Engineering Dean Names Shane Henderson Acting ORIE Director; Adrian Lewis Becomes Director in July, 2010
Cornell College of Engineering Interim Dean Christopher Ober has appointed Professor Shane Henderson as Interim Director of the School of Operations Research and Information Engineering for a one-year term, from July 2009 through June 2010. Professor Adrian Lewis has agreed to be appointed as Director for a two-year term for the period July 2010 through June 2012. As a School rather than a Department, ORIE is lead by a Director rather than a Chair.
photos: P. Richtarik
Henderson, who joined ORIE from the University of Michigan in 2001 as an Assistant Professor and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2004 and to Professor in 2008, recieved his M.S. and Ph.D. in Operations Research from Stanford University. He is from Auckland, New Zeand and holds a bachelors degree in Math from the University of Auckland. Since coming to Cornell he has supervised the research of seven Ph.D. students and has designed (or redesigned) and taught courses on computer simulation (at the undergraduate/MEng and PhD levels), applied stochastic processes, service systems modeling and design, and mathematical modeling of operational systems. He has received several awards for his teaching, and has been awarded a series of grants by the National Science Foundation to support his research.
Henderson is active in the Institute for Operations Research and Management Science (INFORMS) and subsidiary societies as journal editor and officer. His research interests relate to discrete-event simulation, a form of computer simulation especially well suited to the modeling of complex processes, which was pioneered at Cornell more than fifty years ago. He applies simulation techniques to a variety of real world problems ranging from radiation treatment planning to yacht match racing, and is working at the interface between optimization and simulation, adapting techniques used to find the optimal allocation of resources to situations that entail uncertainty, which cannot readily be modeled by algebraic equations, and hence uses simulation runs to compute the resource consumption and value of trial solutions.
Henderson said "it is a pleasure and honor to serve as interim director, especially knowing that I will be handing over the reins to Adrian Lewis, who unfortunately for ORIE has his hands and heart full with the recent arrival of his baby daughter. I can't think of a better reason for requiring an interim director."
Lewis joined ORIE in 2004 as a Full Professor, having previously held the same rank at Simon Fraser University and the University of Waterloo, both in Canada. Born in England and educated at Cambridge University with a B.A. in Mathematics and a Ph.D. in Engineering, he holds both British and Canadian citizenship. His first two ORIE Ph.D. advisees were hooded at the ORIE graduate recognition ceremony in May. In ORIE he has taught Ph.D. level courses in linear and nonlinear optimization as well as the underlying theory of convexity, participated in an extensive redesign and teaching of the two-semester undergraduate optimization sequence, and received awards for his teaching. He has served as ORIE's Director of Graduate Studies and on several Cornell committeees.
Lewis was recently named to the inaugural class of Fellows of the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics and is on the editorial board of several journals, including as co-Editor of Mathematical Programming A. His research entails the mathematical analysis and computational solution of complex design optimization problems, particularly those involving "nonsmooth" relationships. For the past twenty years, his research has been continuously funded the National Science Foundation and its counterpart, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.
Lewis said "I look forward with excitement but some trepidation to working with my friends and colleagues in 2010, and to doing my best to live up to my predecessors as director, hoping that my newborn daughter Nia will give better advice than she does now."
Both Lewis and Henderson lauded their predescessors, Lewis noting that "ORIE could not have thrived as it has over the decades without a string of talented directors," and Henderson commenting of Jim Renegar, who is stepping down after five years as Director, that "his quiet but sure hand has shepherded ORIE through some turbulent times, built a strong team in the people of ORIE, and kicked off some exciting initiatives."