ISE Welcomes Jeff Ban as Affiliated Faculty

Jeff Ban, Associate Professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering, joined ISE as an affiliated faculty. Jeff regularly interacts with ISE faculty and is active in INFORMS. His research focuses on modeling and simulation that aim to reveal the complex dynamic, stochastic, and evolving interactions among the critical components of transportation systems, with the purpose to develop effective, efficient, and sustainable methodologies to mange wide-area and multi-modal transportation systems. His current research interests are theoretical and algorithmic issues of dynamic transportation network modeling; Mobile sensing (such as GPS-enabled cellular phones) for transportation system performance measurement, state estimation, optimal traffic control and management, and related issues such as privacy protection; Connected/Autonomous Vehicles; Transportation Big Data analytics; and Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) that focuses on applying advanced technologies to various traffic/transportation applications.

RPI Assistive Robotics Research in the News

RPI faculty John Wen (ISE Department Head), Jonas Braasch (School of Architecture, Director of Center for Cognition, Communication and Culture), and Mei Si (Cognitive Science) held a media morning event showing off their assistive robotics research. Graduate and undergraduate students demonstrated a mobile assistive robot called Jamster, robot teleoperation, and social robotics. Numerous local media outlets reported on the event.

Tom Sharkey Launches Operations Research Tutorials YouTube Channel

Thomas Sharkey, an Assistant Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering at RPI, has launched a YouTube channel containing video tutorials to assist in the delivery of an Operations Research (OR) course. At RPI, these videos are specifically geared towards ISYE 4600: OR Methods, a required course for all Industrial and Management Engineering (IME) undergraduate students. The video tutorials serve as “virtual office hours” in the sense that they take students through the steps necessary to capture an application as an OR model or to apply an OR model to solve a problem. The current set of video tutorials were created both by Professor Sharkey and Sarah Nurre, PhD ’13, and focus on solving “day-to-day” problems with OR tools. This set of videos, which will be rolled out in Fall 2014, include examining OR models related to toys (LEGO building), sports (Fantasy Football), board games (Chutes and Ladders), and game shows (Supermarket Sweep and Double Dare). In the long run, Professor Sharkey plans to create videos geared towards applying OR tools to the many different career paths available for IME students.

RPI IIE Student Chapter Won Gold Award

The RPI IIE Student Chapter has won the Gold Award for the second year in a row. The award recognizes the chapter's overall achievements in AY 2013-2014. There are nearly 130 active student chapters in the US and the award places us among the top 1/3rd. The Chapter is getting ready for the new academic year with lots of exciting events for the IME students. Recently, the Chapter made contact with the Professional Chapter of Syracuse and is planning to have several joint events with them. These will include site visits, guest speakers, video conferencing and more. The Chapter is also planning to continue the series of Green Belt Certification through the IIE next semester as it is becoming a hit among engineering students. Also, in the agenda are social events for undergrads and much more.

President: Eric Benaim
Vice President: Farida Belo-Osagie
Secretary: Jane Braun
Treasurer: Franlin Lan
Membership Director: Leondra (Patrice)McGahee
Newsletter Editor: Caroline Brunson
Webmaster: Dede Dolkar
Adviser: Dr. Mohamed Aboul-Seoud.

2014 ISE Newsletter

The 2014 ISE Newsletter maybe viewed here . Highlights: Tom Sharkey's research on supply chain and infrastructure restoration, David Mendonca's work on teamwork in large scale disaster response, Jennifer Ryan's work on semiconductor manufacturing scheduling and inventory management in aircraft engines maintenance, Martha Grabowski's National Academy report on Arctic oil spill response, and Mark Embrechts' course and research related to Big Data.

ISE Welcomes New Faculty, Dr. Wei Xie

ISE welcomes Dr. Wei Xie to the department as a new Assistant Professor.   Dr. Xie completed her Ph.D. in April 2014 in the Industrial Engineering and Management Sciences, Northwestern University, under the mentorship of Prof. Barry Nelson and Prof. Russell Barton (Penn State). Dr. Xie received her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Yangtze University, M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from University of Nebraska, and M.S. and Ph.D. from Northwestern. She worked at Chengdu Construction Machinery and interned at GM and San Diego Supercomputer Center. Her doctoral research investigates the impact of input uncertainty on stochastic system performance. Her broader research interest and experience spans applied statistics, operation research, and data analytics.

ISE PhD Graduate Chris Gatti Awarded Springer Thesis Prize, then Off to Cirque du Soleil!

Chris Gatt, an ISE doctoral student, has just completed his Ph.D. requirement in July under the mentorship of Professor Mark Embrechts. His dissertation, "Design of Experiments for Reinforcement Learning," was awarded the Springer Thesis Prize, and will be published by Springer as part of the new Dissertation Series. Chris is also an outstanding gymnast. Started at age 4, he trained and competed nationally through high school and college. After graduation, he was offered a position with Cirque du Soleil and is now training in Montreal with the first assignment in South America. Links to Chris' instagram and Youtube channel

New NSF Grant Awarded to ISE Faculty Mendonca and Grabowski

ISE Associate Professor David Mendonça, in collaboration with Martha Grabowski of ISE, was recently awarded a three-year $337k grant from the National Science Foundation to investigate teamwork in organizations following large-scale disasters. Using data from debris clearance operations following a series of calamitous tornado storms in Alabama in 2011, this work will investigate how team-level processes contribute to overall performance of the debris removal mission. In collaboration with the US Army Corps of Engineers and NY State's Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Mendonça and Grabowski expect to develop analytic and computational methods that will expand understanding of teamwork in disasters and contribute to performance improvements in the multi-billion dollar enterprise of debris removal. Mendonça's research builds on his prior experience with debris removal teams at Ground Zero after 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, and Hurricane Sandy. A short video on the Sandy research was recently produced by RPI.

Martha Grabowski led National Academy's Report on Arctic Oil Spill Response

As the oil industry prepares to exploit the Arctic's vast resources, the United States is inadequate in its preparedness for an oil spill in the region, according to a report released on April 23 by the National Research Council (NRC). ISE Research Faculty Dr. Martha Grabowski is the chair of this report. The 183-page report marks the first time in more than ten years that the NRC, an arm of the National Academy of Sciences, has taken a comprehensive look at the impact of oil and gas exploration in the Arctic. In the intervening decade, sea ice cover hit a record low, shipping traffic increased dramatically, and the price of oil rose sharply, prompting such companies as Shell, ExxonMobil, and ConocoPhillips to acquire new leases for oil and gas. The panel briefed Senator Begich (D-Alaska) staff, Senate Commerce Committee, House Transportation & Infrastructure committee (USCoast Guard oversight committee), Senate Energy Committee (NOAA, US Coast Guard oversight committee), and Senator Murkowski (R-Alaska) staff.