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Operations Research

OR Division Members,

As we begin summer, your OR Division Board hopes that many of you enjoyed the IIE Annual Conference, which was held in Anaheim California this year.

Please take a few minutes to look over some of the recent activities and achievements of our members. Our annual teaching and best paper awards are attracting many outstanding nominations and submissions. Our second Undergraduate Student Research Dissemination Award has resulted in an exciting competition! We would like to thank the 2016 Operations Research Track co-chairs: John Fowler, Shrikant Jarugumilli, Nipa Phojanamongkolkij, Chase Rainwater and Christina Rinaudo.

New board members

The OR Division Board fills three positions each year. This year we are welcoming Hugh Medal and Lizhi Wang to the OR Division Board, and re-welcoming Chase Rainwater. Chase will serve as Vice President/President-Elect. Hugh and Lizhi are the new incoming directors. Many thanks to Mary Beth and Ruben, our outgoing members of the board, for their service to the division.

Chase Rainwater
  Chase Rainwater

Hugh Medal
        Hugh Medal

Lizhi Wang
       Lizhi Wang    

Award for Excellence in Teaching of Operations Research 2017

Congratulations Dr. Amir Ali Ahmadi and Ms. Georgina Hall  

 Dr. Amir Ali AhmadiGeorgina Hall 

Dr. Amir Ali Ahmadi, Assistant Professor of Operations Research and Financial Engineering at Princeton University and Ms. Georgina Hall, PhD student and Gordon Y. S. Wu fellow in the department of Operations Research and Financial Engineering at Princeton University, are jointly recognized for their development and delivery of ORF 363: Computing and Optimization for the Physical and Social Sciences.

Their nominator, Dr. Erhan Cinlar, describes the course as extremely original and revolving around one unifying question: which optimization problems can be solved efficiently? Yet, to answer this question it draws concepts from diverse domains: from real analysis, numerical computing, mathematical programming and computational, among others. Where many courses decide to focus exclusively on one of these topics, Amir Ali (with Georgina’s help) has created a course that blends these notions together in a coherent manner. 

Several students state clearly that it is not just the nature of the material that is engaging but the instructors. One student, who indicated he would change his major if he were not so close to graduating, stated: “Professor Ahmadi was incredibly receptive to his students, modifying the course and its pace to mirror both what the students wanted and what he felt would be best for our learning. He also managed to straddle the difficult balance between a classroom that was tremendously open, with students comfortable asking any sort of question, and ambitious, with rigorous proofs and a fast-pace pushing our knowledge of the subject.”

Ms. Hall’s impact was noted by another student, who stated that she “puts a lot of emphasis on addressing the particular needs of a student … explaining the same concept in 10 different ways to as many different students, tailoring to each learning style.” 

The rigor and accessibility of the material was described by one student as “challenging for all and not prohibitively challenging for any”, with another stating that he wished we could all just see Dr. Ahmadi teach or Ms. Hall in office hours, instead of merely reading about them.  

Congratulations to Dr. Ahmadi and Ms. Hall. 

Operations Research Track Best Paper Award 2017

"A Data-Splittting Algorithm for Multiple Runway Flight Sequencing and Scheduling"
By Rakesh Prakash and Jitamitra Desai

 Rakesh PraskashJitamitraDesai 

Rakesh Prakash is a PhD student at NTU Singapore, researching on the development of real-time optimal solutions for the open problems related to runway optimization, and airport capacity. His focus areas are 0-1 mixed-integer-programming, sequencing and scheduling, and data-driven solution approaches. He has been successful in developing the optimal algorithms related to aircraft scheduling (NP-Hard problems equivalent to TSP and VRPTW) by converging the combinatorial optimization theories and pattern in optimal data. The focus of his research in the Air Traffic Management Research Institute is on developing mathematical models and algorithm for the operational problems related to aircraft sequencing (NP-Hard) in Terminal Maneuvering Area. The problems are being modeled as mixed integer program. Success has been achieved in developing a very fast real time exact algorithm related to runway sequencing and scheduling. Currently, the algorithmic development is in progress for scheduling over entire Terminal Maneuvering Area.

Jitamitra Desai is an Assistant Professor in the Manufacturing and Industrial Engineering Cluster in the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Nanyang Technological University in Sangapore. He holds Ph.D. (2005) and M.S. (2002) degrees in Industrial and Systems Engineering from Virginia Tech and a B.Tech. degree in Civil Engineering and Operations Research, IIT-Madras (2000). His research is primarily in the area of mathematical optimization and related applications. In addition to work within the Air Traffic Management Research Institute, he has been working on augmented Lagrangian-based methods for solving large-scale separable convex programs, deriving several theoretical results, and writing detailed proofs of convergence. He is also interested in developing globally optimal algorithms for solving the difficult class of mixed-integer nonlinear programs. He is working on improving/enhancing convexification techniques for different classes of nonconvex programs, particularly quadratic and polynomial optimization problems.

Operations Research Undergraduate Research Dissemination Award Results 2017

First Place
Danika Dorris
"Predicting Patients' Outcome Following Abdominal Wall Reconstruction Procedure"
University of Tennessee


In the last year, the Operations Research Division sponsored two webinars. You can still enjoy these and other past webinars by navigating to Training, Webinars, Webinar Archive, Operations or going there directly from here.

About the Operations Research Division

Members apply mathematics and sophisticated computer programs to solve engineering problems. Some members work in areas such as forecasting, statistical analysis and simulation. Operations Research News, an email newsletter sent periodically to all members, includes articles on simulation developments and applications and statistical process control as well as other points of interest.

Operations Research Division mission

The mission of the division shall be to support its members by fostering networks, offering programs and maintaining resources that represent their core competencies and/or areas of specialized practice.

Operations Research Division goals

These five goals are essential to addressing IISE's mission:

  1. Develop, maintain and disseminate a body of technical knowledge.
  2. Provide a forum for technical networking.
  3. Be perceived as the voice of the technical specialty.
  4. Collaborate with IISE to support the mission of the Institute, provide member value and promote the discipline.
  5. Work with the NLC to establish a set of metrics that track society and division activities.

Operations Research Division Board 2017-2018


To view the Division bylaws, click here.

2018 Division Newsletter

Spring 2018 

Division Newsletters Archive