Professors Dai, Patie and Iyer join ORIE
Leading applied probability experts Jim Dai and Pierre Patie and applied game theorist Krishnamurthy Iyer are joining ORIE this year. With their arrivals, more than half the ORIE faculty has been appointed in the 21st century.
Dai, who is currently on leave from his position as Edenfield Professor of Industrial and Systems Information at Georgia Institute of Technology, has worked for more than twenty years on stochastic models arising from communications, manufacturing and service systems. He received BA and MS degrees from Nanjing University and a Ph.D. from Stanford University, all in mathematics. He has been named a full professor at Cornell.
Dai is an elected Fellow of both the Institute of Mathematical Statistics and the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences. His work ranges across a variety of applications that entail randomness experienced over time.
For example, he has looked at rules for staffing customer call centers to provide both quality (short waiting times) and efficiency (high utilization of staff), taking into account the possibility that some fraction of callers will abandon the system if they have to wait too long. He recently developed and validated a mathematical model that can be used to test strategies for reducing the time emergency room patients have to wait for a bed once it is known that they must stay in the hospital. He is principal investigator on a National Science Foundation grant to model systems that incorporate a network of processing capabilities, such as large web server farms and semiconductor wafer fabrication facilities.
All of these problems have required Dai to develop deep new mathematical techniques in order to create and characterize models that represent them.
Dai’s wife Liqin Shi has remained behind in Atlanta until their son Kevin graduates from high school there later this year. She has degrees in biochemistry and computer science and has done information technology work in industry.
Dai plays tennis and has been enjoying the outdoor activities afforded by the Ithaca winter, notably skiing.
Patie, a Ph.D. graduate of ETH (the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) in Zurich, was an Associate Professor of Actuarial Science and Probability at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) in Belgium. Earlier, he completed a postgraduate qualification, known as Habilitation, at the University of Bern, Switzerland.
Following his undergraduate work at the University of Pau, France, Patie completed a master’s degree in Mathematical Engineering jointly at École Polytechnique Paris, France and École Polytechnique Fédérale Lausanne, Switzerland. He joins ORIE as an Associate Professor.
His research areas include risk theory in insurance mathematics, risk management, so-called exotic options (e.g. derivative securities whose payoff depends on the trajectory of the price of the underlying security over a set period of time, rather than just at the time of execution), and mathematics that is relevant to these and other areas of application. He is also interested in understanding the connection between the study of stochastic processes and other fields of mathematics.
Prior to pursuing his doctorate, Patie worked in London as a quantitative analyst at Monis Software, now part of Sungard, where he developed spread-sheet based software for pricing, analysis and hedging of convertible bonds and other securities linked to equities.
“From a professional point of view, Cornell provides a stimulating intellectual environment," said Patie. "It is a great university in a city that provides a nice environment to raise kids. We look forward to our adventure living in central New York State.”
Patie enjoys outdoor activities such as mountaineering and paragliding. He is joined in Ithaca by his wife Marie Chazal, herself a post-doctoral fellow in financial mathematics at ULB, and their six year old daughter Isïa and four year old son Orion.
Iyer, who recently completed his Ph.D. in Stanford’s Department of Management Science and Engineering, is completing an academic year as a post-doctoral fellow at the Department of Computer and information Science at the University of Pennsylvania. He joins ORIE as an Assistant Professor.
Iyer's research is at the intersection of economics and the internet, as he investigates auctions and other markets that operate at high speed with a large number of participants. His work on dynamic auctions provides insights into how someone bidding for an online good (for example, an advertiser bidding for position on a search page) can estimate the amount to bid by considering the long-run behavior of other bidders. His theoretical results have implications for designers of such auction markets.
Iyer is a mechanical engineering graduate of the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay. “I think it is an exciting time to be entering academia,” he said. “There are many new developments in online higher education. I am very excited to be joining Cornell in particular, since the Cornell NYC Tech initiative will provide tremendous opportunities for the university to expand and develop its connections with industries in the tech sector.”
"When I get time," Iyer said, "I like to read philosophy and sci-fi. I am a fan of minimalist music (Terry Riley in particular)," he added.