ORIE’s Anders Wikum named Merrill Presidential Scholar

When he looks back at his final year at Cornell University, Anders Wikum will have plenty for which to be proud. Among those fond memories is being recognized as a 2021 Merrill Presidential Scholar. Wikum will earn his B.S. in operations research and engineering from Cornell this Sunday, May 30.

Anders was recruited by ORIE’s David B. Shmoys, the Laibe/Acheson Professor of Business Management and Leadership Studies, to Cornell’s roster implementation team in summer 2020 and has played a major role in building the university’s fall 2020 and spring 2021 course rosters.

“Anders is an incredible all-around extraordinary student,” say Shmoys, “He is a creative problem-solver, a great system builder, an intensively hard worker, and a modestly unassuming individual to boot. We were amazingly fortunate to be able to recruit him to the roster implementation team. And the research that we have been working on during this past academic year shows that his talents span from practice to theory.”

A native of Mainesville, Ohio, Wikum is one of 37 outstanding seniors recognized as 2021 Merrill Presidential Scholars, who are selected by their college deans based on their extraordinary academic achievement, strong leadership and potential to contribute to society. As part of the program, the scholars—who are in the top 1% of their class—share the honor with a high school teacher and a Cornell faculty member who has inspired them and contributed to their academic development.

Outside of his scheduling work for the university, Anders was a subteam lead for Cornell Data Science and has been involved in research with various ORIE faculty. He co-authored a paper on wait-time estimation in queues with Assistant Professor Jamol Pender, which received ELI summer research grant funding and was published in the proceedings of the 2019 Winter Simulation Conference, and more recently he has explored combinatorial optimization through Ph.D.-level algorithms courses and algorithms research with Professor Shmoys.

In addition to Professor Shmoys, Wikum also honored Lynn Brant from the mathematics department at Kings High School in Kings Mills, Ohio.

After graduation, Anders will join QuantumBlack, a specialized data analytics group within McKinsey & Company, in Boston, Mass..




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