Teaching Experience

  • OIE 598, Optimization Methods for Business Analytics, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Spring 2014, 2015, 2016, Fall 2016.
  • OIE 4420, Practical Optimization, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Spring 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Fall 2018.
  • OIE 3600, Scripting for Process and Productivity Improvement, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Fall 2018.
  • OIE 44XX, Engineering Optimization, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Spring 2013, 2014.
  • OIE 2850, Engineering Economics, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Fall 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016.
  • BUS 2080, Data Analysis for Decision Making, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013.

Selected Undergraduate Projects

Improving Student Placement in IQP Centers via Preference Matching (2017)

The goal of this MQP is to improve Worcester Polytechnic Institute's (WPI) Interdisciplinary and Global Studies Division (IGSD) off-campus IQP placement process. The IQP is a cornerstone of the WPI plan, however, placements have become increasingly complex and demanding as the number of applicants grow. An Excel-based decision support tool was proposed to improve the matching of students and IQP project center directors based on expressed preferences, thereby assisting IGSD by recommending student-IQP site placements. The decision-support tool uses VBA to build and solve an optimization model. In addition to reducing the time and effort required to place students, it is believed that the decision-support tool will increase overall participant satisfaction with placements.
Key Impact(s): The matching tool successfully placed over 92% of the students into one of their top-tier choices, an increase of more than 17% over the existing, manual process. Moreover, it eliminates months of work in manually evaluating students based on their attributes, as well as managing the waitlist. The implications are that many more students will be placed into a project center where they most want to go, with expected positive impacts on initial perspective, project performance, overall satisfaction, and future career trajectory.
Students: Camila Dias, Lin Jiang, Elizabeth Karpinski
Application Area(s): Academia; Matching; Scheduling
Research Area(s): Analytics; Optimization; Decision Support Systems
Sponsor: Interdisciplinary and Global Studies Division (IGSD)

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Optimizing Client Scheduling and Improving Client Distribution of Fundación Paraguaya (2016)

The goal of this project was to improve the efficiency of Fundación Paraguaya's Microfinance and Poverty Stoplight Programs by implementing Industrial Engineering techniques. First, inefficient planning of client meetings was addressed through an Excel-based scheduling tool that optimally groups geographically similar meetings. Based on these results, the scheduling tool has the potential to reduce 19.92% of the total distance traveled. Second, a tool was developed to analyze the rezoning of offices by evaluating the impact of the corresponding reassignment of client committees to their respective zones. If all reassignments are made, the total distance reduction will exceed 2,400 miles. The two deliverables will be implemented upon completion of the project.
Key Impact(s): Through the impact of the scheduling tool combined with the rezoning analysis, it is estimatated that the total distance traveled will be reduced by approximately 2,400 miles, having major impacts such as increased throughput and superior organization. These impacts translate into serving a greater number of clients.
Students: Elia Perez Luna, Veronica Soto-Belloso
Application Area(s): Humanitarian; Scheduling
Research Area(s): Analytics; Optimization; Clustering; Decision Support Systems
Sponsor: Fundación Paraguaya

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Improving Changeover Efficiency in Opticap® XL Encapsulation Process (2015)

This project studied MilliporeSigma's changeover efficiency within the Opticap® XL encapsulation process to alleviate throughput issues associated with increasing demand. The team conducted time and observational studies, together with stakeholder interviews, to identify and prioritize improvement areas. A production schedule optimization tool was developed, Single Minute Exchange of Dies analysis for changeover tasks, and conditions to streamline melt-check procedures. The deliverables were recommended to be implemented to improve changeover efficiency, and estimate that 230 minutes can be saved in changeover time over two days.


Key Impact(s): The developed production schedule optimization tool streamlines production, thereby increasing throughput. This improvement, when combined with the recommended sequencing and standardization of changeover tasks, led to a conservative estimate of approximately 8,000 minutes of annual time savings.
Students: Serhan Delareyna, Emily Doherty, Samantha Kwan, Nicolas Riart
Application Area(s): Manufacturing; Production Process Improvement
Research Area(s): Analytics; Optimization; Decision Support Systems
Sponsor: MilliporeSigma

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Improving the Scheduling of Operating Rooms at UMass Memorial Medical Center (2014)

The goal of this project was to improve the scheduling of surgical cases at UMass Memorial Medical Center (UMMMC). Interviews, past surgical data, and observations were analyzed to evaluate the current state of surgical scheduling procedures. An optimization tool was developed in Excel that uses integer programming to increase the operating room utilization to be more competitive with industry standard. Recommendations were provided to more efficiently schedule surgical cases in the future to reduce overtime costs and maximize value-added time.
Key Impact(s): The final deliverable was a scheduling tool that optimized operating room utilization for 17 operating rooms at UMass Memorial Medical Center. The tool recommendations led to a 10-15% increase in utilization, which is a conservative estimate that translates into several millions of USD in savings, annually.
Students: Courtney Carroll, Meredith Juers, Sonja Kent
Application Area(s): Healthcare; Scheduling
Research Area(s): Analytics; Optimization; Decision Support Systems
Sponsor: UMass Memorial Medical Center

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Created By: Minkun Liu