ORIE’s Lodi named winner of prestigious Farkas Prize

By: Pat Gillespie

Andrea Lodi, the Andrew H. and Ann R. Tisch Professor at Jacobs Technion—Cornell Institute at Cornell Tech and a member of the School of Operations Research and Information Engineering graduate field faculty at Cornell University, has been selected as the winner of the 2021 INFORMS Optimization Society Farkas Prize.

Professor Lodi received his Ph.D. in 2000 from the University of Bologna and he has received the 2004 Herman Goldstine Fellowship in Mathematical Sciences by IBM T.J. Watson. Prior to joining Cornell Tech in 2021, he was Canada Excellence Research Chair at Polytechnique Montreal (2015-2021) and Professor of Operations Research at the University of Bologna (2007-2015). Professor Lodi is currently area editor of INFORMS Journal on Computing and a former editor-in-chief of Optima. Other current and former editorial appointments include Mathematical Programming, Mathematics of Operations Research, Management Science, and Mathematical Programming Computation/

His main research interests are in mixed-integer linear and nonlinear programming and data science and his work has received several recognitions including the IBM and Google faculty awards. He is the author of more than 100 publications in the top journals of the field of mathematical optimization and data science. He has been the network coordinator and principal investigator of two large EU projects/networks, and, since 2006, consultant of the IBM CPLEX research and development team. Andrea Lodi is the co-principal investigator of the project “Data Serving Canadians: Deep Learning and Optimization for the Knowledge Revolution,” recently funded by the Canadian Federal Government under the Apogée Programme and scientific co-director of IVADO, the Montréal Institute for Data Valorization.

“I am deeply honored of receiving the 2021 INFORMS Optimization Society Farkas Prize and being in such a good company of the distinguished past winners,” said Lodi. “I am very happy to share this prize with all my collaborators over a journey of more than 20 years and the institutions in which I have spent the first part of my scientific career, namely University of Bologna, IBM and Polytechnique Montreal. This journey led me now to Cornell Tech and the Farkas Prize boosts my enthusiasm for the next 20+ years to come!”

The Farkas Prize of the INFORMS Optimization Society was established in 2006 and is awarded annually at the INFORMS Fall National Meeting to a mid-career researcher for outstanding contributions to the field of optimization, over the course of their career. Such contributions could include papers (published or submitted and accepted), books, monographs, and software. The awardee will be within 25 years of their terminal degree as of January 1 of the year of the award. The prize serves as an esteemed recognition of colleagues in the middle of their career.

In addition to receiving a cash prize and citation certificate, Professor Lodi will be invited to give a 25-minute presentation at the INFORMS National Meeting. Award winners are also asked to contribute an article about their award-winning work to the Optimization Society newsletter.

Gyula (Julius) Farkas (1847-1930) was a famous Hungarian mathematician and theoretical physicist, whose name is best known to optimizers and OR specialists because of his theory of linear inequalities. He also obtained fundamental results in analytical mechanics in that he gave necessary condition for the equilibrium of a mechanical system, where the states are constrained by inequalities. These results earned him the place of a forerunner of modern optimization theory.

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