Decision-making is becoming increasingly complex as data expands and
resources decrease. My research centers on using prescriptive
(integer optimization) and predictive (machine learning) analytics,
together with algorithms, to effectively allocate scarce resources.
My research team and I employ mathematical modeling and the
development of methods and tools to benefit vulnerable and
marginalized individuals, groups, and populations.
The convergence of novel analytical technologies and open-source software can create solutions that improve quality of life, increase fairness, restore dignity, and make significant societal impact. Active research areas include analytics to benefit refugees and asylum seekers, survivors of human trafficking, and foster care. My research is supported by the National Science Foundation (Operations Engineering) grants CMMI-1825348, CMMI-1841893, CMMI-1935602, the Ragnar Söderberg Foundation, and others.
My research deeply influences students. Students who work with me learn the tools and techniques to develop innovative models and algorithms to tackle challenging real-world problems with significant societal impact. Through research involvement and related projects, students make contributions that expand the current boundaries of knowledge. Many earn MS and PhD degrees and go on to have productive and influential careers. If you are interested in learning more, see my CV, or email me.
I am Associate Professor of Operations and Industrial Engineering at WPI, and hold a Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh. I publish in journals such as Operations Research, INFORMS Journal on Computing, European Journal of Operational Research, IISE Transactions, Decision Support Systems, Discrete Optimization, IJCAI, Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Journal of Cleaner Production, Journal of Combinatorial Optimization, Health Systems, and Bioinformatics.
A recent UN report describes in its "Anti-Slavery Agenda of Tomorrow" section some recent work with K. Maass and R. A. Konrad. It reads Computational analysis may be useful to this end, for example in optimizing resource allocation to ensure maximum social impact. We are grateful for the support of the National Science Foundation Operations Engineering program (award number 1841893).Download Report
A recent manuscript posted to Optimization Online on how to efficiently allocate aid to refugee camp systems under uncertainty, coauthored with WPI Data Science PhD student Shima Azizi, Cem Deniz Caglar Bozkir, O. Erhun Kundakcioglu, and Ali Kaan Kurbanzade. We are grateful to the National Science Foundation Operations Engineering program for their support of this research (award number 1825348).Read More
A recent manuscript was published and is now available online at JORS:
A. C. Trapp, R. A. Konrad, J. Sarkis, Amy Z. Zeng, Closing the Loop: Forging High Quality Agile Virtual Enterprises in a Reverse Supply Chain via Solution Portfolios, Journal of the Operational Research Society, 2020.Read Preprint
Now available is a much improved version of our under review manuscript Placement Optimization in Refugee Resettlement by me and four outstanding colleagues: Alex Teytelboym, Alessandro Martinello, Tommy Andersson, and WPI Data Science PhD student Narges Ahani. We study analytics to improve refugee resettlement. This revised version includes a variety of new experiments that show the stability of our matching software Annie™ MOORE to recommend strong match outcomes. We are grateful to the National Science Foundation Operations Engineering program for their support of this research (award number 1825348).Read More
Here is a recent preprint joint with excellent coauthors Pat Flaherty (UMass Amherst), WPI Data Science PhD student Pitchaya Wiratchotisatian, UMass Amherst PhD student Ji Ah Lee, and UMass Amherst PhD student Zhou Tang on solving the maximum a-posteriori (MAP) clustering problem under the Gaussian mixture model. We develop exact approaches to solve this problem using mixed-integer nonlinear optimization techniques.Read More
Here is a recent policy article by esteemed colleague Tommy Andersson urging the European Union to adopt AI-based matching of refugees to host communities. Tommy is a key collaborator on Annie™ MOORE, our software tool that can sort through vast refugee-host matching possibilities to optimize integration outcomes.Read More
Forbes Magazine recently featured an article with a vignette on joint work with terrific colleagues Alex Teytelboym, Alessandro Martinello, Tommy Andersson, and WPI Data Science PhD student Narges Ahani on using analytics to improve refugee resettlement. We appreciate the attention to detail, as they note that our matching software Annie™ MOORE recommends match outcomes, that can then be fine-tuned by resettlement decision-makers. The associated technical report can be found at this link. We are grateful to the National Science Foundation (NSF), especially the Operations Engineering program, for their support of this research.Read More
Good news: PhD student Shima Azizi passed her qualifier this week! We are all very proud of her hard work on the topic of improving efficiency in community paramedicine. I'm grateful for both committee members, Prof. Michael Ginzberg and Prof. Sharon Johnson (pictured), as well as Prof. Brent Faber and Prof. Renata Konrad, for their support.Read More
I had the privilege of visiting the University of Toronto and speaking in their Operations Research Seminar on refugee resettlement research, joint with colleagues Narges Ahani, Tommy Andersson, Paul Gölz, Alessandro Martinello, Ariel Procaccia, and Alex Teytelboym. Thanks to Tim Chan for the invitation!Read More
Had the opportunity to present on placement optimization in refugee resettlement at the INFORMS Speaker Series of the Isenberg School of Management, University of Massachusetts Amherst. This is joint work with Alex Teytelboym, Alessandro Martinello, Tommy Andersson, and Narges Ahani.Read More
Here is a short video clip of my lightning talk presentation for the "Global Impact: The Latin American Experience" series at WPI's 2019 Arts & Sciences Week. My talk was entitled: Developing Data-Informed Holding and Judicial Capacity Levels for Asylum Seekers at the Southern Border.Watch here!
Had the privilege of speaking with Laurie Leshin, President of WPI, about the work of my research team and I in improving refugee resettlement matching, as well as matching WPI students to project centers.Read More
R. A. Konrad (PI), A. C. Trapp (co-PI), M. Dank (co-PI), K. Maass (co-PI), NSF (Operations Engineering) award "ISN2: Disrupting Human Trafficking via Needs Matching and Capacity Expansion," Research award CMMI-1935602Read More
K. Maass, A. C. Trapp, R. A. Konrad, "Optimizing Placement of Residential Shelters for Human Trafficking Survivors" accepted for publication, Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, 2019.Read More
A. C. Trapp, NSF (Operations Engineering) supplement award to "Matching Problems in Refugee Resettlement," Research award CMMI-1825348: "Extension of Immigration Study to Operational Challenges at the United States Southern Border,"Read More
F. Zhang, C. Wang, A. C. Trapp, P. Flaherty, A Global Optimization Algorithm for Sparse Mixed Membership Matrix Factorization, New Advances in Statistics and Data Science, ICSA Book Series in Statistics, Springer, pp. 129-156, 2019.Read More
R. A. Konrad (PI), A. C. Trapp (co-PI), M. Dank (co-PI), K. Maass (co-PI), NSF (Operations Engineering) award "EAGER: ISN: A Data Analytic Approach to Understanding Human Trafficking Networks," Research award CMMI-1841893Read More
T. Petit, A. C. Trapp, "Enriching Solutions to Combinatorial Problems via Solution Engineering" published online, INFORMS Journal on Computing, 2019Read More
A. C. Trapp, W. Liu, S. Djamasbi, "Identifying Fixations in Gaze Data via Inner-Density and Optimization" published online, INFORMS Journal on Computing, 2019.Read More
M. Shojaiezadeh, S. Djamasbi, R. Paffenroth, A. C.Trapp, "Detecting Task Demand via an Eye Tracking Machine Learning System" Decision Support Systems, Vol. 116, pp. 91-101, 2019.Read More
A. C. Trapp, A. Teytelboym, N. Ahani, T. Andersson, "Refugee Resettlement via Machine Learning and Integer Optimization," Keynote Presentation and Paper for OR60 Annual Conference, Lancaster, UK, 2018.Read More
R. A. Konrad, A. C. Trapp, T. Palmbach, J. S. Blom, "Overcoming Human Trafficking via Operations Research and Analytics: Opportunities for Methods, Models, and Applications," European Journal of Operational Research, Vol. 259 (2), pp. 733-745, 2017.