Andrew Schaefer

Noah Harding Chair and Professor

Dr. Schaefer received his Ph.D. in Industrial and Systems Engineering from Georgia Tech in 2000. Prior to joining Rice, he was on the faculty in the Department of Industrial Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh for 15 years. His research interests include stochastic integer programming, optimization in organ allocation, optimal cancer therapies, and healthcare systems. He has supervised 16 PhD students, 8 of whom are Industrial Engineering faculty. He is the recipient of Institute of Industrial Systems Engineers (IISE) Outstanding Young IE award, and the IISE Transactions Best Paper Award (twice). He currently serves as the Department Editor of IISE Transactions, and the program co-chair of 2019 IISE Conference.

Ilya Hicks


Dr. Hicks received his Ph.D. in Computational and Applied Mathematics from Rice University in 2000. Prior to joining Rice in 2007, he was on the faculty of Department of Industrial & Systems Engineering at Texas A&M University. His research interests include combinatorial optimization, integer programming, graph theory and matroid theory. Some applications of interest are social networks, cancer treatment and network design. His current research is focused on using graph decomposition techniques to solve NP-complete problems. Dr. Hicks is the recipient of 2005 Optimization Prize for Young Researchers by the Optimization Society of INFORMS, 2010 INFORMS Forum Moving Spirit Award, and 2015 Presidential Mentoring Award at Rice University.

Patricia DeLucia


Dr. DeLucia received her Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from Columbia University in 1989, followed by a National Research Council postdoctoral associateship at Wright Patterson Air Force Base. Prior to joining Rice University in 2018, she was on the faculty at Texas Tech University for 27 years, where she developed an internationally renowned graduate program in Human Factors Psychology and served as an Associate Vice President for Research. Her research focuses on visual perception of 3D space and collisions, and multisensory integration, and aims to improve safety in driving and health care. She is the recipient of the Human Factors and Ergonomic Society’s Paul M. Fitts Education Award, and the American Psychological Association Division 21’s Franklin V. Taylor Award for Outstanding Contributions in the Field of Applied Experimental and Engineering Psychology. She currently serves as Editor in Chief of the journal Human Factors.

Richard Tapia

University Professor, Maxfield-Oshman Professor in Engineering

Dr. Tapia received his Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of California – Los Angeles. He is internationally known for his research in the computational and mathematical sciences and is a national leader in education and outreach programs. Dr. Tapia’s major research contributions have been in the area of computational optimization, both linear and nonlinear programming, where he pioneered the exploration and settlement of the important computational methods in numerical optimization known as primal-dual interior point methods. Tapia has authored two books and more than 100 research papers.  Dr. Tapia’s honors include election to the National Academy of Engineering for his seminal work in interior point methods, being the first recipient of the A. Nico Habermann Award from the Computing Research Association for outstanding contributions in aiding members of underrepresented groups within the computing community, the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring, the Lifetime Mentor Award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science among others. Dr. Tapia was also named one of 20 most influential leaders in minority math education by the National Research Council and received the National Medal of Science, the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on scientists and engineers.

Yin Zhang


Dr. Zhang received his Ph.D. in applied mathematics from SUNY at Stony Brook. His research focuses on computational optimization, optimization algorithms and applications in image, signal and data processing, compressive sensing, and computational medicine. Dr. Zhang has over 85 publications in refereed journals and won numerous awards for his research & teaching including the Charles Broyden Prize by the Journal of Optimization Methods, INFORMS Computing Society (ICS) Prize for Research Excellence in the Interface Between Operations Research and Computer Science, and Rice University Presidential Award for Mentoring. Dr. Zhang currently serves as the associate editor for the Journal of Mathematical Programming Computation.

Philip Ernst

Associate Professor

Dr. Ernst received his Ph.D. in statistics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 2014, and joined the Rice faculty that same year. He is an editor for Communications on Stochastic Analysis, an associate editor for Stochastics, and an associate editor for Statistics and Probability Letters. His research focuses on applied probability, exact distribution theory, stochastic control, mathematical finance, optimal stopping, and statistical inference for stochastic processes. Dr. Ernst has numerous teaching awards including the Rice Engineering Research and Teaching Excellence Award, Nicolas Salgo Distinguished Teacher Award, Sophia Meyer Farb Prize for Teaching, and Graduate Student Association Teaching/Mentoring Award. In 2018, Ernst was honored with the 2018 Tweedie New Researcher Award from the Institute of Mathematical Statistics. In that same year, Ernst also received the prestigious Army Research (ARO) Young Investigator Award.

Philip Kortum

Associate Professor

Dr. Kortum received his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin in 1994 and his Masters in Industrial Engineering from Northeastern University in 1990. His primary interests are in the research and development of highly usable systems in the medical, voting, and mobile computing domains and in the characterization of measures of usability and usable systems. Prior to joining Rice University, he worked for over 15 years in the defense and telecommunications industry, where he researched and helped field award-winning user-centered systems. He currently holds 53 patents, with contributions in hardware design, image quality and user interfaces. He is a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors and a Fellow of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society.

John A. Dobelman

Professor in the Practice

Dr. Dobelman received his Ph.D. in Statistics from Rice University in 2004. He has over 25 years of industry experience. His expertise areas are in stochastic modeling for markets and finance, simulation-based portfolio selection, deception in patterns of noise, and optimal display of quantitative information.

Eylem Tekin


Dr. Tekin received her Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering and Management Sciences from Northwestern University in 2003. Prior to joining Rice, she taught at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Texas A&M University, and University of Houston. Her expertise areas are in supply chain management, manufacturing and applied probability. Dr. Tekin is a recipient of numerous teaching excellence awards.