Industrial engineering graduate student wins poster contest

Manish Bansal, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, won first place in a poster competition at the Mixed Integer Programming (MIP) Workshop in July.

The workshop, held at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and was sponsored by the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, IBM, GUROBI and several other entities. The workshop is by invitation only. 

Bansal works with Dr. Kiavash Kianfar in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering.

“This research involves both theory and its applications in solving real-world problems," Bansal said. "Most of the theoretical parts involve polyhedral study of complex mixed-integer sets, which is then used to solve MIP problems arising in production planning.”

What is most unique about MIP work in this application is that, as Bansal said, “By developing new cutting planes (facets) for some important generalizations of continuous mixing set (a multi-constraint mixed integer set), we can significantly improve the existing algorithms for solving problems such as lot-sizing (production planning), facility location, network design, and probabilistic constrained optimization.

“My goal at this conference wasn’t to win an award, but to meet professionals and mathematicians in this field and share my work with them. I didn’t even expect an award, and was surprised when they announced my name at the end of the conference.”

When asked about the significance of his student’s accomplishment, Kianfar said, “This single-track conference is the most prominent gathering of researchers working on mixed integer programming with the very best invited to give talks and present posters. After passing the first round of screening and getting invited to the conference, Manish’s poster was selected to receive the first prize among more than 20 eligible invited posters, which included posters from the University of California, Berkeley, Georgia Tech, University of Florida, University of Wisconsin, University of Michigan, Rice University, Lehigh University, University of California, Davis, University of Waterloo, Columbia University, Northwestern University, CMU, and several international institutes.”