International Workshop Shines Spotlight on ISE Research
Researchers from 12 countries, including Japan, Singapore, Chile, Italy and The Netherlands, were among the 100 attendees for the 2014 Mixed Integer Programming (MIP) Workshop hosted by The Ohio State University Department of Integrated Systems Engineering in July.
OSU Associate Professor Dr. Simge Küçükyavuz was invited by the organizers to serve as this year’s host for the workshop, which is held annually in North America. Küçükyavuz says the international event brings great visibility to the research being conducted at OSU.
“The students who participated in the workshop learned about the state-of-the art research in mixed-integer programming, and had an opportunity to meet and discuss their research with their peers at other universities,” she says.
Küçükyavuz says the program for the workshop is composed of a limited number of invited talks on recent work in the MIP field, and also features a poster session. OSU was well-represented with Küçükyavuz giving a talk on “Cut Generation for Optimization Problems with Multivariate Risk Constraints,” and posters presented by OSU Computer Science and Engineering Assistant Professor Luis Rademacher (“On Blocking and Anti-blocking Polyhedra in Infinite Dimensions”) and second-year PhD student Xiao Liu, who is advised by Küçükyavuz, (“Decomposition Algorithms for Two-stage Chance-constrained Programs”).
Dr. Ramteen Sioshansi, an associate professor for ISE and an associate fellow for the Center for Automotive Research, also served on the planning committee. The OSU INFORMS student chapter co-sponsored the event with ISE. OSU students Xiao Liu, Sayak Roychowdhury, Jangho Park and INFORMS President Hamed Rahimian assisted the committee, as well as ISE staff members Candi McCain, Judith Flickinger, Mike Zazon and Cedric Sze.
Industry sponsors included Gurobi Optimization, SAS, Google, FICO, GAMS, IBM Research, MOSEK, LINDO Systems Inc. and AMPL.
New Computer Lab
New Computer Lab Designed to Meet Needs of Group Projects, Individual Students
For most ISE students, the department’s student lounge and computer lab are their homes away from home as they spend increasingly more time at Baker Systems.
Fortunately, the lounge underwent a much-needed renovation in 2012, while the computer lab awaited its turn. Last fall, ISE Department Chair Phil Smith tasked the OSU student chapter of the Institute of Industrial Engineers to develop a plan to re-create the lab space.
Led by IIE Director of Recruitment Rehgan Avon, a team of students, including Philip Wilson, Bret Mayer, Matt Foster, Joseph Francis and Jack Shroder, tailored a plan designed to achieve the following goals:
- Split the lab into group and individual rooms,
- Modernize the space,
- Increase seating and study areas,
- Increase natural lighting and control temperatures, and
- Add color and eye appeal to a currently utilitarian room.
Avon says they received about 90 responses to an email sent to the ISE student body requesting suggestions. The lab is currently divided into separate rooms and rather than knock down a wall, the students decided that having two rooms could work in their favor. ISE majors tend to collaborate on group projects, she says, so it was decided that one room should be tailored to their needs while a separate “quiet” room could accommodate students working on individual projects.
The next phase is to determine a budget for the updates with plans to renovate the space during the summer.
“We want to make sure every student feels comfortable in our building; Baker is our building,” Avon says. She says she appreciates the opportunity to utilize the project management skills she has learned at Ohio State, as well as the opportunity to leave an imprint on the university.
Illustration shows the suggested redesign of the ISE computer lab space. A group study lab is on the left, while individual stations are located in the “quiet” lab room at right.
Conejo Joins ISE
Conejo Brings International Perspective on Electric Energy Systems
Antonio J. Conejo will join the Integrated Systems Engineering faculty spring semester where he will specialize in operations research and electric energy systems. He previously was a professor at the University of Castilla-La Mancha in central Spain and created a PhD program focused on operations research and electric energy systems.
He received his master’s of science degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a PhD from the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden. Conejo is an Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Fellow.
At Ohio State, he will teach courses in optimization, stochastic optimization, electric energy system analysis and electric energy systems economics. He said he is looking forward to contributing “to the education of our undergraduate and graduate students with an interest in energy systems and decision-making tools, and helping to find better solutions to the challenging problems regarding a sustainable and clean supply of electric energy in Ohio and elsewhere.”
Data Analytics Courses Give ISE Students, Businesses an Advantage
To maintain their competitive edge, businesses are increasingly turning to big data analytics to predict trends and inform business decisions. The demand for the skill set prompted The Ohio State University Department of Integrated Systems Engineering to introduce an undergraduate Data Analytics and Optimization Track.
Judging by the response, students understand that the critical tools necessary for managing, visualizing and extracting useful information from big data will make them more marketable in their careers.
“We’ve received really great feedback from the students when they find out it’s being offered,” says Kristen Arra, coordinator of academic advising. “We’re giving them an opportunity to gain expertise in an area that’s really hot right now and they appreciate that.”
The Department can accommodate 10 students in the track each semester and received twice as many applications. Previously, students interested in data analytics signed up for computer science courses to gain experience. “Now, they have a formalized plan and course list to ensure competence in data analytics,” Arra says.