Announcing the Recipients of the Cliff Applied Research Grant

The Department of Industrial Engineering & Operations Research is pleased to announce that Professors Anil Aswani and Candace Yano will be the recipients of the 2021 Cliff Applied Research Grant. The purpose of the grant program is to support IEOR faculty to conduct applied research focused on impact in society or industry. Professor Aswani’s project will develop methods to engineer fair decision-making models in medical intensive care units (ICUs). Professor Yano’s project will develop models of the mental health system in the local region to gain a holistic understanding of the capacity needs for different types of mental health facilities and services.

Professors Candace Yano and Anil Aswani are the 2021 Cliff Applied Research Grant recipients

Professor Aswani’s project, titled “Fair Decision Making in Intensive Care Units,” will address the emerging issue of bias in algorithms. There is growing awareness of bias in algorithms that make predictions that perpetuate discrimination that was present in the data used to build the algorithm. The project will seek to develop fair models for healthcare tasks such as when to escalate or de-escalate the level of care or how to allocate ventilator resources. 

Professor Yano’s project, titled “Modeling and Improving Operations of Regional Mental Health Services,” seeks to better understand how mentally ill individuals flow through various institutions within the local region, such as the criminal justice system and emergency mental health services. The intention is to take a holistic view of how all these systems interact in order to develop a model to aid in understanding, for example, how many beds are needed in secure psychiatric care facilities or how much capacity is needed in psychiatric emergency facilities, to effectively and efficiently provide the necessary services to achieve better mental health outcomes. 

The Cliff Applied Research Grants were made possible by a generous donation from IEOR alum and advisory board member Dr. Robert “Bob” Cliff (BS ‘66, Ph.D. ‘71 IEOR) with the goal of enabling IEOR faculty to conduct research with practical impact in industry, government, and society.

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