UB takes home four awards at the 2018 INFORMS conference

UB's INFORMS student chapter won an award at the annual conference.

UB’s INFORMS chapter received a Summa cum laude Student Chapter Award. It is the first time that UB has been recognized in this selective category.

by Nicole Capozziello

Published December 31, 2018

Faculty and students from UB’s Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering received four awards at the 2018 INFORMS Annual Meeting and Analytics Conference.

“I am very pleased that INFORMS has honored the achievements of our faculty and students with four national awards. This recognition demonstrates that our faculty and students are among the best in the field.”
Victor Paquet, professor and chair
Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering

“I am very pleased that INFORMS has honored the achievements of our faculty and students with four national awards,” says Victor Paquet, professor and chair of the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering. “This recognition demonstrates that our faculty and students are among the best in the field.”

INFORMS, the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences, is the world’s largest professional association dedicated to advancing operations research. Their annual awards honor a wide range of contributions by research and analytics professionals and students.           

At this year’s conference, SUNY Distinguished Professor in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering Rajan Batta, along with alumnus Yan Xia, and Rakesh Nagi, professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, received the 2018 Koopman Prize from the INFORMS’ Military Applications Society. The prize recognizes an outstanding publication in military operations research. Their paper, entitled “Routing a Fleet of Vehicles for Decentralized Reconnaissance with Shared Workload among Regions with Uncertain Information,” could improve military surveillance.

Batta, Xia and Nagi received the 2018 Koopman Prize.

Koopman Prize winners, from left: Rajan Batta, Yan Xia and Rakesh Nagi.

Alexander Nikolaev received the 2018 Impact Prize

Alexander Nikolaev, second from right, received the 2018 Impact Prize with his colleagues for their work to implement the TSA PreCheck system.

Alexander Nikolaev, associate professor, received the 2018 Impact Prize. Awarded once every two years, the Impact Prize recognizes an individual or group for the widespread impact their research has had. Nikolaev worked with TSA to research aviation security, providing valuable insights on risk-based security, and directly impacting the implementation of the TSA PreCheck system, which serves as a global model and is now utilized at nearly 450 domestic airports. The award was presented to Nikolaev along with his research collaborators, Laura Albert of the University of Wisconsin- Madison, Kenneth C. Fletcher of Kestrel Hawk Consulting, Inc., and Sheldon H. Jacobson and Adrian J. Lee, both of the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign.

Jun Zhuang received the Volunteer Service Award.

Jun Zhuang (left) received the Volunteer Service Award.

Jun Zhuang, professor, received the 2018 INFORMS Volunteer Service Award. First awarded in 2016, this award was created to recognize exceptional volunteer service to INFORMS. Zhuang, along with ISE alumnus John Coles, also won INFORMS Koopman Prize for their paper “Introducing Terrorist Archetypes: Using Terrorist Objectives and Behavior to Predict New, Complex, and Changing Threats” in 2017.

UB’s INFORMS chapter was one of only three to receive a 2018 INFORMS Student Chapter Award at the Summa cum laude level. This marks the first time that UB has been recognized in the selective Summa cum laude category; UB’s chapter won awards at the Cum laude level in 2013, 2014, and 2017. The awards are granted to motivate and recognize the achievements of student chapters at three levels: Cum laude, Magna cum laude, and Summa cum laude.