ORIE Student Farhangi is First to Complete Joint Cornell and Ecole Centrale Paris Program
|Ramin Farhangi, who received his M.Eng. in May 2008, studying in Duffield Hall earlier in the year.|
Ramin Farhangi is the first student to complete the "2-2-1 program," which awards co-terminal BS and M. Eng. degrees from Cornell together with the Diplôme d'Ingénieur degree from École Centrale Paris. His Cornell BS is in Civil Engineering while his M.Eng. is from ORIE. Following freshman and sophomore years in Ithaca, Farhangi spent two years in Paris, where he returned following completion of the M.Eng. with a concentration in information technology.
In an article, "Best of Both Worlds," in the Summer 2008 issue of Cornell Engineering magazine about his participation in the 2-2-1 program, Farhangi commented on his Master of Engineering project, which developed alternative ways to evaluate bids by 7,500 CN Rail employees expressing their preferences for job assignments. "This is where I got to apply the concepts I've learned," said Farhangi. Under the guidance of Professor Peter Jackson, the project team replicated much of the current job assignment process in a computer program and then tested some proposed alternatives against a database of past employee characteristics and bids (from which individual identifying information had been removed to preserve confidentiality). According to Professor Jackson, Farhangi "made a major contribution by developing one of the alternative assignment algorithms that the team recommended to CN Rail."
Farhangi's brother Cyrus graduated from ORIE with BS and M. Eng. degrees in 2005. Their father Mohammad came to Cornell from Teheran, Iran, and graduated from ORIE in 1974; the family later moved to France. Cyrus and Mohammed attended Ramin's Cornell graduation in May. Cyrus has been working as an analyst with the London office of Deloitte but will soon be moving to a small business strategy consulting firm in Paris. Ramin will soon start employment with Boston Consulting Group in Paris.
Ramin Farhangi is a recipient of Cornell's Knight Scholarship, which was created by Lester B. Knight, Jr., a 1929 graduate of a predecessor program to ORIE, to encourage engineers who are interested in business. The Scholarship provides up to $40,000 in financial aid for about 10 Master of Engineering students each year who plan to continue or return to pursue an MBA degree at Cornell's Johnson Graduate School of Management. As a holder of a technical Masters degree, Farhangi will be able to complete his MBA studies in 12 months through the Johnson School's Accelerated MBA program.
The 2-2-1 program was established through the incentive of Professor Michel Louge of the Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Cornell, himself a graduate of École Centrale Paris. Deborah Cox, an assistant dean in the College of Engineering, coordinates the 2-2-1 program for Cornell. At Ecole Centrale, the program is coordinated by Florence Mayo-Quenette, professor of English. "I think the 2-2-1 program can help American students learn many things: how to work in teams with people from very different backgrounds in a non-native language, and how to be autonomous in a complex learning environment," Farhangi said. "And you have an enlightening expereince through getting to know yourself better in terms of your goals in education, your career, and your life."
Commenting on the Master of Engineering experience in ORIE, Ramin Farhangi said "I benefited from a great learning environemnt and made some good friends with whom I enjoyed discovering the latest developments in business technology. Courses in the Johnson Graduate School of Management were ideal electives to complement the technical and theoretical Operations Research core, in which we solved tricky problems dealing with randomness in business systems."
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