About Me

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.



Recent Accomplishments

Accepted: ACM Conference on Economics and Computation Dynamic Placement in Refugee Resettlement
Published on May 10, 2021

Our conference paper Dynamic Placement in Refugee Resettlement with Narges Ahani, Paul Gölz, Ariel Procaccia, and Alex Teytelboym was recently accepted for the 2021 ACM conference on Economics and Computation. We introduce a dynamic allocation system based on two-stage stochastic programming to account for weekly allocations of annual capacity. The approach further improves employment outcomes over our paper Placement Optimization in Refugee Resettlement. We are grateful to the National Science Foundation Operations Engineering program for their support of this research (award number 1825348).

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Recent Talk | Talk at DOTs Series Now Available
Published on April 19, 2021

Aleksandr Kazachkov and Elias Khalil are doing an amazing job of organizing the Discrete Optimization Talks (DOTs) series. There are a number of really great talks in the DOTs series, and I'm honored to be among them! My recent talk on new stability representations for many-to-one matching via integer optimization, which is joint work with great colleagues Pitchaya Wiratchotisatian and Hoda Atef-Yekta, is now up at here, where you can also see all of the previous talks in the series.

Link to DOT Talk

President-Elect of the INFORMS Section on Public Sector Operations Research (PSOR)
Published on April 19, 2021

I have the honor of serving as President-Elect for the INFORMS Section on Public Sector Operations Research (PSOR). We are the INFORMS subdivision dedicated to, in the words of the INFORMS slogan, "doing good with good OR." Here are all of this year's officers, with a hat tip to Phebe Vayanos who assembled the figure and is serving as the PSOR Communications Officer.

PSOR Officers

Available at Operations Research, Articles in Advance: Placement Optimization in Refugee Resettlement Paper
Published on March 24, 2021

Our manuscript Placement Optimization in Refugee Resettlement with outstanding colleagues and WPI Data Science PhD student Narges Ahani, Tommy Andersson, Alessandro Martinello, and Alex Teytelboym is now available online at Operations Research. We use analytics, specifically integer optimization and machine learning, to improve refugee resettlement. Our paper includes a case study with the US resettlement agency HIAS where we deploy Annie™ MOORE, the software tool we develop and describe that can sort through vast refugee-host matching possibilities to optimize integration outcomes. We are grateful to the National Science Foundation Operations Engineering program for their support of this research (award number 1825348).

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New Manuscript! A Comparative Study of Stability Representations for Solving Many-to-One Matching Problems with Ties and Incomplete Lists via Integer Optimization
Published on February 28, 2021

Super proud of the hard work and dedication of my PhD student Pitchaya Wiratchotisatian on her most recent manuscript "A Comparative Study of Stability Representations for Solving Many-to-One Matching Problems with Ties and Incomplete Lists via Integer Optimization", together with Hoda Atef Yekta. Here we explore novel representations for stability in solving stable many-to-one matching problems, including the construction of cohorts. Enjoy the read!

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Among Chief Data Officer (CDO) Magazine's
2021 list of Academic Data Leaders
Published on January 5, 2021

I recently learned that I am among this year's list of Academic Data Leaders at Chief Data Officer Magazine. Certainly an honor! Thank you, CDO Magazine.

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On Optimization Online: Optimizing Community Paramedicine Service Delivery with Mandatory Visits and Patient Prioritization
Published on December 10, 2020

Here is a recent technical report posted to Optimization Online on community medicine: how to select, route, and schedule medical workers to visit patients in the community. This research was led by WPI Operations PhD student Shima Azizi, in collaboration with Brenton Faber, Sharon Johnson, Renata Konrad, and myself. This study is the first optimization-based framework for programmatically operating community paramedicine and derives insights into the model's behavior by conducting comprehensive analytical experiments on test instances based on real data. We are grateful to WPI's Healthcare Delivery Institute for their support.

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New Manuscript Maritime Container Shipping: Does Coopetition Improve Cost and Environmental Efficiencies?
Published on August 26, 2020

Recently published paper at Transportation Research Part D with excellent colleagues Irina Harris and Vasco Sanchez Rodrigues at Cardiff Business School, as well as Joe Sarkis at WPI. We study the effects of coopetition in maritime logistics, specifically container shipping. Using realistic data from two major retailers, we develop a novel integer optimization model that allocates goods to containers, and containers to vessels, in a manner that minimizes both traditional economic costs as well as environmental costs, and provide analyses and insights. We believe our research sets the stage for future investigations.

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New Manuscript Responsible Anti-Human Trafficking Research in Operations And Analytics
Published on July 1, 2020

A nice opinion piece about how to conduct responsible anti-human trafficking research in operation and analytics, with excellent colleagues R. A. Konrad and K. Maass. Very grateful for the support of the National Science Foundation Operations Engineering program (award numbers 1841893 and 1935602).

Download from arXiv

United Nations Report Mentions Anti-Human Trafficking Work
Published on May 26, 2020

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).

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New! Outlier-Aware, Density-Based Gaze Fixation Identification
Published on June 30, 2020

A recently accepted manuscript is now available online at Omega: W. Liu, A. C. Trapp, S. Djamasbi, "Outlier-Aware, Density-Based Gaze Fixation Identification," available online, Omega, 2020.

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New Manuscript Aid Allocation for Camp-Based and Urban Refugees with Uncertain Demand and Replenishments
Published on May 7, 2020

A recent manuscript posted to Optimization Online on how to efficiently allocate aid to refugee camp systems under uncertainty, coauthored with WPI Operations 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).

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Closing the Loop: Forging High Quality Agile Virtual Enterprises in a Reverse Supply Chain via Solution Portfolios
Available online May 12, 2020

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.

A link to a preprint is here, or download one of 50 free copies from JORS here.

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On arXiv: New Technical Report on Maximum A-Posteriori (MAP) Clustering via mixed-Integer Nonlinear Optimization
Published on April 1, 2020 (No Fooling!)

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.

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Policy Article at Friends of Europe Think Tank
Published on March 26, 2020

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.

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Annie™ MOORE Video
Published on February 20, 2020

Here is a short video explaining the highlights of our refugee resettlement software tool Annie™ MOORE. More info at our refugees.ai website.

Watch here!

Coverage in Forbes Magazine
Published on January 16, 2020

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.

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PhD Student Shima Azizi Passes Qualifying Exam!
Published on December 13, 2019

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.

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OR Seminar: Placement Optimization in Refugee Resettlement with Andrew C. Trapp
Published on November 27, 2019

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!

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Tool to Recommend Improvements to US Asylum Process
Published on November 27, 2019

National Public Radio (90.9 WBUR) had a short feature on my research on using predictive analytics, queueing theory and optimization to improve the asylum process at the US Southern border.


Fabulous Talk on Refugee Resettlement Optimization in Our UMass Amherst INFORMS Speaker Series
Published on September 30, 2019

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.

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Lightning Talk at WPI Arts & Sciences Week 2019
Published on September 16, 2019

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!

Andrew Trapp: Conversation with the President
Published on September 13, 2019

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.

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ISN2: Disrupting Human Trafficking via Needs Matching and Capacity Expansion
Jan. 2020 through Dec. 2022

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-1935602

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Optimizing Placement of Residential Shelters for Human Trafficking Survivors
Available online August 3, 2019

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.

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Matching Problems in Refugee Resettlement
Aug. 2019 through Aug. 2020

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,"

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A Global Optimization Algorithm for Sparse Mixed Membership Matrix Factorization
First online July 09, 2019

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.

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METU Seminar: Placement Optimization in Refugee Resettlement by Andrew C. Trapp
Published on May 24, 2019

I had the privilege of visiting Middle Eastern Technical University (METU) and giving a seminar to their IE group on refugee resettlement research, joint with colleagues Narges Ahani, Alex Teytelboym, Tommy Andersson, and Alessandro Martinello. Thanks to Sakine Batun for the invitation!

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How Technology Could Revolutionize Refugee Resettlement
April 26, 2019

The Atlantic covered our research on using integer optimization and machine learning to improve refugee resettlement

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EAGER: ISN: A Data Analytic Approach to Understanding Human Trafficking Networks
Aug. 2018 through Aug. 2019

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-1841893

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Enriching Solutions to Combinatorial Problems via Solution Engineering
2019

T. Petit, A. C. Trapp, "Enriching Solutions to Combinatorial Problems via Solution Engineering" published online, INFORMS Journal on Computing, 2019

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Identifying Fixations in Gaze Data via Inner-Density and Optimization
Published on April 26, 2019

A. C. Trapp, W. Liu, S. Djamasbi, "Identifying Fixations in Gaze Data via Inner-Density and Optimization" published online, INFORMS Journal on Computing, 2019.

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Detecting Task Demand via an Eye Tracking Machine Learning System
Published on Decision Support Systems Volume 116,January 2019, Pages 91-101

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.

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Refugee Resettlement via Machine Learning and Integer Optimization
Keynote Presentation and Paper for OR60 Annual Conference, Lancaster, UK, 2018

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.

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Overcoming human trafficking via operations research and analytics: Opportunities for methods, models, and applications
European Journal of Operational Research Volume 259, Issue 2, 1 June 2017, Pages 733-745

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.

Derivative works of the above article include:
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Created By: Minkun Liu
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