Research in the area of Control Systems considers the analysis and design of a wide variety of dynamical systems, with the goal being to attain prespecified stability and performance guarantees. These systems may be nonlinear, stochastic, discrete-event/discrete-state, large-scale, perturbed, and/or hybrid dynamical systems. Applications include communication systems, power systems, robotics, formations of unmanned vehicles, finance systems, environmental engineering, biological systems, and biomedical engineering.
Decision Making & Systems Design
The Decision Making and Systems Design area includes all aspects of helping individuals and organizations make better decisions, as well as design theory and methodology for the development of complex engineering systems. Systems Design involves a very specific class of decisions, i.e., determining how engineering systems should be made and used based on quantitative analysis. The Decision Making and Systems Design research area spans a broad area of emerging problems, including some of society’s most pressing challenges, such as energy sustainability.
Research in Decision Making focuses on framing a decision situation, methods to simplify the elicitation of beliefs and preferences of decision makers in the form of joint probability functions and multiattribute utility functions, methods to aggregate beliefs and preferences of a group of decision makers, behavioral decision making, motivational and cognitive biases, and methods to determine the best decision alternative in numerous situations including medical decision making, environmental decision making, organizational decision making, and mechanism design.
Research in Systems Design aims at solving complex engineering systems problems by identifying and characterizing the fundamentals of engineering systems modeling, design theory and methodology, design automation, design optimization, life cycle and sustainability, complex systems science, and management of engineering systems. Advancements in these areas aids the success of engineers who work with increasingly complex modern engineering systems by enhancing our ability to include system interactions, uncertainty, and dynamics in engineering system design decisions.
Operations Research & Optimization
The faculty involved in Operations Research and Optimization are working in theory and computational methods for formulating and providing efficient methods for solving a wide range of problems requiring an optimal decision-making. Their expertise spans across several areas including decision analysis, supply-chain management, simulation models and simulation-based optimization techniques, mathematical optimization (linear, nonlinear, and convex programming), stochastic optimization, variational inequalities, functional equations, queuing theory, Markov decision processes, multidisciplinary design optimization (MDO) and multi-level, multi-objective optimization. The research interest lies in identifying the appropriate models and then applying optimization techniques to solve numerous real-world problems including financial engineering problems, such as American options valuation and optimal portfolio liquidation, complex system portfolio design, and optimization problems such as those arising in automotive, aerospace, heavy-duty equipment, and consumer electronics.
Stochasticity is present almost everywhere; systems are often intrinsically stochastic (large groups of people) or stochasticity is an appropriate way to model subscale uncertainty. The stochastic systems group has expertise in a range of areas. Our interests include:
- Decision, behavior, control and pricing under uncertainty
- Information measures and communication systems
- Learning and statistical inference
- Stochastic modeling and simulation
- Stochastic optimization, stochastic equilibrium models and algorithms
We offer a variety of courses and research subjects, from practical to theoretical.
Engineering Mechanics is the engineering science that addresses the effects of loads (mechanical, thermal, etc.) on particles, rigid bodies, and deformable media. Mechanics is typically subdivided into statics and dynamics of solids and fluids, and provides essential physical principles towards civil and mechanical systems design. Because the material response to applied loads and failure criteria are complex and essential in engineering design, other specialized topics exist including strength of materials, engineering materials, computer methods/finite element methods, experimental stress analysis, nondestructive testing and evaluation, failure analysis and prevention, theory of elasticity and viscoelasticity, and anisotropic materials/composite materials.
Graduate students interested in pursuing graduate research work in the area of mechanics and design are encouraged to apply to the MS and Ph.D. degrees in Systems and Entrepreneurial Engineering (SEE). Faculty research interests in the area of mechanics and design are diverse and range from nondestructive testing and evaluation of materials and structures, design for inspectability, and design with modern composite materials, to component/systems design optimization. Potential graduate students are also encouraged to contact ISE faculty members to identify research problems of common interest.