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ISyE Annual Newsletter

2016 Newsletter


Assistant Professor Zizhuo Wang is the recipient of the Adobe Digital Marketing Research Award 2017. This award is provided as an unrestricted gift in the amount of $25,000 to Zizhuo Wang of University of Minnesota to support the research project, Real-Time Learning and Optimization with Applications to Personalized Product/Ad Recommendation.

Raghuveer Devulapalli and Mehdi Behroozi, two recent ISyE PhD graduates, received 2nd prize in the "2016 George Nicholson Student Paper Competition" and won the 1st prize in the "2016 ENRE Best Student Paper Travel Award" sponsored by "INFORMS Section on Energy, Natural Resources, and the Environment (ENRE)" for their paper "Household-level economies of scale in transportation", supervised by and co-authored with Professor John Gunnar Carlsson and Xiangfei Meng, a PhD student at University of Southern California.

Fan Jia, former PhD student, has received an honorable mention for the 2016 SOLA Dissertation Award for his doctoral dissertation. The SOLA dissertation award is a biennual award given to the best PhD dissertation in the field of Location Analysis. The award is sponsored by INFORMS Section on Location Analysis.

Professor Saif Benjaafar was named Director of the Initiative on the Sharing Economy, a university-wide initiative sponsored by the Center for Transportation Studies and the ISyE department. The goals of the Initiative are to foster the study of the emerging sharing economy and enhance university collaboration with stakeholders from industry, government agencies, and other organizations. More info>

A Symposium on the Sharing Economy was held in May '16, organized by the Initiative on the Sharing Economy. Participants represented academics, industry, government agencies, and non-profit organizations. Summary report> Presentation details>

Sherwin Doroudi has joined the Department of Industrial & Systems Engineering starting August 2016 as an Assitant Professor. He holds a Ph.D. degree from Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University. More information about his research and publications can be found at

Mehdi Behroozi, a recent ISyE PhD graduate, has been offered a tenure-track faculty position as an Assistant Professor and will join the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at Northeastern University in Boston, MA this fall. Congratulations!

ISyE Undergraduate student Christopher Kuehn is a co-founder of AdrenaCard, a company that has created an epi-pen alternative that fits in a wallet. Read story:

Dr. Kevin Leder has been awarded the NSF CAREER Award: Rare Events in Cancer Evolution with a grant in the amount of $500,000. For more information visit:

A paper by ISyE doctoral student Xiang Li (co-authored with Professors Saif Benjaafar and Guangwen Kong) was a finalist for the 2016 POMS-HK Best Student Paper Award. The paper is titled "Peer-to-Peer Product Sharing: Implications for Ownership, Usage and Social Welfare in the Sharing Economy." A link to the paper can be found here:

Professor Saif Benjaafar was a keynote speaker at the Big Data and Connected Business Conference held in Taipei, Taiwan on December 10-11, 2015. The conference is among the largest gatherings of data science and analytics professionals in Asia.

Mehdi Behroozi, an ISyE Ph.D. candidate, has received Second Place Award in the IIE Doctoral Colloquium Poster Presentations Competition at the IIE 2016 Annual Conference in Anaheim for his presentation "Wasserstein metric and the distributionally robust TSP". A link to this paper (co-authored with Professor John Gunnar Carlsson) can be found here.

Dr. Shuzhong Zhang's paper — Z.Q. Luo, W.K. Ma, A.M.C. So, Y. Ye, and S. Zhang, "Semidefinite Relaxation of Quadratic Optimization Problems", IEEE Signal Processing Magazine, Volume 27, No. 3, May 2010 — was awarded the 2015 SPS Signal Processing Magazine Best Paper Award. Congratulations!

ISyE professors William L. Cooper and Zizhuo Wang have been awarded an NSF grant of $269,000 for the project "Revenue Management with Network Effects." The project will run from August 2015 to August 2018.

Dr. Shuzhong Zhang has been awarded a $299,999 grant from The National Science Foundation for his project "Gradient Methods for Solving Big Data (Tensor) Optimization Problems". He will be the PI from September 1, 2015 - August 31, 2018. Congratulations!

Dr. Zizhuo Wang's paper "Pricing Personalized Bundles: A New Approach and An Empirical Study" was a finalist in this year's INFORMS Revenue Management and Pricing Section Practice Award. Congratulations!

"My undergraduate degree was in math and computer science, and I have a master's degree in computer science," DJ O'Neil said. "I consulted for six years. I was a good IT consultant, but optimization really requires that you understand the science behind the solutions. The Industrial and Systems Engineering graduate program at the University of Minnesota is perfect for that." Learn more —

Hao-Wei Chen's paper has been selected as the Best Paper in the IIE Transactions Focused Issue on Scheduling and Logistics for 2015. "Fast-Ship Commitment Contracts in Retail Supply Chains" Chen, H.W., Gupta, D., and Gurnani, H., 20143 Hao-Wei Chen will be recognized at the Honors and Awards Banquet during the ISERC (Industrial and Systems Engineering Research Conference). Congratulations!

Congratulations, Alex Stroh, undergraduate student! Rack Manufacturers Institute/John B. Nofsinger Honor Scholarship winner. The mission of the Material Handling Education Foundation, Inc. is to promote the study of material handling, logistics, and the supply chain by exposing students and educators to the industry through financial support.

Congratulations, Claire Warren (undergraduate student) and her team winning the International Division - Silver of the 2015 Acara Challenge. The Acara Challenge is a "competition held by the University of Minnesota's Institute on th Environment in partnership with the College of Science and Engineering and the Carlson School of Management. The top-level teams and other awardees will have the opportunity and resources to further develop their innovative business solutions for environmental and social challenges."

Former student, Rowan Wang (now Assistant Professor at Singapore Management University) was awarded the prestigious IIE Pritsker Best Doctoral Dissertation Award as a First Place Winner. The award carries with it a $1,000 cash prize from the Pritsker Corporation and will be given out at the IIE Annual Conference.

Assistant Professor Diana Negoescu is a finalist for the 2014 Pierskalla Best Paper Award. The award recognizes research excellence in the field of health care management science, and is given to the authors of the best paper presented in a Health Applications Society sponsored session at the annual INFORMS conference. The paper nominated for this award is titled "Dynamic Learning of Patient Response Types: An Application to Treating Chronic Diseases", and is co-authored with Professors Kostas Bimpikis, Margaret Brandeau and Dan Iancu from Stanford University. The paper can be found at:

A paper by Professor Saif Benjaafar has been listed as a Highly Cited Paper by ISI Thomson Reuters for receiving "enough citations to place it in the top 1% of the academic field of Engineering based on a highly cited threshold for the field and publication year." The paper is titled "Carbon Footprint and the Management of Supply Chains: Insights from Simple Models," and was co-authored with Yanzhi Li (City University of Hong Kong) and Mark Daskin (University of Michigan). It appeared in the journal IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering in 2013. The paper is also listed by the journal as one of the top most downloaded papers in 2013 and 2014. A link to the paper can be found here:

Professor Saif Benjaafar has been named General Chair for the 2016 INFORMS International Meeting to be held in Hawaii. INFORMS is the largest society in the world for professionals in the field of operations research, management science, and analytics.

A paper co-authored by ISyE students Rowan Wang, David Chen, and Professor Saif Benjaafar won the INFORMS Section on Energy, Natural Resources, and the Environment Best Student Paper Award. The paper is titled "Stochastic Inventory Systems with Cumulative Ordering Capacity Constraints."

The ICS Prize will be presented at the 2013 INFORMS Annual Meeting in Minnesotta at the ICS Business Meeting.  Dr. Carlsson will present the award winning work in a special prize session.

A paper authored by David Chen, Rowan Wang, and Saif Benjaafar was selected as a finalist for the POMS-HK Best Student Paper Competition. The paper is titled "Stochastic Inventory Systems with Cumulative Ordering Capacity Constraints." The award will be announced and presented at the POMS-HK Conference on January 3, 2013.

Raghuveer Devulapalli, an ISyE Ph.D. student, has received Third Prize in the Interactive Session Competition at the INFORMS 2012 meeting in Phoenix, Arizona for his presentation "Equitable partitioning of territory with obstacles".

Assistant Professor Zizhuo Wang joined the department this fall, 2012. He brings expertise in operations management, pricing and revenue managment, internet economics, and prediction markets.

Professors Saif Benjaafar, William Cooper and Setareh Mardan have been awarded the Harold W. Kuhn Award for best publication for 2012 in Naval Research Logistics for "Production-Inventory Systems with Imperfect Advance Demand Information and Updating."The award is presented annually to an exceptional paper published in NRL during the previous three years.

As of July 1, 2012, ISyE is a Department in the College of Science and Engineering.

Professor Saif Benjaafar has received the 2011 MSOM Best Paper Award for his paper “Using Imperfect Demand Information in Production-Inventory Systems with Multiple Demand Classes,” co-authored with Jean-Philippe Gayon and Francis de Veriourt. This annual award is given to one paper, published by the journal M&SOM in the past three years, considered as most deserving for its contribution to the theory and practice of operations management. More information about the award and past winners can be found here:

Professor Diwakar Gupta has been elected Chair of the MSOM Special Interest Group (SIG) on Healthcare Operations Management. More information about the SIG can be found here:

Professor Saif Benjaafar
has been elected Chair of the MSOM Special Interest Group (SIG) on Sustainable Operations. More information about the SIG can be found here:

Professor Shuzhong Zhang has been elected Vice-President of the Operations Research Society of China.

Professor Tom Luo (affiliated ISyE faculty member) has been named a fellow of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM).

Professors Henry Liu, Saif Benjaafar, and Shuzong Zhang are recipients of a grant from the Minnesota Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment (IREE) for their project “Rethinking How We Manage Traffic to Reduce Emissions while Maintaining Mobility: A New Paradigm for Traffic Management.” More information about the project and IREE can be found here:

Professor Tom Luo (affiliated ISyE faculty member) was awarded the G. Farkas Prize of the INFORMS Optimization Society. The prize, awarded bi-annually, is given out for the most significant contribution to the field of optimization by a researcher, or a team of researchers.

Kevin Leder will be joining the ISyE program starting August 2011 as an Assistant Professor. He holds M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Brown. He was a postdoctoral fellow at Columbia and Harvard. His research interests are in stochastic modeling and simulation with applications to cancer modeling. More information about his research and publications can be found on his website at

Professor Saif Benjaafar has been named Distinguished McKnight University Professor in recognition of his work in operations research and supply chain management and for his leadership of the Industrial and Systems Engineering Program.
The purpose of the Professorship is to recognize and reward our most outstanding faculty. Recipients are honored with the title Distinguished McKnight University Professor, which they hold for as long as they remain at the University of Minnesota. The grant associated with the Professorship consists of $100,000 to be expended over five years. The recipients were chosen based on the following criteria: the level of distinction and prestige that their scholarly work brings to the University; the merit of their achievements and the potential for greater attainment in the field; the dimension of their national or international reputation, including leadership efforts in interdisciplinary or collaborative initiatives; the extent to which their career has flourished at Minnesota and their work and reputation are identified with Minnesota; the quality of their teaching and advising; and their contributions to the wider community.

Shuzhong Zhang will be joining our program as a full Professor starting January 2011. Shuzhong is currently a professor in the Department of Systems Engineering and Engineering Management at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He held faculty appointments prior to that at Erasmus University and the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. Shuzhong is a leading expert in the field of optimization with over 80 journal publications. His research interests are in continuous and non-linear optimization, including convex programming, semi-definite programming, quadratic programming, and interior point methods. He has broad interests in applications in financial engineering; engineering management; operations management; and signal processing. His work has been recognized by several awards and honors including the SIAM Outstanding Paper Prize, the IEEE Signal Processing Society Best Paper Award, the Chinese University of Hong Kong Vice-Chancellor's Exemplary Teaching Award. He serves on the editorial board of several journals including Operations Research, Math Programming, and SIAM Journal on Optimization.

The ISyE faculty has recently moved into a renovated space. The new space gives the ISyE program a physical presence on campus that will enhance its visibility. The new space will house offices for ISyE faculty, space for support staff, and a gathering area for meetings and events. By bringing the entire ISyE faculty in one single area, the new space will enable greater collaboration among the faculty and will make the faculty more accessible to students. The move to the new space is timely, with the program seeing a tremendous growth in its research footprint, growing interest in its degree programs, and a dramatic growth in popularity of its course offerings. For pictures of the new space click here.

Wen-Ya Wang, an ISyE PhD student, was recently awarded a 2010-11 Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship (DDF) by the University of Minnesota Graduate School. The DDF is awarded only to the most outstanding final-year PhD students in the Graduate School. Wen-ya's dissertation is titled "Hospital Capacity Allocation with Incomplete Information." Her advisor is Prof. Diwakar Gupta.

Saif Benjaafar and Mark Daskin (University of Michigan) are organizing a symposium sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) on the Low Carbon Footprint Supply Chain. The symposium will be held on October 14-15, 2010 at Arlington, Virginia. The symposium will bring together leading researchers in Supply Chain Management, Energy, the Environment, Economics, and Public Policy, among others. More information about the symposium can be found here.

A paper authored by Diwakar Gupta and Brian Denton is one of the ten most cited papers in IIE Transactions. The paper is titled “Appointment scheduling in health care: Challenges and opportunities.” For a copy of the paper click here.

William Cooper has been elected Vice Chair & Chair Elect of the INFORMS Revenue Management and Pricing Section. He will start his term as Section Chair in Fall 2010. More information about the INFORMS Revenue Management and Pricing Section can be found here.

Saif Benjaafar was a Keynote Speaker at the International Conference on Modeling and Simulation (MOSIM) held in Hammamet, Tunisia in May 2010. His talk was titled “Carbon Footprint and the Management of Supply Chains.” He was also a featured speaker a featured speaker at the INFORMS Annual Practice Conference held in Orlando, Florida, April 18-20, 2010.

A paper co-authored by Saif Benjaafar, Soumaya Ben-Aicha, and Atidel Hadj Alouane was a finalist for the Elmagrhaby Best Student Paper Award presented at the International International Conference on Information Systems, Logistics and Supply Chain (ILS). The paper is titled is “Flexibility Chaining in Demand Allocation Problems.”

Yimin Yu who has recently graduated from our program with a PhD degree has joined the faculty of City University of Hong Kong, a leading university in Hong Kong, as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Management Science in the School of Business. Yimin has broad research interests in manufacturing and service operations, inventory theory, revenue management, and economics.

Saif Benjaafar has recently been awarded a $375,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to study carbon footprint and the management of supply chains. The grant is in collaboration with Mark Daskin from Northwestern University. More information about the grant can be found at:

A paper co-authored by William Cooper and Diwakar Gupta is a finalist for the 2009 M&SOM Society Best paper award. The paper is titled “Stochastic comparisons in airline revenue management,” and was published in the journal Manufacturing and Service Operations Management in 2006.


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Zizhuo Wang wins the Adobe Digital Marketing Research Award 2017... Read More...

Fan Jia received honorable mention, 2016 SOLA Dissertation Award... Read More...

Professor Benjaafar - named Director of the Initiative on the Sharing Economy... Read More...

Symposium on the Sharing Economy held last May...

Sherwin Doroudi - joined the Department as an Assistant Professor... Read More...

Mehdi Behroozi, a recent ISyE PhD grad, offered position as Asst. Professor at Northeastern... Read More...

ISyE Undergrad student Christopher Kuehn - co-founder of AdrenaCard, an epi-pen alternative. Read More...

Dr. Leder awarded the NSF CAREER Award: Rare Events in Cancer Evolution with a grant in the amount of $500,000. Read More...

More ISyE News...