Professor Paat Rusmevichientong is Awarded Tenure
The Cornell Board of Trustees has officially accepted the recommendation of the Provost that Paat Rusmevichientong be awarded tenure at Cornell.
Rusmevichientong, known as "Professor Paat" to students, grew up in Thailand, graduated with a B.A. in Mathematics from University of California, Berkeley, in 1997, and in 2003 received a Ph.D. in Operations Research from Stanford University, where he also had been granted an M.S. Prior to coming to Cornell in 2004 he worked in the data mining and personalization group at Amazon.com.
Professor Shane Henderson, until recently interim director of ORIE, notes that "Paat has defined his own research area," which Henderson characterizes as "dynamic decision making in operational problems based on very large amounts of data." According to Henderson, the key elements of this research area are that decisions are made and refined over time and that very large amounts of data are available to guide those decisions.
While traditionally the field of statistics has confronted situations in which decisions must be made with limited data, the internet and electronic commerce have opened up new opportunities through the collection of vast quantities of data, the formulation of new decision problems, and a need for new algorithms to use the former to solve the latter. Nonetheless there are also ties in Rusmevichientong's work to classical statistics problems, including one, known as the 'multi-armed bandit' problem, formulated more than 50 years ago by Herbert Robbins.
Henderson points out that Rusmevichientong's research domain is "perfectly aligned with ORIE's goals in the area of data analytics, and more generally in terms of informing complex decision making in organizations." Rusmevichientong is "truly an information engineer," Henderson adds.
In his work Rusmevichientong has collaborated with several other ORIE faculty members as well as with faculty at other major universities. In 2008 the National Science Foundation awarded him a prestigious Early Career Development grant for work that was motivated by his involvement with two companies, Analog Devices and Amazon.com. With ORIE and Information Sciences professor David Williamson, he advised a project to help Analog Devices chose Google AdWords. With Professor Jack Muckstadt, he worked with his former employer on data-driven real-time control of Amazon's supply chain. He has also collaborated with Professors Shmoys and Topaloglu on research on a variety of topics.
As a teacher, Rusmevichientong developed a new experiental learning course on information systems and analysis that is now required for all undergraduates in the Information Science, Systems and Technology major at Cornell. He also thoroughly revised ORIE's revenue management course, and has received very high ratings for teaching both courses.
Henderson notes that "Paat Rusmevichientong has developed into a leading researcher, a superb teacher, and a top-shelf colleague. His activities in all dimensions place him right at the very core of the activities and ambitions" of ORIE.
Rusmevichientong said "I am very fortunate to be a part of one of the best Operations Research departments in the world. I am particularly impressed by the breadth and depth of the faculty's research."