Engineering student chapter recognized for member dedication


By Miranda Buckheit

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Penn State student chapter of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) has been recognized with the organization’s second-highest student honor: the Magna Cum Laude award.

INFORMS is the leading international association for operations research and analytics professionals. Operations research and analytics are proven scientific mathematical processes that enable organizations to turn complex challenges into substantial opportunities by transforming data into information and information into insights that save lives, save money and solve problems.

Active student chapters are required to turn in an INFORMS Annual Student Chapter Activity Report every year. In this report, students document their activities, such as communications, special events, initiatives, community service and group operations.

Submissions are rated based on overall impact and reach and awards are given based on four classifications at the annual INFORMS meeting: Summa Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude, Cum Laude and honorable mention.

“This year showcases our upward climb with the INFORMS society,” said Lan Jin, industrial engineering graduate student and 2019-20 Penn State INFORMS student chapter president. “For 2018-19, we received Cum Laude. I think this highlights our members hard work and dedication despite the pandemic.”

The Penn State Student Chapter of INFORMS provides an extension of the national chapter mission by offering a venue for learning, a catalyst for professional advancement and an opportunity for networking with like-minded peers, Jin said.

Student members from business, engineering and science programs can join with faculty to organize seminars and discussion groups about new methods and applications of operations research and management science and analytics.

The chapter also helps connect students with research activities to prepare them to become operations research and management science and analytics professionals.

“My favorite part of the 2019-20 group was that everyone worked together effectively,” Jin said. “I think our events were a great success this year and many students participated in the webinars.”

The most popular events included the hands-on workshops to brush up students’ technical skills and the job webinars to help students connect with alumni, both in academia and industry.

The 2019-20 INFORMS officers include Jin, president; Gabriel Nicolosi, vice president for operations; Yajie Wu, vice president for public affairs; Siqi Zhang, vice president for public affairs; Maryam Zokaeinikoo, vice president for public affairs; Meng Liu, treasurer; and Adam Meyers, secretary.

All of the chapter’s officers are graduate students within the Harold and Inge Marcus Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering (IME). Zokaeinikoo graduated with her doctorate in May 2020 and is now a postdoctoral fellow at the Cleveland Clinic.

Eunhye Song, Harold and Inge Marcus Early Career Assistant Professor, serves as the group’s faculty adviser.

“The INFORMS student chapter at Penn State is continuously evolving,” Song said. “Every year, the student officers work hard to provide useful academic and professional information sessions for IME graduate students. I’m very glad that the chapter’s hard work is recognized nationally and internationally by INFORMS.”


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Megan Lakatos