The Michigan Engineer News Center

Viswanath Nagarajan receives NSF funding for research in combinatorial optimization

U-M IOE assistant professor, Viswanath Nagarajan, has received NSF funding for further research on decision-making under uncertainty.| Short Read

Viswanath Nagarajan, U-M Industrial and Operations Engineering (IOE) assistant professor, has received funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to continue pursuing fundamental research in combinatorial optimization. Nagarajan is the U-M principal investigator on the project and is collaborating with Anupam Gupta, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU).

The project will study stochastic versions of fundamental and practically relevant problems in scheduling, vehicle routing and resource allocation. 

“Decision-making under uncertainty has gained much momentum in recent years. This is in part due to numerous applications, such as transportation and electronic commerce, and partly because of the vast amounts of data that allow for predictions about the future,” said Nagarajan.  “Recent events such as the global pandemic have only accentuated the need for strong decision-making principles under uncertain conditions, making this research all the more pertinent to the modern world.”

"Recent events such as the global pandemic have only accentuated the need for strong decision-making principles under uncertain conditions, making this research all the more pertinent to the modern world."Viswanath Nagarajan, Assistant Professor, U-M Industrial & Operations Engineering

The NSF supports funding for most fields of engineering and science and accounts for about a quarter of all federal research funding at academic institutions. 

“It feels great to receive NSF funding to pursue fundamental research in combinatorial optimization,” said Nagarajan. “This project will help support a graduate student and it also allows me to collaborate with a colleague from CMU.”

Viswanath Nagarajan joined U-M IOE in 2014. His research focuses on the design and analysis of algorithms for combinatorial optimization problems. In particular, he works in the area of approximation algorithms. Application areas of interest include routing, location and scheduling.

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