Modeling Uncertainty in Decision Making
Richard Lu, a second year undergraduate student in the Stewart School of Industrial & Systems Engineering (ISyE), is going beyond his required IE coursework, and tackling real world problems through undergraduate research.
“I wanted to take my learning and push boundaries, finding where IE concepts can be applied in various areas and discovering novel concepts,” said Lu.
Lu’s research deals with the effect of uncertainty in econometrics. Simply put, he is studying how people model uncertainty in certain circumstances and how they use these models to make decisions. Though it is still in the early stages, he hopes this research will eventually help provide a better way to constrain or model uncertainty to the point that its negative effects can be mitigated and its potentially positive effects expanded.
“A more specific example of this research would be the modeling of uncertainty in inventory theory. In incorporating multiple sources of uncertainty such as economic cycles and supply relations, one may be able to make better educated decisions on inventory like forward buying and safety stock,” Lu explained.
Through his research, Lu has learned a great deal about designing experiments, problem construction, and effective communication. He has also had the opportunity to learn from ISyE graduate students and faculty members. Last summer he worked with Professor Jan Shi, and this summer he plans to work with Professor JC Lu.
“By working with research teams and learning under the mentorship of professors, I now have a better understanding of what it means to communicate one's findings. It does help with class along the general concepts of time management and communication. Additionally, it's awesome to see how class concepts can be explored and applied!” said Lu.
Lu, who expects to graduate in the spring of 2014, plans to continue his research throughout the summer and possibly fall, while applying to graduate Ph.D. programs.
“I would very much like to delve deeper into these concepts!”
Lu was recognized for his work at the annual ISyE Undergraduate Student Awards Ceremony on April 18, receiving the COE Outstanding Undergraduate Research Award which is organized by the Undergraduate Student Research Program.