Letter by Alexandra M. Newman, PhD ‘98

Alexandra Newman

Dear Alums and Friends,

As a Cal alum whose life was profoundly shaped by our alma mater, I am writing to you today to ask you to join me in giving back to Berkeley IEOR, a place where I truly feel I was a part of something extraordinary. 

It was at Berkeley IEOR that I discovered my passion for linear programming where I was surrounded by peers whose curiosity and support fostered an academic environment of deep exploration and a shared drive to collaborate, delve into the complexities of optimization problems, and unearth innovative and creative solutions.

At Berkeley IEOR, my professors connected theory to practice, bridging the gap between abstract concepts and practical implications so that I could understand how my studies directly influence my community, society, and the world. My professors instilled a rigorous academic standard that motivated me and revealed the mathematical elegance, creativity, and richness inherent in operations research.

In my first two years as a Berkeley IEOR PhD student, I received a fellowship that allowed me to dedicate myself entirely to my studies. I cannot overstate how much this impacted my time at Berkeley. Without financial stress and the psychological burden of debt, I eagerly embraced and immersed myself in my academic pursuits.

Following my second year, my advisor, Professor Candi Yano, was dedicated to seeking funding opportunities on my behalf. I will always remember and be profoundly grateful to Candi for her belief in my abilities, generosity, and dedication to ensuring I could reach my full potential as a student. 

I have had the privilege of becoming a professor and the director of the operations research graduate program at the Colorado School of Mines, where, among other optimization courses, I teach linear programming – the very subject that captivated me during my years as a PhD student. My journey has led to a fulfilling career marked by research collaboration, writing, publishing, teaching, and the opportunity to mentor my own students so that they can also achieve their professional goals.

Now, on the ten-year anniversary of Big Give, I am excited to give back to Berkeley IEOR, and I ask that you join me in helping strengthen this department.

By donating, we are continuing the legacy of support that characterizes the Berkeley community. Every fellowship funded, every research project supported, and every resource provided helps mold future leaders and shape the landscape of tomorrow. Let's join hands in giving back to a place that has given us so much, ensuring that Berkeley IEOR continues to be a beacon of excellence and opportunity for generations to come.

Thank you for considering this request to support our alma mater. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of many promising students, just like someone once did for us.


Fiat Lux and Go Bears!



Alexandra M. Newman, PhD ‘98

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