Two professors named INFORMS fellows

November 06, 2006

Edwin S. Wilsey Professor William Massey ’77 and Robert Vanderbei, chair of the department of Operations Research and Financial Engineering, have been elected fellows of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences.

Fewer than 1 percent of the institute’s members are elected as fellows, an honor that recognizes significant research contributions to the field. The Fellow Awards will be presented at a ceremonial luncheon on Nov. 6, at the organization’s annual meeting in Pittsburgh.

Vanderbei’s primary research interest is in developing algorithms for nonlinear optimization, a form of applied mathematics used to solve problems arising in engineering and science, from the design of stereo speakers to the study of astrophysics.

Formerly a member of Bell Labs, Vanderbei is an associated faculty member of mathematics, computer science, the Program in Applied and Computational Mathematics and the Bendheim Center for Finance. He is the author of Linear Programming: Foundations and Extension, a widely adopted textbook, and also the author of a popular software package for nonlinear optimization called LOQO. He received a Ph.D. from Cornell University in applied mathematics in 1981.

Massey, also a former member of Bell Labs, specializes in queueing theory, a method of mathematical analysis that is fundamental to many modes of commerce, from Internet service to transportation. A much-cited paper of Massey’s showed how to model wireless networks where calls are being placed and received from moving vehicles. Massey was awarded a patent on an optimal server staffing algorithm for call centers that is based on his research in queueing.
Massey, now a professor of operations research and financial engineering, founded and provides continued leadership in the annual Conference for African American Researchers in the Mathematical Sciences, now in its 12th year.

In 2005, The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education named Massey the second most frequently cited Black mathematician in the world. He also has given invited hour-long addresses for sectional and national meetings of the Mathematical Association of America, the American Mathematical Society and the National Association of Mathematicians.

Massey graduated from Princeton magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a degree in mathematics. He earned his Ph.D. in mathematics in 1981 from Stanford University.