Angelia Nedić nominated for IEEE CSS BOD, and IEEE liaison to INFORMS
CSL Professor Angelia Nedić has been doubly honored by the IEEE CSS (Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers Control Systems Society).
She was asked to serve on the IEEE CSS Board of Governors alongside some of the most impressive professionals in her field. She is also now the IEEE CSS liaison to INFORMS (The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences), acting as a sort of ambassador to strengthen relations between the two important institutes with overlapping concerns.
Nedić, an Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering (ISE) associate professor and Donald Biggar Willett Scholar, was always interested in math. She describes mathematics as a landscape for endless exploration. Over the course of her studies, her explorations led her toward the realm of optimization and operations research. Here, she found, complex mathematics could make the leap from pure abstraction to application, application in all the domains of industrial engineering. She accomplishes this through collaboration, she says, and she collaborates a lot.
“A lot,” she chuckles, “sometimes too much.”
During her decade at ISE, Nedić has seen her area of specialty continue to grow and flourish, and her research with it. She holds an office at CSL as well as at ISE. She is closely involved with Illinois' annual Allerton Conference on Communication, Control, and Computing.
The Allerton conference, she explains, beyond being one of the longest-running and most prestigious conferences in the systems area, is somewhat special to her because Illinois researchers may not present there, though it’s their home field; this conference is where Illinois researchers listen to what their peers are doing.
As a member of the IEEE CSS Board of Governors, Nedić will help develop its internal structure, refine its system of conferences and awards, guide the overall community, and inspire its scientific agenda. “When I saw who else was on the board,” she says, “I became very excited. They were people I very much respect, whose work I have known for a number of years.”
Nedić describes optimization as being at the center of numerous disciplines. As liaison between IEEE and INFORMS, she explains, she will be a bridge between the control systems community and the optimization community. IEEE has been nurturing this relationship for a long time, and it's now Nedić’s turn to keep the connection vital. She will manage this, for example, “by organizing sessions at conferences, and inviting people from the operations research community.”
Also in 2015, she received one of two Best Paper Awards at the 13th International Symposium on Modeling and Optimization in Mobile, Ad Hoc and Wireless Networks (WiOpt 2015), IIT Bombay (jointly with Post-doctorate Research Associate Kobi Cohen and Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Rayadurgam Srikant). This award, she says, is different from other best paper awards, because the pool of papers from which the winners are drawn include all papers presented at the conference, not just those specially nominated, and the scores are based on peer reviews rather than a more limited judging. Nedić continues to collaborate with Srikant.
When asked about the future of her research, she offers two domains of concern: scale and dynamics.
“Technology drives the future, so it can be hard to guess where it’s going to go. But currently we have multiple domains where the core problem we face is expanding scale. The number of items involved are huge, and they are not all of the same kind.... Because these systems are not static, they change over time, and one must deal with dynamic models. We used to think of problems as static. But now we understand that, when you have solved the problem, it will have changed. So we must take dynamics into account. So time—dynamics—and size—allocating resources meaningfully—are currently two dimensions of concern.”