Student Bios

Rui Chen

Research area: Discrete optimization and optimization under uncertainty.


Rui’s research focuses on developing algorithms for stochastic programs and exploiting polyhedral structures of certain combinatorial problems to solve optimization problems. He is also interested in all optimization problems arising in scientific and engineering problems. He works with Jim Luedtke.

Silvia Di Gregorio

Area of research: Discrete optimization

Silvia works on binary polynomial optimization, where the goal is to optimize a general polynomial function over all binary points. Specifically, she studies the structural properties of the problem, in order to define new cutting planes or devise direct algorithms to solve the instances.

Eric DuBuois

Davis Gilton

Research Area: Optimization and data-efficient machine learning

Davis Gilton is a PhD student in Electrical and Computer Engineering studying with Dr. Rebecca Willett. His interests lie in data-efficient machine learning for computational imaging, inverse problems, and remote sensing.

Suzan Iloglu

Suzan Iloglu is a Ph.D. candidate in the Industrial and Systems Engineering Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She will be a postdoctoral researcher at Yale University starting in September 2019.  She holds MS degrees in Mathematics and Industrial and Systems Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research interests lie in the broad area of applying deterministic, and stochastic optimization methods, and game theory tools to decision-making problems. Her primary application area is improving the resiliency of disaster recovery operations for interdependent infrastructure systems.  She is the founder of the INFORMS UW-Madison Student Chapter and served as the president between 2015-2017.

Shengli (Bruce) Jiang

Shengli (Bruce) Jiang

Shengli (Bruce) Jiang, a PhD student in Prof. Zavala’s lab, specialized in the machine learning application in engineering. His projects include computer vision, spatiotemporal analysis and graph neural networks.

Rohit Kannan

Research Area: Designing and analyzing algorithms for optimization under uncertainty and deterministic global optimization with applications to energy systems.

Rohit received his Bachelors in Chemical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras in 2012, and his Master’s and PhD in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2018. Since January 2018, he has been a postdoc with Jim Luedtke at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery where he has been designing and analyzing algorithms for stochastic optimization as part of the MACSER project.


Mina Karzand

Blake Mason

Research Area: Active learning and metric learning to analyze human generated data.

Blake Mason grew up in the Bay Area in Northern California and did a Bachelors of Science in Electrical Engineering at the University of Southern California. He is a Ph.D. student in Electrical and Computer Engineering. Beyond his studies, he is a published poet, choral vocalist, and coffee enthusiast.

Urvashi Oswal

Research Areas: Machine learning, Active search, Bandits, Signal Processing


Urvashi is a PhD candidate in the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she works with Prof. Robert Nowak. Her research focuses on developing machine learning theory and algorithms. She received the BE degree in Electronics Engineering from University of Pune, India in 2012 and the MS degree in Electrical Engineering from University of Wisconsin-Madison in May 2014.

Rahul Parhi

Rahul Parhi grew up in Minnesota and is currently a Ph.D. student in the Electrical and Computer Engineering department. His interests lie in theoretical machine learning. Before coming to Madison, he completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities where he received a B.S. in Mathematics, a B.S. in Computer Science, and a minor in Physics.

Harrison Rosenburg

Harrison Rosenberg is a Ph.D. student in the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Wisconsin—Madison.  His primary research area is fairness in machine learning.  Harrison holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences from the University of California, Berkeley.

Adam Schmidt

Adam is a second year graduate student in the Industrial and Systems Engineering department with a focus area in decision science and operations research. A part of Dr. Laura Albert’s lab, he researches optimization models and methods in application areas related to cybersecurity, smart cities, and healthcare.

Jiajie Shen

Research Area: Machine Learning and Data Science.

Jiajie is now a graduate student in WID working with Professor Michael Ferris. His area of research is in numerical optimization. He is a graduate student in Industrial and System Engineering in UW-Madison. Prior to joining UW-Madison, he got my bachelor degree in Mathematics in Shanghai Jiaotong University, China. His current research interest is modeling and distributed algorithm design in game theory problem with application in power system markets, communication networks and machine learning.

Akhil Sundararajan

Research Area: Distributed optimization, first-order methods, robust control

Akhil Sundararajan is a PhD student in Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and works with Prof. Laurent Lessard.  He received his undergraduate degree in EECS from the University of California, Berkeley.  His research interests are at the intersection of control theory and optimization. Specifically, he studies the analysis and design of distributed optimization algorithms.

Sungho Shin

Research Area: Spatiotemporal data analysis.

Sungho is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He received his B.S. in mathematics and chemical engineering at Seoul National University. He was a Givens Associate at the Mathematics and Computer Science Division at Argonne National Laboratory (2018 Summer). His research interests include model predictive control, large-scale optimization algorithms, and spatiotemporal data analysis. Link to his personal website:

Scott Sievert

Research Area: Accurate and efficient searches for active learning.

Scott grew up in Minnesota and enjoys skiing and cycling. He attended the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities for his bachelors and is currently a Ph.D. student in Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Alexander Smith

Alex obtained his Bachelors in Chemical Engineering in 2008. After graduating he worked for five years as a process and research engineer at Eli Lilly and Co. He then entered the Chemical Engineering PhD program at UW Madison in 2017. His work is primarily focused on the application and development of machine learning and data science techniques for solving complex chemical engineering problems such as the analysis of large catalysis datasets and spatio temporal experimental data.

Ardhendu Tripathy

Veronica White

Research Area: Policy Modeling and Simulation.

Veronica is a third year PhD student in the Industrial and Systems engineering department at UW-Madison. She received her BS in Industrial Engineering from Iowa State University and MS from UW-Madison. Her current work is using operations research tools to understand the opioid crisis in the Dane county area and she is working closely with the MPD and the UW Family Medicine and Community Health department. She is also a research assistant for the Center for Health Enhancements and Systems Studies (CHESS) and is an active member of both UW-Madison’s student chapters of INFORMS and Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honors Society.

Bryan Van Scoy

Research Area: Distributed optimization and robust control.

Bryan Van Scoy is a postdoc at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery working with Laurent Lessard. He received the Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from Northwestern University in 2017, and B.S. and M.S. degrees in Applied Mathematics along with a B.S.E. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Akron in 2012. His research interests include studying distributed algorithms for multi-agent systems and using tools from robust control to analysis and design optimization algorithms.

Haoran Zhu

Research Area: Mixed integer optimization, polyhedral theory and combinatorics.

Haoran is an undergraduate from the Mathematics department, Nanjing University, China.

Yinglun Zhu

Research Area: Sequential decision making and statistical learning theory.

Yinglun is a Ph.D. student in Computer Science, working with Professor Robert Nowak. His research focus on how to actively acquire information and make decisions. Outside of research, he enjoys running and hiking.