Two Princeton Engineering professors have been named fellows of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, for work that ranges from the coordination of undersea robots to the search for extrasolar planets.
Naomi Leonard, the Edwin S. Wilsey Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, was recognized for applying and area of math called control theory to the coordination of underwater vehicles and other ensembles of independent agents. Leonard has used this work to advance the fundamental understanding of animal schools and swarms and how they self-organize. Her research interests include nonlinear control and dynamics; multi-agent systems; cooperative control; mobile sensor networks; adaptive ocean sampling; and decision dynamics in mixed teams of humans and robots.
Robert Vanderbei, professor and chair of the Department of Operations Research and Financial Engineering, was cited for contributions to technologies for searching for planets outside this solar system, and for his contributions to interior-point methods for nonlinear optimization. Vanderbei’s main interests are in algorithms for nonlinear optimization and their application to problems arising in engineering and science, inverse Fourier transform optimization problems, and action minimization problems. Vanderbei also is an associated faculty member in astrophysics, computer Science, mathematics, and mechanical and aerospace engineering at Princeton.
Leonard and Vanderbei join 33 other mathematicians, scientists and engineers who were elected fellows. The society will honor the 35 new fellows at the SIAM Annual Meeting to be held in Minneapolis, Minn., in July. The Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics is an international society of over 14,000 individual members from industry and academia from 500 companies and institutions.