What type of research do you do?

I lead research in mathematical optimization. This often takes the form of mathematical modeling along with other complementary methodologies including predictive analytics, algorithms, statistical inference, and matching theory to effectively allocate scarce resources. These methodologies are primarily applied to improving the efficiency of systems for vulnerable populations, such as refugees, survivors of human trafficking, and foster children.

What do you look for in those you supervise?

In general, here are some factors that I take into account, when considering candidates to work under my supervision:

• Excellent background in mathematics: linear algebra, and discrete mathematics
• Excellent background in programming experience, algorithms and data structures
• Mature, independent, responsible and dependable character
• Ability to work with others, especially experience in leadership roles
• Strong alignment with my research interests (and so my advising capabilities)
• GPA, transcripts, and (possibly) GRE and TOEFL scores are also important factors

Are you accepting undergraduate students for research related work?

Yes, I am always open to undergraduate students, provided they have complementary quantitative skill sets to those listed above. Some engagement opportunities include MQP experiences for WPI undergrads (I advise industrial engineering, mathematical sciences, data science, and management engineering with operations concentrations), as well as NSF REU support for US Nationals. I am also mentoring other students on a case by case basis, depending on their skill sets and interests, and opportunities (e.g. independent study, IQP).

Are you accepting graduate students?

I am always keeping an eye out for sharp, up-and-coming graduate students, that are looking for additional exposure to cutting-edge analytics, such as mathematical modeling and optimization, prescriptive analytics, predictive analytics, and related methods, and even more those that deeply resonate with the mission of using these technologies to improve vulnerable populations. At the same time, funding and advising capacity is limited. So there needs to be an excellent potential fit. The better you can express this fit, the better the chance of finding a possible opportunity.

Are you accepting postdocs?

At the moment no, but I may soon be(!), pending response to proposals. So check back soon if that's you.

How soon will you reply?

In most cases, I am fairly responsive. Though there can be exceptions, I generally try to be in touch within 24-48 hours.

What are your collaboration expectations?

Great question! That depends on the collaboration. Typically those that work with me end up doing some combination of investigating interesting research questions in the literature, carrying out mathematical modeling, computationally implementing developed models in code (typically but not always Python), interpreting and visualizing results, and likely writing about any and all of the above.

What is your favorite part of teaching or research?

Definitely intense collaborations to overcome difficult research challenges with other researchers.

How to get in touch?

You can reach out to me via email, LinkedIn, or stop by in person, if you're in the area (though in general it's a good idea to agree upon a time to meet in advance).

Created By: Minkun Liu
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