Summer School on Decision Making in Large Systems

Sunday, June 24, 2018 - 22:00

Summer School on Decision Making in Large Systems 

Funded by the National Science Foundation

Principal Investigator

 Ali Abbas - Director of the Neely Center, University of Southern California

Ali E. Abbas is Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering and Professor of Public Policy at the University of Southern California and a leading authority in the field of decision and risk analysis. Read More.


Venue: University of Southern California

Date: June 24th – 29th, 2018

The University of Southern California's Neely Center, with funding support from the National Science Foundation, will be hosting a six-day Summer School in June 2018 that will introduce graduate students to the foundations of decision making in large systems.

This summer school is developed in direct response to needs expressed through various NSF-sponsored workshops. The school will provide an intensive and interactive educational experience to graduate students who are interested in studying decision making in the context of engineering design and systems engineering. It is specifically intended to provide educational opportunities for students from graduate programs that do not have appropriate coursework in this area. The summer school will cover theoretical and practical issues. It will provide students with foundational understanding about how to conduct research in decision making in design and systems engineering; create a network of peers who are studying these issues, and advance community research standards.

Objectives of the Summer School

  1. To provide graduate students with the foundations needed to enable them to conduct formal research in decision making.
  2. To provide online resources through a web site that will compile a list of papers, references, and lecture material for graduate students around the nation.
  3. To develop a cohort and a network of graduate students exposed to formal decision making methods in systems engineering and design.
  4. To provide graduate students with the opportunity to meet with other academics and industry experts.

Topics covered include

  • Characterizing uncertainty in a systems engineering and design environment
  • Building Preference – Value – Utility models for systems engineering and design
  • Introducing the basic axioms of decision making, and methods to analyze flawed methods of decision making
  • Research methodologies for decision making in systems engineering and design
  • Future research directions
  • Practical applications of decision making in systems engineering featuring guest speakers from industry and academia


Sarah Al-Hussaini - University of Southern California

Sarah is currently pursuing the Ph.D. degree in Computer Science, University of Southern California. Her current research interest is physics-aware decision-making for autonomous multi-agent systems operating in large-scale unknown environment.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

 Hanan Al-Awadhi - University of Michigan

Hanan is pursuing a Master’s degree in industrial and operations engineering with concentration in healthcare engineering and patient safety. Her research interests focus on informed healthcare policy-making, in particular policies related to healthcare technologies, regulations and safety in healthcare.                                                                                             

Zachary Ball - University at Buffalo

Zachary is a Ph.D. Candidate in Mechanical Engineering. His primary research focuses on mass collaboration and concurrent engineering within the product development process.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

 Anton van Beek - Northwestern University

Anton is a Ph.D. student in the Department of the Mechanical Engineering at Northwestern University where he is a member of the Intelligent Design Automation Laboratory. In his work he explores the intersection of mechanical engineering with data science to improve resource allocation in multifidelity, multidiscipline design optimization.                                                                          

Seyedeh Elaheh Ghiasian - University at Buffalo

Elaheh is a Ph.D. student of mechanical engineering (design and optimization). In her current research, she focuses on design for additive manufacturing, and optimization of systems engineering.       


Charlie DeStefano - University of Arkansas

Charlie is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Arkansas. His current research efforts are primarily in the areas of decision theory, failure analysis, and machine learning, with a focus on making complex systems more adaptable to failures.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
Kenton Blane Fillingim - Georgia Institute of Technology

Blane Fillingim is currently a graduate research assistant at the Georgia Institute of Technology pursuing a PhD in mechanical engineering. His research focuses on understanding how designers employ design heuristics in hopes of improving decision making during early concept development.                                                                                                                                                       

Jason Gregory - University of Southern California

Jason is a Ph.D. student in Computer Science. His current research interests include resilient, physics-aware decision making for single- and multi-robot systems operating in complex, real-world environments.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Josh Gyory - Carnegie Mellon University

Josh is a 2nd year Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. He is interested in the intersection of mechanical engineering and psychology as they pertain to the cognitive basis of engineering design theory and methodology.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

 Bat-Zion Hose - University of Wisconsin-Madison

Bat-Zion "Betsy" is a second year Ph.D student in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is interested in health IT design; in particular, considering human factors engineering design implications for information flow and coordination interdependence as it applies to the diagnostic process.                                                                                                                                               

Seunghan Lee - University of Arizona

Seunghan is a Ph.D. candidate in Systems and Industrial Engineering Department at University of Arizona. His research interests are modeling and analysis of a hierarchical decision-making process in social networks based on simulation and optimization.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Rishi Malhan - University of Southern California

Rishi is a graduate research assistant working at the Center for Advanced Manufacturing at USC. His work focuses around motion planning, numerical optimization, and machine learning applied to automation of manufacturing processes.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

 Edwin Ordoukhanian - University of Southern California

Edwin Ordoukhanian is a Ph.D. Candidate specializing in Systems Architecting and Engineering (SAE). His research interests include Model-Based Systems Engineering, Resilient System-of-Systems, Trade-off Analysis, Complex Systems, and Human-Systems Integration.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

 Varunsware Panyam - Texas A&M University

Varuneswara is a Ph.D. student in mechanical engineering is a PhD student in Mechanical Engineering. His current research involves designing, developing, and analyzing Bio-Inspired Human Systems.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Laxmi Prasad Poudel - University of Arkansas

Laxmi is a Ph.D. student in Department of Mechanical Engineering at University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. His research interests are Complex Systems Design, Robotics and Machine Learning.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Sita Marie Syal - Stanford University

Sita is currently a Ph.D. student in Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University.  For her research, Sita is planning to study the human-driven costs of renewable energy technologies and how people make decisions about their energy choices.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Hannah Walsh - Oregon State University

Hannah Walsh is a Ph.D. student in Mechanical Engineering at Oregon State University. Her research interests include model-based design, system analysis & engineering, design optimization, risk and reliability based design, and network theory and analysis.                                                                                                                                                                                                          

 Zhiheng Wang - University of Southern California

Zhiheng is a Ph.D. student in Civil Engineering. His field of research is in the area of uncertainty quantification with his current work focussing on the development of a stochastic wave model.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

 Yeo Jung Yoon - University of Southern California

Yeo Jung is currently a Ph.D. student in aerospace and mechanical engineering. Her research interests are in robotics, 3D printing, decision-making, manufacturing and automation.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Amineh Zadbood - Stevens Institute of Technology

Amineh is a second-year Ph.D. student under the advisement of Dr. Steven Hoffenson. Her research focuses on exploring new ways to improve decision-based design and design for markets systems analysis with interdisciplinary systems modeling approaches to design more sustainable products and systems.                                                                                                                                                                        

Maximilian Zellner - University of Southern California

Max is a Ph.D. student in Industrial and Systems Engineering with an emphasis on Decision Analysis. His research focuses on the value of information, the game theoretic design of incentives, and decision making in complex systems.