Henderson and Rusmevichientong Receive Teaching Awards
Associate Professor Shane Henderson has won the 2008 Michael Tien '72 Engineering Excellence in Teaching Award. Assistant Professor Paat Rusmevichientong has won the 2008 Sonny Yau '72 Engineering Excellence in Teaching Award.
Sonny Yau, who established the endowment that funds the award given in his name, is the chief executive officer of Yen Sheng Factory Ltd., a manufacturer of handbags and small leather goods in China. He is also the chairman of Ever Credit Consumer Corporation, a consumer finance company in China and Hong Kong. He is a graduate of the School of Operations Research and Information Engineering.
After completing his Cornell engineering degree, Michael Puk Sun Tien received his MBA from Harvard in 1974. He worked for Macy's in New York City for five years and then returned to Hong Kong to start a chain of fashion stores. He is now the owner and chairman of two chains of upscale clothing stores with more than 700 outlets in Asia. established the Tien Fund for Excellence in Teaching in 1993.
Henderson, who joined the ORIE faculty in 2001, won the Sonny Yau '72 award in 2003. In fall 2007 he taught courses in Monte Carlo simulation, including one focusing on Monte Carlo methods in financial engineering. In Spring 2008 he taught a Ph.D. level course in simulation, which is the area of his research. Henderson has an undergraduate degree from the University of Auckland, New Zealand and an MS in Statistics and PhD in Operations Research from Stanford University. Earlier this year the National Science Foundation offered Henderson and colleague Huseyin Topaloglu a grant for research on the provision of emergency services.
The 2008 Excellence in Teaching and Advising Awards brochure prepared for the annual awards luncheon on November 3 quotes a student as writing that Henderson is "THE BEST teacher I have had at Cornell." Another student wrote that Henderson "was always willing to help, and was very patient and understanding in helping his students."
Yau award winner Rusmevichientong joined the ORIE faculty in 2004 after working as a software engineering at Amazon.com. In the fall of 2007 he co-taught an inventory management course with Professor Jack Muckstadt. In spring 2008 he taught the undergraduate information systems and analysis course, an annual offering which he created in 2005 and had been the only faculty member to have taught prior to this fall. Topics in the course include valuing information, the economics of information, and the pricing of information goods, as well as techniques for extracting information from vast amounts of data and incorporating the information into models to help organizations make better decisions.
Rusmevichientong holds a BA from Berkeley and MS and PhD degrees in Operations Research from Stanford. Earlier this year the National Science Foundation awarded him an Early Career Development Grant to support his research into optimizing systems characterized by large, structured sets of possible solutions, high-volume streams of data, and uncertainty -- and to do so in real time.
The 2008 Excellence in Teaching and Advising Awards brochure notes that Rusmevichientong has "set his sights on becoming a truly great teacher, and he is succeding in that goal." The brochure quotes his students as reporting that he is "very clear and well organized," "extremely helpful and understanding," a "great lecturer who really tries to stimulate interest in class," and "really looking out for the best interest of his students."
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