16:25:28 1620923128 2021-05-13 16:25:28
<![CDATA[Valerie Thomas Appointed to Anderson-Interface Chair]]> 35757 Valerie Thomas, professor in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE), has been appointed to the Anderson-Interface Chair of Natural Systems. The Anderson-Interface Chair was created to enhance the Stewart School’s ability to attract and retain eminent teacher-scholars who provide academic leadership in the research area of natural systems, sustainability, energy, and climate. Prior to this appointment, Thomas held the Anderson-Interface Professorship in ISyE.

Thomas’ research focuses on energy and materials efficiency, sustainability, industrial ecology, technology assessment, international security, and science and technology policy. Current research projects include the environmental impacts of biofuels and electricity system development; assessment of renewable electricity options; and evaluation of alternative vehicle technologies.

“Congratulations to Valerie on this very well-deserved honor and recognition of her outstanding contributions to ISyE, Georgia Tech, and her field,” said ISyE School Chair Edwin Romeijn. “The additional funding will help further her current research on the environmental impacts of biofuels and electricity system development, which includes her recent work on energy development in Rwanda.”

 “Ray C. Anderson saw natural systems as the touchstone for industry. He was a radical industrialist who believed and showed that it is possible to do business by respecting the Earth,” Thomas noted. “Inspired by Ray Anderson’s example, I will focus on higher profile projects that examine the role of land and forests in the combined systems of industry, energy, climate, nature, and people.”

Thomas is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and of the American Physical Society. From 2003-09, she was a member of the U.S. EPA Science Advisory Board, and from 2014-19, she was a member of the DOE/USDA Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee.

Thomas has a joint appointment in Georgia Tech’s School of Public Policy. In 2018, she was honored with the Class of 1934 Outstanding Interdisciplinary Activities Award by Georgia Tech's Faculty Honors Committee. The award was established to recognize Georgia Tech faculty who have made significant interdisciplinary contributions to teaching and research. 

]]> goberst3 1 1620743253 2021-05-11 14:27:33 1621006629 2021-05-14 15:37:09 0 0 news Thomas will use the chair's funds to focus on higher profile projects examing the role of land and forests in the combined systems of industry, energy, climate, nature, and people.

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2021-05-11T00:00:00-04:00 2021-05-11T00:00:00-04:00 2021-05-11 00:00:00 Shelley Wunder-Smith

H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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581862 581862 image <![CDATA[Valerie Thomas]]> image/jpeg 1475155087 2016-09-29 13:18:07 1475155087 2016-09-29 13:18:07
<![CDATA[ISyE Alumnus Commands SpaceX Crew-2 Mission to International Space Station ]]> 34760 Astronaut Shane Kimbrough, who received a master’s degree in operations research in 1998 from the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering, is currently serving as commander of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-2 mission to the International Space Station.

Kimbrough is leading Crew-2, an international team including fellow NASA astronaut Megan McArthur, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, and European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet, as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. This is the second of six crewed missions scheduled.

Crew-2 launched on Friday, April 23, from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida and will spend six months in space during this mission. According to NASA, “the Crew-2 members will conduct science and maintenance during a six-month stay aboard the orbiting laboratory and will return no earlier than Oct. 31. The Crew Dragon spacecraft can stay in orbit for at least 210 days, which is a NASA requirement.”

Kimbrough grew up in the Atlanta metro area and was selected to be an astronaut in 2004. This is his third trip to space.

]]> Laurie Haigh 1 1620135027 2021-05-04 13:30:27 1621260166 2021-05-17 14:02:46 0 0 news Kimbrough is leading the Crew-2 mission which is the second of six crewed missions scheduled as part of NASA's Commercial Crew Program.

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2021-05-04T00:00:00-04:00 2021-05-04T00:00:00-04:00 2021-05-04 00:00:00 Laurie Haigh
Communications Manager

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647141 647141 image <![CDATA[NASA astronaut and ISyE alumnus Shane Kimbrough (third from left) with Crew-2. Photo courtesy of NASA.]]> image/png 1620134631 2021-05-04 13:23:51 1620135711 2021-05-04 13:41:51
<![CDATA[Andy Sun Appointed to Professorship]]> 35757 Associate Professor Andy Sun has been appointed to a David M. McKenney Family Associate Professorship, as announced by Georgia Tech’s H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE). Prior to this appointment, Sun held an Anderson-Interface Early Career Professorship.

Sun’s research focuses on both theory and applications of deterministic optimization and optimization under uncertainty. Much of his research concerns applications for energy systems, including resiliency of power systems.

He has developed one of the first efficient algorithms for solving two-stage robust optimization problems that are significantly faster than Benders’ decomposition; cutting plane methods for multistage robust linear optimization that are much more scalable than the duality approach; models for decision-dependent uncertainty; and a fast exact algorithm (SDDiP) for multistage stochastic integer linear programming. Sun’s team is working toward developing new algorithms and complexity analysis for multistage stochastic and distributionally robust programs with integer decisions and nonlinear constraints, as well as first-order methods for nonconvex distributed and nonlinear optimization.

In particular, Sun has received recognition for his research on applications for energy systems. A Georgia Tech team led by Sun won third place in the 2020 ARPA-E Grid Optimization Competition for solving large-scale optimization problems for electric power grid operation. Additional awards include:

Sun also received an NSF CAREER grant in 2018.

]]> goberst3 1 1619789353 2021-04-30 13:29:13 1620763108 2021-05-11 19:58:28 0 0 news Much of Sun's research concerns applications for energy systems, including resiliency of power systems.

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2021-04-30T00:00:00-04:00 2021-04-30T00:00:00-04:00 2021-04-30 00:00:00 Shelley Wunder-Smith

H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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647076 647076 image <![CDATA[Andy Sun]]> image/jpeg 1619789333 2021-04-30 13:28:53 1619789333 2021-04-30 13:28:53
<![CDATA[Jan Shi Receives S.M. Wu Research Implementation Award]]> 35757 Jianjun “Jan” Shi, Carolyn J. Stewart Chair and professor in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE), is the 2021 recipient of the NAMRI/SME 2021 S.M. Wu Research Implementation Award. The award honors outstanding original research presented as a paper at the annual North American Manufacturing Research Conference that, upon implementation, has had a significant commercial/societal impact.

The award committee cited the paper “Quality Prediction and Control in Rolling Processes Using Logistic Regression, Transactions of NAMRI/SME, vol. 35. Focusing on the hot rolling process, this paper developed innovative analytics tools to build a quantitative relationship between process parameters and defects; identify key defect-producing process parameters; and formulate active quality control strategies considering quality target, control cost, and engineering constraints/feasibility.

It also led to decades-long research into data fusion for in-process quality improvement in steel mills. Many of the developed quality algorithms have been implemented in HotEye® systems by OG Technologies, Inc. of Ann Arbor, MI. Such systems are in use by over 40 steel plants worldwide, with annual results of over $100 million in cost savings; 1.2 billion KWh in energy savings; and 50,000 tons of reduced CO2 emissions.

While Shi co-authored the work with Ran Jin and Jing Li, who are now at Virginia Tech and ISyE respectively, it is Shi’s continued research in this area that is being honored. In support of Shi’s recognition, OG Technologies Chairman Terrance C. Liddy and President Tzyy-Shuh Chang noted that “this paper has made original and profound contributions to the development of inline defect reduction, prevention, and quality control methodologies for rolling processes, and has also made great impacts to industrial practices.”

The award is named for Shien-Ming Wu, who was the J. Reid and Polly Anderson Professor of Manufacturing Technology at the University of Michigan. Wu was the first researcher to apply advanced statistical techniques to manufacturing research, now known as the dynamic data system. Shi was Wu’s final Ph.D. student before Wu’s untimely death in 1992.

“I am extremely honored to receive this recognition named after my Ph.D. advisor, the late professor S. M. Wu,” said Shi. “This achievement could not be reached without the tireless efforts of my students and collaborators, and persistent support from industrial sponsors.”

Shi’s work focuses primarily on the development and application of data-enabled manufacturing. His methodologies integrate system informatics, advanced statistics, and control theory for the design and operational improvements of manufacturing and service systems by fusing engineering systems models with data science methods. The technologies developed in Shi’s research group have been widely implemented in various production systems with significant economic impacts.

The S.M. Wu Research Implementation Award is the latest in a recent spate of prestigious recognitions for Shi. His research has also been honored with the 2021 ASQ Shewhart Medal; the 2020 Best Applied Paper Award from IISE Transactions; the 2019 ASQ Brumbaugh Award; and election to the National Academy of Engineering in 2018.

Shi will receive the award in a virtual ceremony on June 24, 2021.

]]> goberst3 1 1619637722 2021-04-28 19:22:02 1621002767 2021-05-14 14:32:47 0 0 news The award honors outstanding original research presented as a paper at the annual North American Manufacturing Research Conference that has had a significant commercial/societal impact.

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2021-04-28T00:00:00-04:00 2021-04-28T00:00:00-04:00 2021-04-28 00:00:00 Shelley Wunder-Smith

H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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643629 643629 image <![CDATA[Jan Shi]]> image/jpeg 1611936752 2021-01-29 16:12:32 1611936752 2021-01-29 16:12:32
<![CDATA[Ph.D. Student Arvind Krishna Wins Teaching Awards]]> 35757 Arvind Krishna, a Ph.D. student in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE), has been recognized with one of three 2021 Graduate Student Instructor of the Year awards by Georgia Tech’s Center for Teaching and Learning. He was first chosen as the 2021 Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor by the ISyE Academic Office, which then nominated Krishna for the Institute-level award.

When asked to describe his pedagogical style, Krishna said, “I tend to use everyday examples to teach concepts. This enables all students, irrespective of their background, to relate to the concepts and motivates them to engage in class. I use all the other ‘best teaching practices’ as well, such as active learning, multimodal learning, feedback-oriented learning, and so on. However, just following these practices from the book is not sufficient. One needs to realize that teaching is two-way learning. While the students learn the course content, the instructor needs to learn about the students, and constantly adapt their teaching to make it optimal for the students and the circumstances. Teaching a class is an operations research problem, and the instructor should seek the optimal solution, not merely a feasible one.

“Being a good teacher complements my research,” he continued. “It scrutinizes my understanding of concepts, keeps my knowledge-breadth up-to-date, and trains me to effectively communicate my research ideas. It also provides me the satisfaction of giving back to society. I am very glad to win this award, as it confirms the choice of my career path and motivates me to continue thinking about novel teaching ideas.”

Krishna received this award in a virtual ceremony on April 21, 2021. He will join Northwestern University’s Statistics Department in Fall 2021, as an assistant professor of instruction. One of his primary responsibilities will be to develop the university’s data science curriculum.  

]]> goberst3 1 1619633089 2021-04-28 18:04:49 1620763607 2021-05-11 20:06:47 0 0 news Arvind Krishna has been recognized with one of three 2021 Graduate Student Instructor of the Year awards by Georgia Tech’s Center for Teaching and Learning.

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2021-04-28T00:00:00-04:00 2021-04-28T00:00:00-04:00 2021-04-28 00:00:00 Shelley Wunder-Smith

H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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646998 646998 image <![CDATA[Arvind Krishna]]> image/jpeg 1619632695 2021-04-28 17:58:15 1619632695 2021-04-28 17:58:15
<![CDATA[Damon P. Williams Promoted to Senior Lecturer, Named Director of CASE]]> 35757 Damon P. Williams has been promoted to Senior Lecturer in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE). An ISyE alumnus (IE 2002), he joined the Stewart School in 2010 as a lecturer and advisor in the Academic Office and quickly developed a reputation as an engaging and demanding instructor. Attesting to this are the teaching awards he has received over the past decade.

Williams is also the director of ISyE’s new Center for Academics, Success, and Equity (CASE), an interdisciplinary academic center created to support ISyE students, faculty, and staff. Programs are categorized according to three foci:

CASE also supports ISyE’s current K-12 outreach efforts, including summer camps, partnerships with local schools, and class visits for high school students, which enables them to learn about the field of industrial engineering and ISyE.

]]> goberst3 1 1619619150 2021-04-28 14:12:30 1684341293 2023-05-17 16:34:53 0 0 news Damon P. Williams has been promoted to Senior Lecturer and is also the director of ISyE’s new Center for Academics, Success, and Equity (CASE), an interdisciplinary academic center.

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2021-04-28T00:00:00-04:00 2021-04-28T00:00:00-04:00 2021-04-28 00:00:00 Shelley Wunder-Smith

H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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646968 646968 image <![CDATA[Damon P. Williams]]> image/jpeg 1619618518 2021-04-28 14:01:58 1619618518 2021-04-28 14:01:58
<![CDATA[ISyE Alumnus Shane Kimbrough Leads SpaceX Launch]]> 35757 The veteran NASA astronaut leading the recent SpaceX mission is Shane Kimbrough, a 1998 Georgia Tech graduate with a master’s degree in operations research from the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE). He was selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in 2004 and completed his first spaceflight in 2008 on the space shuttle Endeavour.

Kimbrough’s team of four includes astronauts from the United States, Japan, and France, and they will be spending six months at the International Space Station. “Glad to be back in space,” Kimbrough radioed when their capsule was in orbit, according to the article.

Elon Musk met with the astronauts at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center before they left for the launch, which took place an hour before sunrise and drew many spectators. This marks the third crew flight in less than a year for SpaceX, and it is also the first time the aerospace company has reused a capsule and rocket to launch astronauts for NASA.

You can read the entire article about the launch here.

]]> goberst3 1 1619616985 2021-04-28 13:36:25 1620763551 2021-05-11 20:05:51 0 0 news The veteran NASA astronaut leading the recent SpaceX mission is Shane Kimbrough, a 1998 Georgia Tech graduate with a master’s degree in operations research.

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2021-04-28T00:00:00-04:00 2021-04-28T00:00:00-04:00 2021-04-28 00:00:00 Shelley Wunder-Smith

H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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646963 646964 646965 646963 image <![CDATA[Shane Kimbrough (Credit: John Raoux)]]> image/jpeg 1619615929 2021-04-28 13:18:49 1619615929 2021-04-28 13:18:49 646964 image <![CDATA[Launch (Credit: Aubrey Gemignani)]]> image/jpeg 1619616212 2021-04-28 13:23:32 1619616212 2021-04-28 13:23:32 646965 image <![CDATA[Shane Kimbrough and his team]]> image/jpeg 1619616355 2021-04-28 13:25:55 1619616355 2021-04-28 13:25:55
<![CDATA[In Her Own Words: Divya Pinnaka and Her Entrepreneurial Journey]]> 35757 Divya Pinnaka, a third-year student from the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE), is business-minded and well-versed in design thinking. She has been involved in entrepreneurship since high school and has continued to follow her passion at Georgia Tech through Grand Challenges, Create-X, and the Female Founders program. In this first-person essay, Pinnaka details her entrepreneurial experiences, how she landed an internship at Amazon, and her advice for other students interested in starting their own company.

Hi, my name is Divya, and I am a third-year industrial engineering student! 

From an early age, I have always asked myself “how” and “why” – whether it's a new app or product in the grocery store, I would wonder how it came to fruition. I would read stories about successful tech founders and keep up to date with exciting innovations through TechCrunch, an online newspaper that focuses on high tech and startup companies. One day, I hoped to create something of my own.

Every summer in high school, I participated in entrepreneurship programs, and I knew that I wanted to continue this in college. In my first year, I joined the Grand Challenges Living Learning Community, a one-year course designed to teach students design thinking and problem-solving. Through Grand Challenges, I learned about design thinking methodology and how to work in a dynamic and diverse team. Our team brainstormed solutions preventing the sharing of “fake news” and improving media literacy. We subsequently developed an algorithm to flag bots and disinformation on social platforms. During Grand Challenges, I was chosen to represent the program in Washington, D.C. and to meet with senators to learn more about public policy issues. At the end of the year, our team presented our project solution at the Fox Theater to the greater Atlanta community.

In my second year, I wanted to become involved with Create-X at Georgia Tech. When I was a senior in high school, I was very frustrated with being unable to tour colleges in person; existing virtual tours didn’t do justice. I was determined to find a solution for students in a similar position, so I joined the Create-X Idea to Prototype (I2P) program. I was paired with a mentor and began customer discovery for my virtual tour startup idea, Unitour. I later interviewed with and was accepted into the Create-X Startup Launch Summer Accelerator Program.

Through Create-X, I was able to connect with an incredible network of startup teams and mentors whom I met with weekly for guidance. I conducted more than 150 customer discovery interviews to understand the target customer and the problem that I was trying to solve. My minimum viable product was a YouTube video tour of Georgia Tech, which reached over 17,000+ views. At Create-X Demo Day, I presented Unitour and received positive feedback from students as well as professionals in the educational space.

Now in my third year, I have been able to leverage my background in industrial engineering, as well as my entrepreneurial mindset, to interview for several internships. During one interview, my recruiter asked, “When was the last time you worked to find a solution to a problem?” I shared my story of participating in Create-X, my frustration with existing virtual tours, and how I worked to implement my idea. The recruiter loved my story — I received an offer as an Operations Manager intern with Amazon this summer.

I continue to be involved with entrepreneurship on campus as an executive member of Startup Exchange, the largest student-led entrepreneurial community at Georgia Tech. As part of the fellowship team, I manage a group of mentors for incoming startup teams.

This semester, I was accepted into the Female Founders program, a four-week virtual cohort experience created by Georgia Tech’s VentureLab that teaches participants about lean startup methodology and customer discovery. My team worked on a new startup in the sustainability space born out of our frustration with the amount of food waste created in restaurants. We conducted customer discovery by walking around Midtown and interviewing managers at different local restaurants and fast-food chains to learn more about food waste.

The Female Founders Program connected me with an incredible like-minded group of entrepreneurs. Female representation in the entrepreneurial community is low, with women-led startups receiving only 2.3% of venture capital funding. As an Indian American woman, I have sometimes wondered where I belong, and if I belong in the industry. During the program, mentors guided us through our startups while having open conversations about tackling imposter syndrome and how to be fearless in the workplace.

The most challenging – but fun – part of entrepreneurship is that there are no right or wrong answers. Nobody can tell you “what” to think, so you should focus on “how” to think. That is what Create-X taught me. It was a paradigm shift — I now view problems as opportunities for innovation. Whether working for an organization as an “intrapreneur” or scaling an idea from scratch, having the right mindset is what truly matters.

From studying abroad in France to working on new startups in Atlanta, my journey at Georgia Tech has been incredible. I always feel supported, and I trust that I have a community to rely on every step of the way. After I graduate, I will continue to implement what I’ve learned at Georgia Tech, as I view entrepreneurship as a mindset that can be adopted and applied in many facets of my life. I hope to one day inspire young girls to have the confidence to take a leap and go after progress, not perfection.

To anyone who plans on starting their own company: do it! Starting is the first step, and there is no linear path. Interview as many people as you can, take advantage of mentors who know more than you, and hone in on your problem statement. Don’t be afraid to ask for help — Georgia Tech has a ton of resources to guide you along the way.

]]> goberst3 1 1619529959 2021-04-27 13:25:59 1623184601 2021-06-08 20:36:41 0 0 news In this first-person essay, Pinnaka details her entrepreneurial experiences, how she landed an internship at Amazon, and her advice for other students interested in starting their own company.

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2021-04-27T00:00:00-04:00 2021-04-27T00:00:00-04:00 2021-04-27 00:00:00 Grace Oberst

Communications Assistant
H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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646920 646920 image <![CDATA[Divya Pinnaka]]> image/jpeg 1619529475 2021-04-27 13:17:55 1619529475 2021-04-27 13:17:55
<![CDATA[Data Science @ GT: Q&A with Maxim Geller ]]> 35757 In any industry, the ability to collect, analyze, and model data has increasingly become a necessity. Thus, data science continues to be in high demand, and it has become a popular area of study for ISyE students, who often work with data in their courses. Maxim Geller, a second-year student in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE) has ventured into data science, serving as an executive board member of the club Data Science @ GT (DSGT). Each year, DSGT hosts a hackathon called Hacklytics, which most recently took place in February. You can read more on Geller’s experience with DSGT and Hacklytics below.

What can you tell us about DSGT as an organization?

Data Science at Georgia Tech formed in Fall 2018 in order to provide students with a home to learn data science skill sets and apply them to hands-on projects, all with an emphasis on both serving our community and gaining experience in industry. There are around 200 members, with a healthy mix of class years, including graduate students.

What interests you about data science? Why did you join the club?

I think it's amazing that we can use data to uncover insights that can help people make informed decisions, whether it's for themselves or for a business. The whole cognition process can be amplified to a point where machines are capable of recognizing patterns our brains cannot, which allows us to make better judgements. I joined DSGT because I wanted to learn how to use this skill set to complement my ISyE coursework.

ISyE recently formalized data analytics as its newest undergraduate concentration, and it's already a popular choice. To what would you attribute this level of interest?

I think that more and more, students realize they don't have to major in computer science to learn how to apply data science to their chosen field of interest, and there's a burgeoning hiring surge for students who can implement these various algorithms and techniques, as well as clearly explain to a stakeholder or other non-technical person what's going on with the particular model, code, and produced data. This is a valuable skill that we already develop through our courses, so it's a natural progression to see more and more IE's transition to becoming data scientists.

How does DSGT complement the data analytics classes ISyE students take for their degree?

DSGT offers a way to actually apply what you have learned in a meaningful way through our projects. Some of our projects in the past have included applying a natural language classifier to parse a job description into a group of skills that can be used to match individuals on the autism spectrum to their next job, and another project team built an intelligent tornado activity predictor that can perform to the same accuracy or better than models presently used by forecasters at a fraction of the computing power.

Why should students join the club? What specific things does DSGT offer?

If you are interested in actually diving into what the buzzwords of the day mean, DSGT offers workshops to actually delve into these hot topics as well as projects and events -- like Hacklytics -- where you can apply them. In addition, we've launched an internal 10-week bootcamp that can show you how to approach data and think like a data scientist. 

What is your role on the executive board, and what are you responsible for?

I am the director of Hacklytics, our annual data science hackathon. This year, it was open to all students -- not just within Georgia Tech, but also in the United States and around the world as we went digital for the first time. I love this event because it really follows the part of our mission that has to do with educating our community, and hackathons are an awesome way to do that in a very experiential way. You can follow @hacklytics on Instagram to get even more updates.

Describe what the virtual Hacklytics 2021 was like for the participants and for you as the director?

Virtual Hacklytics was amazing! We welcomed about 350 participants from 20 different countries for a weekend filled with workshops, talks, and plenty of hacking. Being completely digital meant we had to employ a host of tools to create an engaging experience for participants; from the virtual venue to live chatting and attending live workshops, the Hacklytics team did an outstanding job making this event come alive. Everyone involved had to put forth a huge effort to make sure participants knew what was happening when and how. Even among ourselves, the communication had to be impeccable since members of the organizing team were remote.

For more information about DSGT, check out their website and the @datasciencegt Instagram account.

]]> goberst3 1 1619186733 2021-04-23 14:05:33 1619192665 2021-04-23 15:44:25 0 0 news Learn about DSGT and their yearly hackathon, Hacklytics, in this interview with ISyE student Maxim Geller, who serves as an executive board member of the club.

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2021-04-23T00:00:00-04:00 2021-04-23T00:00:00-04:00 2021-04-23 00:00:00 Angeline Fu

Communications Assistant
H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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646810 646810 image <![CDATA[Maxim Geller]]> image/jpeg 1619184798 2021-04-23 13:33:18 1619184798 2021-04-23 13:33:18
<![CDATA[Engineering Alumni Create Mobile App to Reduce Alcohol Abuse ]]> 35757 Reframe provides diversions that interrupt cravings.

By Brad Dixon, Communications Manager, School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

As studies show that the stress of the Covid-19 pandemic significantly contributes to rising alcohol consumption, two alumni of the Georgia Institute of Technology now offer an increasingly popular solution to curb or eliminate alcohol abuse: a sobriety app called Reframe.

Since the launch of its app in fall 2020, Reframe has drawn more than 3,000 paid subscribers. The company, which has received key support from Georgia Tech’s CREATE-X program for developing startups, has also attracted the attention of investors, recently completing a $1.4 million round of seed funding.

Reframe’s co-founders are Ziyi Gao, who earned a bachelor’s in industrial engineering in 2017, and Vedant Pradeep, who graduated two years later with bachelor’s degrees in chemical engineering and computer engineering.

The two first got the idea for the app during an introductory Chemical Process Principles class in the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. Initially they targeted hypoglycemia detection but switched course when they realized that a similar product already existed.

They then turned their focus to obsessive-compulsive disorder, which Pradeep has struggled with, driving him into repetitive behaviors such as rechecking the locking of doors. “When I’m in the middle of a compulsion, I don’t know when it will stop, but cognitive behavioral research shows that they typically end in 20 minutes,” he said.

Designing an app that would distract users during the negative habit loop of OCD episodes, Gao and Pradeep showed a product prototype to doctors at Emory University and John Hopkins University who believed the technology would better help with alcohol addiction, which is also a much larger market.

“We realized early on that we were out of our depth, but we drew strength from reaching out to experts in this space, talking to at least 500 people,” Gao said.

With a team of advising doctors and mentors from CREATE-X (Michael Polak and Rahul Saxena), Reframe has gone through multiple iterations of its app since mid-2019.

Interrupting Urges

The Reframe app’s 120-day program provides diversions that interrupt users from the urge to consume alcohol during a typical 20-minute craving. The app’s features include games, messages, meditations, breathing exercises, and a journaling component.

“When you’re in the middle of a craving, your judgment is clouded,” Pradeep said. “But it’s easy to click a button and distract yourself. Reframe helps break bad habits by replacing them with good things that bring balance into life. Integrating fitness, nutrition, and self-care, we want to help users create lives where drinking alcohol is not considered helpful or attractive anymore. On their journeys, they can track their progress and how much money they’ve saved from not drinking.”

Gao and Pradeep said that many people who use the app would never go to recovery centers, which are often expensive, or a program like Alcoholics Anonymous, which they might consider stigmatic.

While of many their app’s users might not want to seek out professional help, they still want structured guidance, which is what the app provides, Pradeep said. “People want to be told what to do more than we expected.”

The two entrepreneurs note that their app can put a recovery center in the user’s pocket at “one thousandth of comparable cost” of a physical facility.

Changing Lives

About 50 percent of Reframe’s users initially said they wanted to cut back on alcohol instead of quitting. “There haven’t been many options for that middle ground,” Gao said.

But what Reframe co-founders have noticed is that many people ultimately decide to quit entirely, with about 49 percent ceasing alcohol consumption in the first 30 days.

“As the program progresses, the goal becomes how to rebuild your life, addressing core issues,” Pradeep said. “It’s about the whole journey, not just about drinking. You better understand why you drink, as your triggers become more obvious.”

The app, which currently has a near-perfect rating on the App Store, has generated a lot of positive feedback for its creators. “We’ve received hundreds of emails from people whose lives have been transformed, and that’s what we’re really proud of at this point,” Gao said.

The company was originally called Digital Sponsor, inspired by Alcoholics Anonymous’ use of experienced human sponsors to guide participants. But they decided to change the name after realizing the app isn’t only for those who’ve hit rock bottom.

“We didn’t want to focus only on survival,” Pradeep said. “The goal is not just to survive, but to thrive – to ‘reframe’ from the fear of loss to the potential for gain.”

Growth Factors

Reframe’s co-founders attribute the fast growth of their company to the large increase in alcohol abuse caused by the pandemic, as those struggling with drinking problems felt increasingly isolated with limited remote options for seeking help.

Kimberly French, an assistant professor in Georgia Tech’s School of Psychology, shared insights into this phenomenon.

“Generally, people are certainly more stressed and lonely during the pandemic. In terms of alcohol use specifically, the story is a bit more complicated in that some people have increased consumption while others have decreased,” French said. “The data suggests that people who are most vulnerable – those with job insecurity, reduced job hours, unemployment, pandemic-related stress, women, and those who were already consuming alcohol – tended to increase their alcohol use during the pandemic.

French goes on to explain that research studies into the motivations of increased alcohol use cite coping with stress, loneliness, boredom, and a lack of structure coupled with more time.

In helping reach this population with their Reframe app, Gao and Pradeep are grateful for Tech’s CREATE-X program, which aims to empower students with the knowledge, skills, and experiences to launch successful startups and pursue future entrepreneurial opportunities during their careers. CREATE-X supported Reframe’s idea in 2018 with $20,000 pre-seed funding.

Until the recent infusion of $1.4 million in seed funding, Gao and Pradeep had operated on $120,000 from family and personal funds, saving money by handling as much of the research and development by themselves as possible.

Gao and Pradeep have plans to modify their app to address other addictions, starting with binge eating and later opioid abuse. “We want to provide tools that anyone can use for any negative behavioral habit,” Gao said.

“In five years, we see Reframe as a mainstream solution that combats substance use and behavioral addictions in the same way that Weight Watchers helps with weight loss,” Pradeep said.

]]> goberst3 1 1618926631 2021-04-20 13:50:31 1618937272 2021-04-20 16:47:52 0 0 news The Reframe app -- created by an ISyE alumna and a ChBE alumnus -- features a 120-day program that provides diversions to interrupt users from the urge to consume alcohol during a typical 20-minute craving.

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2021-04-20T00:00:00-04:00 2021-04-20T00:00:00-04:00 2021-04-20 00:00:00 Shelley Wunder-Smith

H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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646658 646659 646658 image <![CDATA[Vedant Pradeep and Ziyi Gao]]> image/jpeg 1618925737 2021-04-20 13:35:37 1618925737 2021-04-20 13:35:37 646659 image <![CDATA[Reframe app]]> image/jpeg 1618925869 2021-04-20 13:37:49 1618925869 2021-04-20 13:37:49
<![CDATA[ISyE Alumnus Alex Berry: MVP on Teamwork, Mentorship, and Storytelling]]> 35757 Alex Berry is a 2017 alumnus from the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE) and an expert in collaborative problem-solving. He was part of the group that brought in a large grant for the development of Georgia Tech’s Effective Team Dynamics Initiative (ETD), which equips faculty with skills to teach graduate and undergraduate students to work effectively in teams.

Alongside Mary Lynn Realff, associate professor in the School of Materials Science and Engineering, Berry worked on research for ETD. Throughout his involvement with the initiative, he helped students to leverage their own strengths to create a successful team dynamic. He believes teamwork is important in other areas, too, such as mentorship. “I conceptualize almost my entire life around the concept of teams,” he said in the article.

Berry currently works for Intel and is the president of the Portland Georgia Tech Alumni Network. He’s also the founder of the social business Chocolate Milk Diplomacy, a career consultancy that empowers marginalized communities to tell their own professional stories.

You can read the entire article about Berry’s work with ETD here.

]]> goberst3 1 1618592976 2021-04-16 17:09:36 1619039329 2021-04-21 21:08:49 0 0 news Alex Berry is an expert in collaborative problem-solving and was part of the group that brought in a large grant for the development of Georgia Tech’s Effective Team Dynamics Initiative (ETD).

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2021-04-16T00:00:00-04:00 2021-04-16T00:00:00-04:00 2021-04-16 00:00:00 Shelley Wunder-Smith

H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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646538 646538 image <![CDATA[Alex Berry]]> image/jpeg 1618592371 2021-04-16 16:59:31 1618592371 2021-04-16 16:59:31
<![CDATA[SMILE: Spreading Positivity at Georgia Tech]]> 35757 In early March 2020, Covid-19 was just starting to surge in the United States, and over what would have been their Spring Break, Georgia Tech students were sent home to learn virtually for the rest of the semester. Since then, the following semesters -- with classes and activities largely still online and social distancing protocols in place all over the Institute -- have looked completely different from normal campus life.

As a result, the college experience has become more isolating for many.

This is where the Georgia Tech organization Spreading Messages in Love and Encouragement (SMILE) came in. Formed about the same time as the pandemic’s beginning, SMILE, now with about 94 members, creates initiatives to bring positivity and joy to the Georgia Tech community.

Two students enrolled in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial Systems and Engineering (ISyE) have been active in SMILE since Fall 2020: Second-year Vignesh Sekar is a general member on the community support committee, and third-year Hannah Tracy is co-chair of the community support committee.

In the following interview, Sekar and Tracy share their thoughts on the work of SMILE and how participating in SMILE has shaped both their Georgia Tech experiences and their larger outlooks on life.

Why did you join SMILE?

VS: First of all, the message, the initiative itself, what SMILE stands for -- why wouldn’t you want to join it? It’s spreading positivity on campus. I thought it was a great way for me to meet people at a time where I couldn’t [in person], and I thought I would enjoy organizing events and spreading encouragement.

HT: For me personally, I knew that SMILE had done an initiative called Hearts for Campus over the summer. They hung paper hearts with encouraging messages on trees around campus, and I thought that a club that could put something like that together during a pandemic -- that caught my attention, honestly. When I learned more about SMILE and what they stand for, how could you not want to join? 

Every single time I talk to SMILE people or hang out with them, I walk away thinking they’re just such good-vibes people, for lack of a better way to explain it. It’s just so awesome, and I can tell that the things that SMILE’s doing are really making a difference on campus. Even if it’s bringing people a few moments of happiness, that can go a long way, especially in these times.

How has SMILE responded to the pandemic? What has it done to help?

HT: Generally, what SMILE stands for is bringing positivity to campus, and because of Covid-19, it’s especially needed this semester -- this year. So, a lot of our efforts are geared toward making people feel like they’re part of the community, especially since everything is online. We’re also making sure that our first years feel welcomed because they haven’t had a normal experience, so we want to give them a way to meet people, make some friends, and know what’s going on on campus.

What kinds of initiatives does SMILE do?

HT: One of our first big initiatives last semester was quarantine encouragement bags, which was continued this semester. It gives students who are checking into the quarantine hotel a little bag. It has a coloring book, some snacks, and some fun little things just to give them a little bit of encouragement, because when they’re checked into the hotel, it can make them feel a little bit isolated. We’re trying to remind them that we’re all here for them, and that just because they’re physically distanced from campus doesn’t mean they have to be completely separated from everybody.

VS: We gave encouraging notes to all the dining hall workers. We went to North Ave. Dining and gave everyone a little thank-you note, and it was really wholesome. We got pictures with all of them.

HT: Last month, we did March Gladness, a month-long initiative with themed weeks. So, Week of Wellness, Week of Service, Week of Gratitude. One initiative was called “Grow a Goal,” and students could write a challenge that they hope to overcome or a goal that they have for themselves on a piece of seed paper, and we planted it by the Kendeda building.

How have students’ reactions been to the work of SMILE?

VS: It’s pure excitement. One week, when people saw us with the Wreck on Tech Green, everyone came by and wrote encouraging notes to put on the Wreck, and then we tried to break SMILE’s high-five world record, which is something fun that we try to do. Every Friday in March, we asked people on Tech Green to film themselves giving a high five, and we stitched all the video submissions together to see how long of a high-five train we could get. I think SMILE has an amazing reputation across campus. I think it literally brings a smile to everyone’s faces when they see SMILE on Tech Green.

HT: Even scrolling through our Instagram page, you can see in the comments that people are like, “SMILE’s awesome” and “We love SMILE.” We bring a lot of joy to people.

What does being in SMILE mean to you, and how has it helped you personally?

VS: SMILE’s taught me to be a happier person. It’s taught me to expect the best in people, like knowing that everyone around me wants to meet me, and I want to meet everyone around me. It’s taught me to not be afraid to take the initiative and introduce myself to someone completely random -- and that’s so valuable. I’m definitely going to carry that on.

HT: SMILE, for me, has been super rewarding this entire time I’ve been involved because I know that it’s bringing positivity to people, and that’s been super awesome. And now that I’m a committee chair, sharpening my leadership skills, it’s been really cool to be able to run the committee meetings. The people I’ve met in SMILE are all amazing, so it’s been a lot of fun.

SMILE membership is open to all students at Georgia Tech, and applications are considered on a rolling basis. For additional information on SMILE initiatives and ways to get involved, visit the organization’s website. You can also find SMILE on Instagram and on Facebook

 

]]> goberst3 1 1618583715 2021-04-16 14:35:15 1618585226 2021-04-16 15:00:26 0 0 news ISyE students Vignesh Sekar and Hannah Tracy are active members of SMILE, a student organization that creates initiatives to bring positivity and joy to the Georgia Tech community.

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2021-04-16T00:00:00-04:00 2021-04-16T00:00:00-04:00 2021-04-16 00:00:00 Angeline Fu

Communications Assistant
H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

]]>
646528 646529 646531 646530 646528 image <![CDATA[Hannah Tracy and Vignesh Sekar]]> image/jpeg 1618580361 2021-04-16 13:39:21 1618580361 2021-04-16 13:39:21 646529 image <![CDATA[Post-it notes on the Ramblin' Wreck]]> image/jpeg 1618580745 2021-04-16 13:45:45 1618580745 2021-04-16 13:45:45 646531 image <![CDATA[Thanking the workers at the North Ave Dining Hall]]> image/jpeg 1618582519 2021-04-16 14:15:19 1618582519 2021-04-16 14:15:19 646530 image <![CDATA[Hannah Tracy dressed up as an "Among Us" character for a finals encouragement video]]> image/jpeg 1618581209 2021-04-16 13:53:29 1618581209 2021-04-16 13:53:29
<![CDATA[Pinar Keskinocak Continues Work on Pandemic-Related Issues with NASEM Committee Appointment]]> 28766 From the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic in the U.S. last March, Pinar Keskinocak was in demand as an expert on disease spread modeling and supply chains for critical items such as vaccines and personal protective equipment. Keskinocak is the William W. George Chair and professor in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering and is also the co-founder and director of the Center for Health and Humanitarian Systems at Georgia Tech. Together with her team of student and faculty collaborators, Keskinocak worked on various aspects of Covid-19 response, including assessing the impact of implementing or relaxing non-pharmaceutical interventions (such as shelter-in-place, school closures, or voluntary quarantine) and equity in vaccine distribution. Keskinocak shared her insights and her team’s research results with many media outlets and decision makers in public health. 

Now Keskinocak has been called on to lend her expertise to the Committee on Addressing Issues of Vaccine Distribution and Supply Chains to Advance Pandemic and Seasonal Influenza Preparedness and Response. This ad hoc committee formed by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine will examine “supply chain and distribution challenges related to vaccines and vaccinations during the COVID-19 response and explore their implications for pandemic and seasonal influenza.” 

Among other responsibilities, the committee will review pandemic vaccine manufacturing during the H1N1, SARS, Ebola, and Covid-19 outbreaks; identify critical gaps in vaccine delivery on both a regional and global basis; and examine how Covid-19 vaccine manufacture and distribution may have important implications for the manufacture and distribution of flu vaccines.

Closer to home, Keskinocak serves on Georgia Tech President Ángel Cabrera’s Recovery Task Force, a group of leaders from across campus formed to help guide the Institute’s eventual return to normal – and safe – operations. The task force has been modeling different return scenarios using guidelines set forth by federal and state public health agencies, as well as the University System of Georgia. In March, Institute leadership announced plans for the Fall 2021 semester to see resumption of fully normal operations.

]]> Shelley Wunder-Smith 1 1618503071 2021-04-15 16:11:11 1618948653 2021-04-20 19:57:33 0 0 news Among other tasks, the committee will examine Covid-19 vaccine dissemination both regionally and globally, with an eye toward implications for flu vaccine distribution.

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2021-04-15T00:00:00-04:00 2021-04-15T00:00:00-04:00 2021-04-15 00:00:00 Shelley Wunder-Smith

 H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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639348 639348 image <![CDATA[Pinar Keskinocak]]> image/jpeg 1600704217 2020-09-21 16:03:37 1600704217 2020-09-21 16:03:37 <![CDATA[The Engineer Using Science to Build a Better World After Coronavirus]]>
<![CDATA[Mohit Singh Receives Tenure]]> 35757 The H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE) announced that Associate Professor Mohit Singh has received tenure, effective August 15, 2021.

Singh’s research interests are in discrete optimization, approximation algorithms, and convex optimization, with special emphasis on optimization problems arising in cloud computing, logistics, network design, and machine learning.

 “Congratulations to Mohit on this significant professional achievement,” said H. Milton and Carolyn J. Stewart School Chair Edwin Romeijn. “Receiving tenure is a recognition of his considerable work in optimization problems arising in cloud computing, logistics, network design, and machine learning.”

Singh is also the director of Georgia Tech’s Algorithms and Randomness Center, which known as the Institute’s “think tank for algorithms, randomness and optimization.” Prior to his joining ISyE, Singh was a researcher in Microsoft Research’s Theory Group.

]]> goberst3 1 1617974990 2021-04-09 13:29:50 1618322857 2021-04-13 14:07:37 0 0 news Singh's tenure will be effective in mid-August.

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2021-04-09T00:00:00-04:00 2021-04-09T00:00:00-04:00 2021-04-09 00:00:00 Shelley Wunder-Smith

H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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634190 634190 image <![CDATA[Associate Professor and Director of the Algorithms and Randomness Center Mohit Singh]]> image/jpeg 1586373799 2020-04-08 19:23:19 1586373799 2020-04-08 19:23:19
<![CDATA[Madeleine Pollack Selected for 2021 Brooke Owens Fellowship]]> 35757 At the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE), students excel in many fields. Madeleine Pollack, a third-year ISyE major, is one such outstanding student. She was recently selected for this year’s class of the Brooke Owens Fellowship, a nationally acclaimed nonprofit organization that seeks to provide opportunities in the aerospace industry to undergraduate women and other gender minorities. Fellows, affectionately nicknamed “Brookies,” receive summer internships and are matched with executive-level mentors in the industry. Two other Georgia Tech students – aerospace engineering majors Emily Ku and Catherine Liu – were also selected.

Pollack first heard about the fellowship through the Society of Women Engineers (SWE). A fellow SWE member had just completed the fellowship, and her high praise for the experience piqued Pollack’s interest in applying.

“She had expressed how this network had, professionally and personally, really uplifted her, and in industries like [aerospace], that can really make a huge difference,” Pollack said. The fact that this “Brookie” was studying electrical engineering made her realize the fellowship was not just for students with a technical background in aerospace.

Since she was a child, Pollack has been fascinated by space, often looking at the stars and planets with her family through her father’s telescope. The total solar eclipse of August 2017, dubbed the "Great American Eclipse" because it spanned the entire United States, is a fond memory of hers. At the time, she and her family traveled to Greenville, South Carolina to view the eclipse at 100% totality.

“When the solar eclipse happened, we were only about an hour away from totality,” Pollack said. “So, we took the day off from school and went, and it was one of the most incredible experiences.”

Originally, Pollack was unsure how she could become involved in aerospace as an industrial engineer, but she learned through applying for the fellowship that they have accepted a range of majors in the past, including business, liberal arts, computer science, and industrial engineering.

“The space industry is larger than I realized,” she said. “Even though I'm not a physicist or an astrophysicist, or an aerospace engineer, there is a space in the industry that I can contribute to.”

As part of the fellowship, Pollack will be interning remotely this summer for Space Capital, a venture firm based in New York City. Space Capital invests in technologies such as GPS, geospatial intelligence, and space-based communications, exciting frontiers for start-ups. Pollack is passionate about entrepreneurship and is already working in a marketing role at Augment Health, a startup co-founded by three Georgia Tech biomedical engineering students. However, she is thrilled to be exposed to the flip side of entrepreneurship at Space Capital, hoping to learn about the process of funding a startup and what investors look for. Her long-term dream: to someday found her own startup.

The Brooke Owens Fellowship experience includes a summit held at the end of the summer involving activities such as team projects and Q&A sessions with industry leaders. Though the event will be virtual this year, Pollack is excited for the opportunity to meet the other fellows.

“One of the great things about the fellowship isn't just that you get an internship, it's that you have this incredible network,” she said. She is also looking forward to connecting with her mentors, especially since she is new to the aerospace industry. “I think one of the biggest challenges, especially to women and gender minorities in STEM, is having good mentorship,” she said.

Mentorship from faculty at Georgia Tech has already tremendously impacted her college career. Pollack met Damon P. Williams, lecturer and advisor at ISyE, through his Probability with Applications course, and he quickly became one of her favorite instructors.

“He was one of my recommenders and someone who encouraged me even when I didn't think I would be a good candidate for [the fellowship],” she said. “Since then, I've continued to have really wonderful professors who have been very involved in talking with me about my future career plans and what my path could look like as I progress through ISyE.”

Pollack originally chose to study industrial engineering because of her interest in the fields of operations research and applied math, a field in which she would like to pursue a doctorate degree after her undergraduate studies. Operations research – one of several concentrations in the ISyE B.S. degree – is an applied science that provides mathematical foundations for industrial engineering modeling including optimization, stochastic modeling, and statistics.

Through her internship, Pollack is excited to be exposed to the many applications of operations research to aerospace and data-type problems, which will help her pinpoint different career trajectories. Her acceptance to the fellowship is a testimony to the strength of Georgia Tech’s ISyE program; the broad range of concepts and skills acquired as an ISyE major allows students like Pollack, who have multiple career interests, to thrive. 

Pollack’s biggest takeaway from winning the fellowship is to not hinder her own success with self-doubt, as she almost did not apply. She encourages other students to not let the fear of rejection get in the way of pursuing opportunities that might initially seem out of reach.

“I often think that we, as people, tend to be our own worst critics,” she said. “The biggest thing that I learned was to not be [my own] limiting factor.”

]]> goberst3 1 1617722916 2021-04-06 15:28:36 1618322988 2021-04-13 14:09:48 0 0 news The Brooke Owens Fellowship is a nonprofit organization that provides opportunities in the aerospace industry to undergraduate women and other gender minorities.

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2021-04-06T00:00:00-04:00 2021-04-06T00:00:00-04:00 2021-04-06 00:00:00 Grace Oberst

Communications Assistant
H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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646169 646170 646169 image <![CDATA[Madeleine Pollack ]]> image/jpeg 1617721456 2021-04-06 15:04:16 1617721456 2021-04-06 15:04:16 646170 image <![CDATA[2017 Solar Eclipse]]> image/jpeg 1617721840 2021-04-06 15:10:40 1617721840 2021-04-06 15:10:40
<![CDATA[Mihir Kandarpa: Clearing the Way for Conversations about Covid-19]]> 35757 In this era of face coverings, social distancing, and online learning, some Georgia Tech students have been motivated to assist with pandemic-related efforts. This includes Mihir Kandarpa, a second-year in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE). Along with Amogh Gadekar, a first-year neuroscience major, Kandarpa serves on the executive board of The Covid Conversation (TCC), a Georgia-based organization that provides fact-based, nonpolitical information about Covid-19.

“Watching the pandemic unfold, I felt helpless about improving the situation, so I looked for a way to give back to the community while also advocating for change,” Kandarpa said. He discovered TCC through social media and was motivated to apply for the executive board because he resonated with the mission to raise awareness of the pandemic’s impact. TCC launched in two phases, first as an Instagram account in April 2020 and then as an organization with a full executive board in August. Now, they are working toward obtaining 501(c)(3) status as a non-profit.

Most of TCC’s executive board are college students at the University of Georgia. Together, the team appeals to their own demographic by using Instagram to spread crucial information and awareness of service activities. With over 2,000 followers, the @thecovidconversation Instagram account posts colorful – and more importantly – informative and accurate infographics. Some focus on reporting Covid-19 case numbers and news; others promote campaigns such as “Mask to School,” which encouraged safe behaviors while living on campus. They also post about ways to celebrate and enjoy holidays while still staying socially distanced.

Why does the organization want to raise awareness for Covid-19 specifically among their peers?

“We felt that Gen Z hadn’t been taking the pandemic seriously enough,” Kandarpa explained. “Gen Z isn't the only age group that faltered in how they treated the pandemic, but it's one that we could address the most easily.” Accordingly, TCC targets younger people who are contributing to the spread of the coronavirus by providing a convenient way to stay informed.  

“Throughout the pandemic, I was disappointed with how there was a lot of false information going around,” Kandarpa said. “It's hard to find a common place where you can get all the information that you need in a way that's digestible.” Although he enjoys reading scientific articles and staying up-to-date with the news, he recognizes that most people do not have the time, and that’s where TCC is bridging the gap. Recently, they have posted infographics summarizing President Biden's 200-page Covid-19 response plan, as well as a comparison of the Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, and Moderna vaccines.  

Kandarpa’s first role at TCC was director of Georgia outreach, in which he helped organize two fundraisers. The success of their first fundraiser was an exciting achievement: “I've never led such a large-scale effort before,” he said. “We met our goal of $150 within 30 minutes of opening [our fundraiser].” Almost $1000 was raised, enabling them to purchase 4000 masks for Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center. A second fundraiser raised $450 for Bigger Vision, a homeless shelter in Athens.

With his current role as chief of staff, Kandarpa is interested in improving the organization’s operational efficiency as well as developing a long-term strategic plan as they work towards becoming a non-profit. He contributes his unique perspective and skills as an ISyE major to TCC’s multi-disciplinary team of students from majors such as biology, computer science, public policy, and finance. “It is interesting to see how all of us with diverse backgrounds have the same passion for public health, and it is fun to work with them,” he noted.

Since the beginning of his college career, Kandarpa has always sought ways to be involved with public health. At Georgia Tech, he serves as the chair of Health and Well-being for the Student Government Association and as the secretary of the Undergraduate Public Health Association. He also previously served as a student assistant for the Center for Health and Humanitarian Systems. These experiences have taught him about communication, organization, and leadership – important skills that prepared him for his roles at TCC. Furthermore, being connected with other student leaders on campus has allowed him to share infographics that TCC creates with a wider audience.

Kandarpa’s experience pushing these boundaries has solidified his desire to pursue a career in public health. He originally joined Georgia Tech as a pre-med neuroscience major but switched to ISyE in the middle of his first semester. Through talking to other ISyE majors, he has learned about the importance of industrial engineering in improving the efficiency of public health and is interested in shaping a more scientific approach to policy making.

“I want to be able to see how [modeling and simulation] can be better utilized when we make policy decisions on public health,” he said. “I want to use ISyE skills in shaping our global health policies, making sure that we're better prepared [for another pandemic].” This summer, he will be interning with the Strategic Planning Division of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Further on in his career, he would like to pursue a master’s degree in public health.

For Kandarpa, what started out as a passion for public health plus a yearning to do more has turned into an organization that reaches thousands.

“The feeling that we are contributing to the betterment of not only the local community, but also the global community, is so rewarding in the time of the [Covid-19 pandemic],” Kandarpa said.

Shelley Wunder-Smith and ISyE Communications Assistant Taylor Hunter interviewed the student featured in this article; Communications Assistant Grace Oberst wrote the story.

]]> goberst3 1 1617373956 2021-04-02 14:32:36 1617388325 2021-04-02 18:32:05 0 0 news Kandarpa serves on the executive board of The Covid Conversation, a Georgia-based organization that provides fact-based, nonpolitical information about Covid-19.

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2021-04-02T00:00:00-04:00 2021-04-02T00:00:00-04:00 2021-04-02 00:00:00 Grace Oberst

Communications Assistant
H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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646038 646038 image <![CDATA[Mihir Kandarpa]]> image/jpeg 1617371892 2021-04-02 13:58:12 1617371892 2021-04-02 13:58:12
<![CDATA[Joseph Macrina, the IE TE]]> 35680 Full-time student and full-time athlete Joseph Macrina is a fifth-year undergraduate student in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE) and a tight end for the Georgia Tech football team. Known as “Chewy” to his friends and his teammates – a nickname that carried over from his high school football days – Macrina has devoted himself to the team through thick and thin.

Being an ISyE student means a demanding academic load and being a Division 1 football player also requires wholehearted dedication. While balancing these two commitments is challenging, Macrina remains passionate about the game.

“I love waking up every day, even if it is really early in the morning, and playing the game I love alongside my teammates who feel the exact same way,” he said. “We have each other’s backs no matter what, and we play our hearts out, and that camaraderie is the reason I continue playing.”

The football team – and by extension, Macrina – has experienced a number of significant changes in the past few years. In late 2018, Paul Johnson, then head coach of the football team, announced his retirement. Geoff Collins was named as Johnson’s replacement, and his arrival on The Flats brought a brand-new culture to the team.

“When Coach Collins came in, he restructured the entire organization from top to bottom,” Macrina explained.

The shift in coaching was not the only transition he faced. Covid-19 and the accompanying social distancing guidelines have completely flipped the way student-athletes practice, compete, and even interact socially. To compensate for some of these lost experiences, the team has organized mealtimes where small groups of players eat together, as well as coordinating a friendly dodgeball match.

Macrina said, “Even though things looked very different, we were all grateful that we still got to play football.”

Being on the Georgia Tech football team is not all challenges. Macrina described his favorite memory of beating the Dawgs in Athens in 2016.

“As I was walking through the tunnel back to the locker room, heated Georgia fans were heckling me, but I didn’t even care because I was so excited that we won,” he recalled.

Another moment that sticks with him is the “ProTech the Institute” offseason workout. Divided into groups by the position they play, the football players complete a round-robin of exercises around Bobby Dodd. When the groups are finished, they discuss their goals for the upcoming season and relive what happened in the previous one. It all ends with a speech from Coach Collins on the top of Bobby Dodd Stadium, looking out onto the Atlanta skyline.

“It’s a great moment,” Macrina said. “It gives us another opportunity to come together as a team, looking out over the city, and know that we’re doing this for one another and for Georgia Tech.”

Although industrial engineering is not a common major for Georgia Tech football players, Macrina chose it because of his love of math – and because he wants to go into consulting after graduating.

“I don’t necessarily use my ISyE education in football, but I am constantly thinking about it,” he explained. “I am always considering the logistics of our practices and of game-day operations and how they could be optimized – such as how our meals are ordered and delivered, how many buses are needed to transport the team, how our hotel rooms are determined when we travel to away games. It’s a little nerdy, but I can’t help it. “

When asked about his hopes for the upcoming 2021 football season, Macrina paused for a moment.

“2020 had so many variables – smaller practices because of Covid, a different conference schedule than we’re used to, fewer fans in the stands,” he noted. “But in spite of that, I can tell that we are finally clicking as a team. We have more passion and energy, more excitement about attending practice, working out, doing off-season runs, because we hadn’t been able to do these things. Now we can, and the team is ready to get back onto Grant Field and compete.

Hopefully, we are heading into a breakthrough season, because we’ve been putting in the work every day.”

While juggling his classes and football is a demanding task, the choice to continue playing is always clear for Macrina: “When you have a love for both, it is easy.”

 

ISyE Communications Assistant Taylor Hunter interviewed Macrina and wrote the initial draft of this article.

]]> ehall46 1 1617373359 2021-04-02 14:22:39 1617377137 2021-04-02 15:25:37 0 0 news Being an ISyE student means a demanding academic load and being a Division 1 football player also requires wholehearted dedication.

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2021-04-02T00:00:00-04:00 2021-04-02T00:00:00-04:00 2021-04-02 00:00:00 Shelley Wunder-Smith

H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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646039 646041 646044 646039 image <![CDATA[Joseph Macrina]]> image/jpeg 1617373148 2021-04-02 14:19:08 1617373148 2021-04-02 14:19:08 646041 image <![CDATA[Joseph Macrina, #36]]> image/jpeg 1617373654 2021-04-02 14:27:34 1617373654 2021-04-02 14:27:34 646044 image <![CDATA[The IE TE]]> image/png 1617374147 2021-04-02 14:35:47 1617374147 2021-04-02 14:35:47
<![CDATA[ISyE Faculty Win Institute Awards for Pedagogy]]> 35680 Two faculty members in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE) have been honored with Institute-level teaching awards from the Georgia Tech Center for Teaching and Learning.

Director of Professional Practice Dima Nazzal is responsible for project-based learning in ISyE, including the Capstone Senior Design program. She has been awarded one of two Curriculum Innovation Awards, which recognizes faculty “who are improving the quality of education at Georgia Tech through pedagogical and curricular innovation.” Nazzal specifically received the award for her development of the ISyE Cornerstone Design course.

The Cornerstone Design class – first offered in the Fall 2018 semester – is an early design course focusing on framing a problem without solving it. The course lays the foundation for design thinking using a project-based learning approach, interactive problem-solving sessions, and the goldmine of past Senior Design Capstone projects from past years that ISyE has kept organized in a database.

Nazzal has explained that the goal of the class is for students to develop, through multiple diverse projects, key design skills, such as how to develop a solution hypothesis from a vague need by methodically dissecting the problem and analyzing relevant information. Students learn that there is not one way to solve a design problem because design generally involves tradeoffs between competing objectives under uncertainty. They work in teams with a rotating leadership role, so each student experiences the challenges and rewards of being a project leader. They learn how to effectively and succinctly communicate the motivation for solving a problem and the scientific evidence supporting their design solution hypothesis.

“We realized that we need to have a proactive approach to addressing the design skill gaps we see in our students during their Senior Design projects,” Nazzal said. “Some faculty have cynically said, ‘In Senior Design, we’re throwing the students into the water to learn how to swim.’ We introduced Cornerstone Design to teach our students to not only survive the deep waters of design problems but also to skillfully navigate the turbulence as well. Cornerstone Design has a set of simple and inexpensive features that have proven to be effective and replicable. I am honored to receive this recognition, and I look forward to continue working with my colleagues to improve and innovate."

“Being the No. 1-ranked industrial engineering program in the U.S. makes ISyE a leader in curriculum development. Cornerstone Design structure and content is readily available to any industrial engineering department that is looking to expand its curriculum – and consequently their student – development,” Nazzal added.

Previously, Nazzal received the 2015 Georgia Tech Women in Engineering Outstanding Teacher Award.

A. Russell Chandler III Chair and Professor Pascal Van Hentenryck received the 2021 Teaching Excellence Award for Online Teaching, which “recognizes a full-time faculty member for strong commitment to engaged online teaching and student success.”

When the Covid-19 pandemic caused Georgia Tech to move instruction online last March, Van Hentenryck successfully pivoted his courses to the changed format. This also included shifting the Seth Bonder Camp for Computational and Data Science, offered for middle and high school students, to a virtual configuration, which he was then able to offer twice last summer.

“We tried to make the courses entertaining and offer personalized attention to each and every student, knowing they would spend most of their days in front of a monitor,” Van Hentenryck said. “We learned so many things. Of course, I am more than delighted to receive this award: It is additional motivation to keep improving.”

In winning the Institute’s Teaching Excellence Award, Van Hentenryck will be this year’s Institute nominee for the Regents’ Teaching Excellence Award from the University System of Georgia. He has also been the recipient of numerous teaching honors, including the 2020 Student Recognition of Excellence in Teaching: Class of 1934 Award.

Nazzal and Van Hentenryck will be recognized at the April 15th Faculty & Staff Honors Celebration, which will be virtual this year.

]]> ehall46 1 1617306215 2021-04-01 19:43:35 1620671297 2021-05-10 18:28:17 0 0 news Two ISyE faculty members have been honored with Institute-level teaching awards from the Georgia Tech Center for Teaching and Learning.

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2021-04-01T00:00:00-04:00 2021-04-01T00:00:00-04:00 2021-04-01 00:00:00 Shelley Wunder-Smith

H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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647321 647321 image <![CDATA[Dima Nazzal and Pascal Van Hentenryck]]> image/png 1620671204 2021-05-10 18:26:44 1620671204 2021-05-10 18:26:44
<![CDATA[George Lan Promoted to Professor]]> 35680 The H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE) announced that George Lan has been promoted to the rank of professor, effective August 15, 2021.

Lan’s research interests focus on the theory, algorithms, and applications of stochastic optimization and nonlinear programming. He is currently pursuing the application of stochastic and nonlinear optimization models/algorithms in machine learning and intelligence. Lan has been the recipient of numerous grants from the National Science Foundation, the Office of Naval Research, and the Army Research Office in support of this work.

“Sincere congratulations to George on reaching a well-deserved and important milestone in his career,” said H. Milton and Carolyn J. Stewart School Chair Edwin Romeijn. “He has performed impressive research in the development and application of stochastic and nonlinear optimization models and algorithms in machine learning and intelligence thus far, and we look forward to his future accomplishments."

Lan, who received his Ph.D. from ISyE in 2009, has been a faculty member at the Stewart School since 2016. He also serves as the associate director for machine learning and data science at Georgia Tech’s Center for Machine Learning.

 
]]> ehall46 1 1617198993 2021-03-31 13:56:33 1618948243 2021-04-20 19:50:43 0 0 news The H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE) announced that George Lan has been promoted to the rank of professor.

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2021-03-31T00:00:00-04:00 2021-03-31T00:00:00-04:00 2021-03-31 00:00:00 Shelley Wunder-Smith

H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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645934 645934 image <![CDATA[George Lan]]> image/jpeg 1617198672 2021-03-31 13:51:12 1617198672 2021-03-31 13:51:12
<![CDATA[Lauren Steimle and Social Distancing in the College Classroom]]> 35680 How many students can fit in one classroom if everyone must be six feet apart?

Lauren Steimle, assistant professor in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE), is working with a group of researchers to solve this problem, and their goal is to help colleges and universities make informed decisions about returning to campususing analytics and systems modeling approaches. Her team includes Dima Nazzal (Director of Professional Practice), Natasha Boland (Fouts Family Professor), and other collaborators at the College of Computing.

“Our ultimate goal is to quantify public health risks, resource needs and costs, impact on students, faculty and staff, and the revenue implications for higher education institutions as they evaluate scenarios and contingency plans for return-to-campus during this academic year,” Steimle said in the article.

Adjusting course modes and classroom assignments to accommodate social distancing is no easy challenge. Teaching staff and instructional space are limited resources even during non-pandemic times, and universities also have to consider high activity areas – such as aisles or doors – that further reduce the number of students who can safely fit in a classroom.

“The course modes will impact how students register and the number of students that you expect on campus, which in turn will influence the amount of resources you need for public health measures like testing and contact tracing. These decisions are interrelated, which is why a systems approach can be useful,” Steimle said.

You can read the entire article about Steimle’s research here.

]]> ehall46 1 1617033162 2021-03-29 15:52:42 1617114133 2021-03-30 14:22:13 0 0 news How many students can fit in one classroom if everyone must be six feet apart? Steimle's research helped Georgia Tech answer that question.

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2021-03-29T00:00:00-04:00 2021-03-29T00:00:00-04:00 2021-03-29 00:00:00 Shelley Wunder-Smith

H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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630821 630821 image <![CDATA[ISyE Assistant Professor Lauren Steimle]]> image/jpeg 1578584074 2020-01-09 15:34:34 1578584074 2020-01-09 15:34:34
<![CDATA[ISyE Alumnus Jorge Guzman: Growing Guatemala’s Craft Beer Industry]]> 35680 Jorge Guzman, a 2009 alumnus from the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE), first pondered the idea of starting a brewery when he sat down for a craft beer with Taylor Virgil (IE 2009), one of his best friends from Georgia Tech. Shortly after they decided to carry out this vision, they were joined by Jack Spehn (IE 2010), another friend from their undergraduate days.

In 2017, the three opened Antigua Cerveza in Guzman’s beautiful hometown of Antigua, Guatemala. Their craft brewery was the first in the city, and sales have doubled every year since it was founded. Now, Antigua Cerveza’s beers can also be found in many restaurants and bars throughout Guatemala, and the company is planning to expand into other Central American countries.

Thanks to the influence of his family and culture, Guzman has always wanted to start his own business.

“Both of my parents are entrepreneurs — my mother owns a ceramic and tile business and my father owns a Spanish school — and in the Latin American culture there is a strong ambition to make your own business or to improve on something your family has already started,” said Guzman in the article. “Entrepreneurship has always been a goal for me.”

Guzman credits his success to the rigor of his college experience: “Studying at Georgia Tech was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but it was also one of the most motivating. The competition and camaraderie of those I studied with made me believe I could achieve anything. As we navigated completely unchartered territory of opening a microbrewery, the resilience and decision-making skills I developed at Tech pushed us along to now have the most recognized craft brewery in Guatemala.”

You can read the entire article about Guzman’s entrepreneurial journey here.

]]> ehall46 1 1617032614 2021-03-29 15:43:34 1617113778 2021-03-30 14:16:18 0 0 news "The resilience and decision-making skills I developed at Tech pushed us along to now have the most recognized craft brewery in Guatemala,” Guzman said.

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2021-03-29T00:00:00-04:00 2021-03-29T00:00:00-04:00 2021-03-29 00:00:00 Shelley Wunder-Smith

H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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645844 645844 image <![CDATA[Jorge Guzman]]> image/jpeg 1617032367 2021-03-29 15:39:27 1617032367 2021-03-29 15:39:27
<![CDATA[ISyE’s Graduate Program Ranked First, Again ]]> 35680 The 2022 graduate program rankings have been released by U.S. News & World Report (USNWR), and for the 31st consecutive year, the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering is in the top spot.

Georgia Tech’s College of Engineering remains at No. 8. Several programs – chemical, civil, computer, electrical, material science, and nuclear – rose in the rankings. The specifics are below.

College of Engineering: 8th→8th

The complete USNWR list of rankings and related data can be found here. The College of Engineering’s coverage is located here.

]]> ehall46 1 1617030392 2021-03-29 15:06:32 1618948261 2021-04-20 19:51:01 0 0 news The 2022 USNWR graduate program rankings have been released, and for the 31st consecutive year, Georgia Tech ISyE is in the top spot.  

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2021-03-29T00:00:00-04:00 2021-03-29T00:00:00-04:00 2021-03-29 00:00:00 Shelley Wunder-Smith

H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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645831 645831 image <![CDATA[No. 1 Graduate Program for 31 Years]]> image/png 1617028694 2021-03-29 14:38:14 1617028745 2021-03-29 14:39:05
<![CDATA[A Conversation with George Nemhauser]]> 28766 Before George Nemhauser retired in early January 2021 as the A. Russell Chandler III Chair and Institute Professor in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE), we sat down with him for a look back over his long career and many accomplishments.

Nemhauser – who now holds the title of Institute Emeritus Professor – arrived at Georgia Tech in 1985 as part of the academic changes at the Institute that led to its current preeminence. He’s not quite ready to leave Tech completely behind: Nemhauser is currently co-advising three ISyE Ph.D. students and is part of a large faculty group that is putting together an NSF grant proposal related to machine learning, artificial intelligence, and optimization.

He is also known for his sense of fun, with interests ranging from travel to sports, and those topics as well came up in our conversation. 

When you look back on your remarkable career, what are you most proud of achieving?

That’s actually easy for me to answer. When I came to Georgia Tech, this was a different university in terms of its reputation and place in academia. It was a very good regional school, and I came here with the challenge of helping Tech develop into a great national research institution. I’ve always said that while engineering might lead the way, we couldn’t accomplish that with engineering alone – that we would also have to have good science, a good business school, and even good liberal arts. And just look at where we are today.

What’s something you did at Tech that people might not be aware of?

For many years, I was Georgia Tech’s faculty representative to the ACC for the NCAA. While I was never a great athlete, I’ve always been a big sports fan, so this was a fun opportunity to be involved that way. The person in that position is responsible for looking after the athletes’ academics. For Georgia Tech, it meant making sure that the athletes were not a completely separate group of students who didn’t have to live up to the academic standards of the Institute.

You found a way to incorporate sports into your academic career on several levels.

Yes; as a result of being the ACC liaison, I found my way into scheduling basketball games for the ACC. I was at an ACC meeting, and the assistant commissioner for basketball, Fred Barakat, mentioned that he was struggling to figure out the conference basketball schedule. He had been doing it by hand with no problem, but when TV contracts became more lucrative, different TV networks wanted certain games and all these constraints had been introduced into the process. At that point, I had been developing schedules for somemajor airlines in the U.S., so I mentioned to Fred that I could probably help him. A former ISyE student, Mike Trick (Ph.D. IE 1987) – who is now at Carnegie Mellon, had been scheduling baseball games, so I contacted Mike, and together we formed the Sports Scheduling Group. We scheduled lots of college sports leagues for a number of years, as well as Major League Baseball.

What changes or developments do you foresee in the field of operations research (OR)?

We’re becoming more and more of a data-driven society. And that’s what OR is all about: our economic way of life, our social way of life, everything. Whatever you can imagine, from transportation and finance to manufacturing. And OR practitioners are developing interesting and important models in response to that.

What’s the first thing you will do once you’ve officially retired?

My wife, Ellen, and I used to travel internationally for serious hiking but can’t do that so much anymore. Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, we would regularly go to New York City to attend the theatre and visit art museums. Obviously, we haven’t been able to do that this year, but as soon as it’s safe to do so, we will get back up there. We also have a house in the mountains of North Carolina. It’s really nice to be up there during the summer, when it’s so hot in Atlanta. And the winter, too – it has a great fireplace.

Any parting thoughts about ISyE?

ISyE is in a solid, healthy situation. It has good leadership and great young faculty. I have no doubt that the School has a bright future.

You can read a retrospective of Nemhauser's academic career and his extensive accomplishments, as well as retirement well-wishes from colleagues and former students here.

]]> Shelley Wunder-Smith 1 1615909521 2021-03-16 15:45:21 1616108636 2021-03-18 23:03:56 0 0 news In this Q&A, Nemhauser reveals the career accomplishment he's most proud of and what he foresees for the field of operations research, among other topics.

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2021-03-16T00:00:00-04:00 2021-03-16T00:00:00-04:00 2021-03-16 00:00:00 Shelley Wunder-Smith

H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering

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645428 645424 645428 image <![CDATA[George Nemhauser]]> image/jpeg 1615909555 2021-03-16 15:45:55 1615909555 2021-03-16 15:45:55 645424 image <![CDATA[George and Ellen Nemhauser at the Fall 2015 graduate student Commencement ceremony, where George was honored as the Class of 1934 Outstanding Faculty Award recipient. ]]> image/jpeg 1615906420 2021-03-16 14:53:40 1615906420 2021-03-16 14:53:40 <![CDATA[George Nemhauser: A Retirement Retrospective]]>