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Seminar Series - Fall 2018

Each semester the Department of Industrial Engineering hosts a seminar series to educate our students, faculty, alumni, and partners. The department invites guest presenters from prominent industrial engineering programs as well as features the research of our own faculty and students.

August 31: Connecting the Dots: TSP Art (and Variations)

August 31 1:25 - 2:15pm Freeman Auditorium Robert Bosch
Oberlin College

Title: Connecting the Dots: TSP Art (and Variations)

Abstract: TSP Art is produced by:

  1. applying a stippling algorithm to a grayscale image
  2. considering the resulting collection of dots to be the cities of a Euclidean instance of the Traveling Salesman Problem
  3. finding a high-quality tour of the cities
  4. and finally, drawing the tour

One well known example is the Mona Lisa TSP Challenge.  In this talk we present some of our on-going work on TSP Art and related projects (e.g., figurative subgraphs, Knight’s tours, and labyrinth design).

Bio: Robert (Bob) Bosch is Professor of Mathematics at Oberlin College and an award-winning writer and artist.  He specializes in optimization, the field of study concerned with optimal performance.  Since 2001, Bosch has devoted increasing amounts of time and effort into devising and refining methods for using optimization to create pictures, portraits, and sculpture.  He has had pieces commissioned by Colorado College, Western Washington University, Occidental College, Spelman College, and the organizing committees of several academic conferences.  He operates a website from which it is possible to download free plans for several of his domino mosaics.

September 7: Optimizing Truck Dispatching Decisions in Open-pit Mining using Integer Programming

September 7 1:25 - 2:15pm Freeman Auditorium Jim Luedtke
Associate Professor
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Title: Optimizing Truck Dispatching Decisions in Open-pit Mining using Integer Programming

Abstract: A key operational problem in open-pit mining is the real-time dispatching of trucks between mining locations (where ore is loaded at trucks) and processing and waste ore sites (where ore is dumped).  The goals in dispatching are consistently supply the processing sites with enough ore, to maintain ore quality at the processing sites (by mixing ore from different mining locations), and to meet extraction targets at the mining sites.  The problem is challenging due to the potentially conflict between these goals and the need to make the dispatching decisions in real-time, in an environment with significant randomness in travel, loading, and unloading times, and in ore quality.  We propose an optimization-driven approach to making dispatching decisions with a mixed-integer programming (MIP) model.  We conduct a simulation study to compare the approach to two simpler policies that mimic industry practice, and find that the MIP-based dispatching approach significantly outperforms the competing policies on a wide variety of test cases, with the differences being most stark when the number of trucks is limited.

Bio: Jim Luedtke is an Associate Professor in the department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Luedtke earned his Ph.D. at Georgia Tech and did postdoctoral work at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center.  Luedtke’s research is focused on methods for solving stochastic and mixed-integer optimization problems, as well as applications of such models.  Luedtke is a recipient of an NSF CAREER award, was a finalist in the INFORMS JFIG Best Paper competition, and was awarded the INFORMS Optimization Society Prize for Young Researchers.  Luedtke serves on the editorial boards of the journals SIAM Journal on Optimization, INFORMS Journal on Computing, and Mathematical Programming Computation.  Luedtke is the current secretary of the SIAM Activity Group in Optimization, serves on the Committee on Stochastic Programming, and is a former secretary/treasurer of the INFORMS Optimization Society.

September 14: Panel Discussion: Job Search

September 14 1:25 - 2:15pm Freeman Auditorium Yongjia Song, David Neyens, Sara Riggs, Akshay Gupte

Panel Discussion: Job Search

September 21: Integrated Optimization in Public Transportation

September 21 1:25 - 2:15pm Freeman Auditorium Anita Schöbel
Research & Chancellor’s Professor
University of Göttingen

Title: Integrated Optimization in Public Transportation

Abstract: Attractive and efficient public transportation is needed for satisfying the increasing mobility demand in an environmental-friendly way.  In view of growing emissions, research on optimizing public transport is more relevant than ever.   The classical approach in public transportation planning is the following: After the network design, the lines and their frequencies are planned.  Based on these, the timetable is determined, and later on the vehicles’ and drivers’schedules.  In order to account for the passengers, their routes are estimated after each of these stages and then used as input for the next stage.  These single planning stages are well understood and many of them can algorithmically be treated.  However, following the above sketched sequential approach may be far away from finding an optimal solution for the whole system.  This calls for integrated optimization.  In this talk we present approaches for integrated optimization in public transportation, apply them to benchmark examples, and discuss how useful they are.  While we focus on public transportation, many of the underlying ideas can also be used in other application areas.  Integrated versus sequential optimization.  The sequential procedure sketched above can be regarded as a Greedy approach: in each planning stage one aims at the best one can do.  This usually leads to suboptimal solutions.  On the other hand, many of these single steps are already NP hard such that solving the integrated problem to optimality seems to be out of scope.  Nevertheless, we show how improvements can be made using the Eigenmodel as a framework for (heuristic) integrated optimization. We furthermore introduce the price of sequentiality as a measure how much can be gained by integrated approaches.  Integrating passengers’ routes.  While many models in public transportation aim to minimize the traveling time of the passengers, the behavior of the passengers is not reflected realistically in most approaches.  In many models, passengers are routed before the optimization.  These routes are then fixed and are the basis for finding good line plans and timetables.  We show that such a first routing has an immense impact on the resulting line plan, the timetable, the travel time and the costs.  Better results are obtained if the routes of the passengers are variables which are determined within the optimization. However, these models are even harder to solve.  We show two tricks to make such models tractable.  Finally, both aspects are combined, again in the framework of the Eigenmodel.  We also show how more realistic models such as taking the vehicles' capacities into account, or using logit models can be heuristically treated within this framework.  In an outlook we also sketch questions and ideas which may be relevant for integrated public transportation in the future.

Bio: Anita Schöbel is head of the research group “Optimization” at the Faculty for Mathematics and Computer Science of the Georg-August University Göttingen.  After receiving her PhD in 1998 at the Technical University of Kaiserslautern, she worked as postdoc at the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Mathematics for two years before she went back to university to receive her Habilitation in 2003.  She received a position as associate professor in Göttingen in 2004 and has been full professor since 2007.  Her research interests focus on discrete optimization in public transportation, multi-objective robust optimization, and several topics related to facility location.  She develops approaches based on integer programming, graph-based algorithms, and simulation.  She has been involved in many industrial and research projects, among them the European projects ARRIVAL and OptALI and cooperation with India.  She is also the coordinator of the research unit on Integrated Transportation funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG).  Anita is on the managing board of the German Society of Operations Research (GOR) and of the Center of Simulation Studies Clausthal-Göttingen (SWZ).  She is married and has two children. 

September 28: From IE to UX: Applying Your Human Factors Training to UX Research & Design

September 28 1:25 - 2:15pm Freeman Auditorium France Jackson
UX Researcher & Designer

Title: From IE to UX: Applying Your Human Factors Training to UX Research & Design

Abstract: With a background in Industrial Engineering and Human-Centered Computer, Dr. France Jackson is now a UX Research & Design practitioner at the Intel Corporation. &Her academic research focused on creating immersive experiences at the cross section of technology and popular culture to include; fashion, gaming and media.  However, she now works on a customer innovation team focusing on driving innovative software solutions that are optimized for Intel Architecture.  Find out how she translated her human factors training and research interest into an industry research position. This talk will highlight her journey from IE 201 to stumbling upon User Experience.  Additional topics will include Industry vs. Academic careers and what UX looks like at Intel.  This talk will be interactive and informal so bring your questions.

Bio: Dr. France Jackson received her Ph.D. from the University of Florida in Human-Centered Computing (HCC).  She is one of two women who were the first African-American woman to earn their Ph.D. from the Computer Information Science and Engineering Department at UF.  While at Clemson University she earned both a bachelors and masters degree in Industrial Engineering.  Her research focuses on creating immersive experiences at the cross section of technology and popular culture to include; fashion, gaming and media.  Dr. Jackson was born in Columbia, SC but is now based in Hillsboro, OR where she works as a UX Researcher and Designer at the Intel Corporation.  She is a part of a customer innovation team that focuses on delivering new and innovative software experiences that are optimized for Intel Architecture.  Most importantly, France is a STEM advocate who uses her platform to bring other women and people of color to STEM through outreach and exposure.

October 5: Fireside Chat with Dr. Mason

October 5 1:25 - 2:15pm Freeman Auditorium Dr. Scott Mason
Interim Chair of Industrial Engineering
Clemson University

Dr. Mason discusses what it means to be a graduate student of Industrial Engineering at Clemson University.

October 12: Balancing Large Deviations in Offline Learning

October 12 1:25 - 2:15pm Freeman Auditorium Ilya Ryzhov
Associate Professor
University of Maryland

Title: Balancing Large Deviations in Offline Learning

Abstract: We consider offline learning problems where simulation is used to collect noisy information about a finite set of choices, subject to a limited “information budget.”  The efficiency of information collection procedures in this setting is governed by the large deviations behavior of the simulation output.  We present our ongoing work on a new class of algorithms that can adaptively learn the theoretically optimal budget allocation, without any tuning, using simple and efficient computations.

Bio: Ilya O. Ryzhov is an Associate Professor of Operations Management in the Decision, Operations & Information Technologies department at the Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland (with a joint appointment in the Institute for Systems Research).  His work deals with decision-making in business analytics, with a focus on optimal learning.  He is an Associate Editor at Operations Research, and a recipient of the INFORMS Simulation Society’s Outstanding Simulation Publication Award.

October 19: An Integrated Information Processing & Task-based Approach to Making Function Allocation Decisions

October 19 1:25 - 2:15pm Freeman Auditorium Ellen Bass
Chair of the Department of Health Systems and Sciences Research
Drexel University

Title: An Integrated Information Processing & Task-based Approach to Making Function Allocation Decisions

Abstract: Human-automation function allocation is the allocation of work within teams of human and automated agents.  One of the requirements of an effective function allocation is that it should be the result of deliberate design decisions.  While there are frameworks to define the work, the types and levels of automation, and the mapping of types of some types of automation to the information processing cycle, there are gaps that limit the ability of designers in making function allocation decisions.  This talk will present a new approach toward addressing this issue.  One gap is that human factors engineers generally frame human work using task analytic methods.  Each task identified by a task analysis cannot easily be allocated to an automated agent.  Also potential function allocation strategies differ based on the type and nature of the task and tasks typically do not fall into a single stage of the information processing cycle.  The new approach uses the concept of task types that can be mapped to the information processing cycle.  The approach includes rubrics that map potential function allocation strategies for each task type.

Bio: Ellen J. Bass is Professor and Chair of the Department of Health Systems and Sciences Research in the College of Nursing and Health Professions at Drexel University.  She holds a joint appointment in the Department of Information Science in Drexel University’s College of Computing and Informatics.  She also holds affiliate status in Drexel University’s School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems.  She has over 30 years of human-centered systems engineering research and design experience in air transportation, healthcare, medical informatics, and weather related applications.  Early in her career, Dr. Bass was a systems engineering practitioner, specifying and testing the human-automation interaction for real-time, complex systems.  Since then, she has established a strong research program in that area of human factors.  The focus of her research is to develop theories of human performance, quantitative modeling methodologies, and associated experimental designs that can be used to evaluate human-automation interaction in the context of total system performance.  The outcomes of the research can be used in the systems engineering process: to inform system requirements, procedures, display designs and training interventions and to support system evaluation.  She is a fellow of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society and a senior member of the IEEE and of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.  Dr. Bass is a member of the Executive Council of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society.  She is a member of the editorial board for the journals Human Factors and IIE Transaction on Occupational Ergonomics and Human Factors.  She is Associate Editor for the Sociotechnical System Analysis department of the journal IIE Transactions on Healthcare Systems Engineering.  She is a member of the Board on Human-Systems Integration (BOHSI) in the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education (DBASSE) of the National Academy of Sciences.  Bass holds a Ph.D. in Systems Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

October 26: Graduate Students Present: INFORMS

October 26 1:25 - 2:15pm Freeman Auditorium Ceyda Yaba, Juliana Arango, Tim Holzmann

Graduate Students Present: INFORMS

November 9: TBA

November 9 1:25 - 2:15pm Freeman Auditorium Nathan McNeese
Assistant Professor
Director of TRACE Research Group
Clemson University

Title: TBA

Abstract: TBA

Bio: TBA

November 16: TBD

November 16 1:25 - 2:15pm Freeman Auditorium TBD

Title: TBD

Abstract: TBD

Bio: TBD

November 30: TBA

November 30 1:25 - 2:15pm Freeman Auditorium Julie Swann
Department Head of Fits Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering
North Carolina State University

Title: TBA

Abstract: TBA

Bio: Julie Swann is the department head and A. Doug Allison Distinguished Professor of the Fitts Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering.  She is an Adjunct Professor in the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Prior to joining NC State, she was the Harold R. and Mary Anne Nash Professor in the Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where she co-founded and co-directed the Center for Health and Humanitarian Systems, one of the first interdisciplinary research centers on the Georgia Tech campus.  In 2009, she was on loan as a science advisor for the H1N1 pandemic response at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Dr. Swann is a research leader in using mathematical modeling to enable supply chain systems and health care to become more efficient, effective, or equitable. Recent collaborations have been to quantify the return on public investments to improve pediatric asthma, plan for infectious disease outbreaks, analyze administrative claims data from Medicaid patients across the US, and design systems with decentralized decision makers.