Professor Alexander Stolyar to join ISE faculty

Emily Scott

Alexander “Sasha” Stolyar will join the Department of Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering faculty as a Grainger Engineering Breakthroughs Initiative founder professor in January 2017.

Stolyar is one of the world’s top queueing theorists, specializing in analysis and control of stochastic networks. One of his fundamental theoretical contributions to the field is the introduction of the fluid limit technique for establishing the stochastic stability of queueing networks. This method has become a powerful tool in the stochastic networks theory.

Another of Stolvar's important contributions is the pioneering study of the MaxWeight scheduling algorithm in the heavy-traffic asymptotic regime. This work received the 2002-2004 Best Publication Award from the INFORMS Applied Probability Society.

Stolyar’s work has also made significant industrial impact, especially during his 16 years at Bell Labs Mathematical Sciences Research Center. He is an author of over 20 patents, with many solutions and algorithms implemented in real systems.

He is currently the Timothy J. Wilmott endowed chair professor in the department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Lehigh University.

Stolyar’s current research is primarily motivated by the problems arising in big data processing and cloud computing.

“Cloud systems [become] my main motivation about 4 or 5 years ago. It happened very naturally, because these system are of great practical interest and at the same time are rich sources of new models and problems in stochastic networks,” he says. “I also continue to be interested in other application areas, such as wireless communications and call/contact centers.”

He says he is looking forward to joining the faculty at Illinois, where he has common research interests with many faculty members, both in ISE and in other departments.

“I’m very much looking forward to interacting with them,” Stolyar says. “I’m really excited about joining the university, a legendary place where a lot of great research and innovation is happening.” 

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