Ohio State INFORMS earns Magna Cum Laude award

Posted: November 3, 2023
Group of people with award recipients
Pictured, left to right, INFORMS President-elect Dr. Julie Swann; Ohio State INFORMS Student Chapter representatives, Vice President Yifan Yang, President Tu Feng Treasurer Yin Liu and Faculty Advisor Dr. Sam Davanloo; and INFORMS Executive Director Dr. Elena Gerstmann. 

When Tu Feng, ISE PhD ’26, took over as president of the Ohio State student chapter of Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) in 2022, she was facing a greatly depleted organization that had become dormant during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“It was a challenging time for the previous team to hold events,” Feng says. “At the time I became the president, we had less than 20 active members. We had a heavy responsibility to bring people together.” 

Feng and her leadership team, led by faculty advisors Professor Ramteen Sioshansi and Assistant Professor Sam Davanloo, got to work to revitalize the chapter, which dates to 2014. 

“I decided to keep my eyes open and create demand-driven events,” Feng says. “We wanted to foster the relationship in the ISE community and create a platform for people interested in advanced analytics and operations research. We value students’ needs and emphasize developing academic, professional and interpersonal skills.” 

The efforts paid off and the chapter now boasts 80 members, has hosted numerous events and sent more than two dozen ISE students to the 2022 annual conference. The results earned Ohio State the INFORMS Student Chapter Magna Cum Laude Award, which was presented at the 2023 annual meeting in Phoenix in October. 

“I took the challenge to hone my leadership skills,” Feng says. “The service at the INFORMS student chapter improved my interpersonal skills and academic skills. I am grateful that the award recognizes my effort and capabilities.”  

Over the past year, Feng says the INFORMS Student Chapter developed events in four major categories: 

  • Academic workshops aimed at sharing state-of-the-art research and essential research skills. Current PhD students present their ongoing research or faculty members talk about research and networking.   

  • Industry workshops in which industry speakers share their implementation of advanced analytics and operations research techniques. Speakers included an ISE alumnus who works for American Airlines. 

  • oppORtunities, current operations research students shared their summer internship experiences at Amazon, public agencies and financial institutions.  

  • Social events that provide opportunities to network with other peers in operations research and other disciplines.  

Feng, who holds dual bachelor’s degrees in ISE from Ohio State and Sichuan University in China, was re-elected to serve as the INFORMS Student Chapter president for the 2023-24 academic year and says she anticipates pursuing a faculty role after graduation. 


Story by Nancy Richison

Category: Student