Two ORIE Seniors are Named as Merrill Scholars and Receive ORIE's Saunders Prize
|Adam Schneider, Professor Rusmevichientong, and Adam Elmachtoub at the ORIE Graduation Ceremony|
Of the seven College of Engineering class of '09 members selected as Merrill Scholars, two, Adam Schneider and Adam Elmachtoub, are from ORIE. At the ORIE graduation ceremony on May 24, 2009, the two were recognized as Merrill Scholars and were awarded the Byron W. Saunders Prize, established in honor of a former ORIE director and Cornell Dean of the Faculty. Professor Paat Rusmevichientong, selected by ORIE undergraduates as Professor of the Year, presented them with the Saunders Prize, awarded to the OR graduates with the highest grade point average.
The Merrill Presidential Scholars Program is made possible by funding from the late diplomat , publisher, banker and philanthropist Philip Merrill '55. Merrill Presidential Scholars are graduating Cornell seniors who have outstanding scholastic achievements and strong leadership abilities. Each Merrill Scholar is asked to name the Cornell faculty member who most significantly contributed to his or her college experience and the high school teacher who most inspired his or her scholastic development. Schneider selected ORIE Professor Robert G. Bland and Richard Goodman of Horace Greeley High School in Chappaqua, NY. Elmachtoub selected Computer Science Professor Charles Van Loan and Erik Levin of Manalapan High School in Manalapan, NJ. All of the designated high school teachers are brought to Ithaca for an award luncheon, presided over by Cornell President David Skorton, with the 32 Merrill Scholars and the Cornell faculty they have designated.
|President Skorton, Adam Schneider, Richard Goodman and Professor Bland at the Merrill Scholars luncheon.|
Schneider graduated summa cum laude and is joining ZS Associates in New Jersey as an Operations Research analyst. (2005 ORIE Merrill winners David and Peter Rimschnick also joined ZS Associates after their Cornell degrees). At the graduation ceremony Professor Bland, presiding over the award presentation as ORIE Associate Director for Undergraduate Studies, noted that Schneider participated in a summer-long research project with Professor Mark Lewis. Bland said that 'there seems to have been a communication problem, or, perhaps it was a mismatch in expectations. Before the end of the first week, Adam had completed the original 8-week project." According to Bland, Schneider received rave reviews during his two stints as Teaching Assistant, has been the finance chair of Cornell's Hillel, and is a member of the board of the Student Management Corporation, a purchasing cooperative serving fraternities, sororities and campus units.
Schneider said "I could not be happier with the education and experiences that the ORIE program at Cornell gave me. ORIE taught me the tools, methods, and problem-solving skills necessary to tackle the really tough problems, which will be invaluable to me in my future career endeavors."
|President Skorton, Adam Elmachtoub, Erik Levin and Professor Van Loan at the Merrill Scholars luncheon.|
Elmachtoub graduated summa cum laude in only three years, and will enroll as a Ph.D. student in Operations Research at MIT in the fall, with a National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship awarded by the US Department of Defense. Elmachtoub has participated in research projects with Van Loan and ORIE Professors Leslie Trotter and David Shmoys. He is continuing the work with Shmoys during the summer. Elmachtoub is co-author with Van Loan of "From Random Polygon to Ellipse: An Eigenanalysis," a research paper that has been submitted for journal publication. He has interned with ZS Associates. In his remarks Bland noted that Elmachtoub has also received rave reviews as a Teaching Assistant and that has served as Vice President of the Lebanese Club at Cornell. Elmachtoub's designated high school teacher, Erik Levin, was also selected by ORIE's 2008 Merrill winner Stephanie Peng.
Elmachtoub commented that the ORIE faculty "have always provided constant support and encouragement. The passion they have shown for education and research has really motivated me to become a professor."
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