Sunil Kumar joined the Chicago Booth faculty on January 1, 2011 as Dean and Professor of Operations Management. Since then, Kumar has concentrated on broadening and strengthening the intellectual footprint of the school, including expanding the faculty, supporting increasingly diverse student aspirations, and expanding the reach of the school’s programs, including formulating and executing a careful global strategy. He has also focused on strengthening the school’s ties with its alumni and disseminating the school’s intellectual capital more effectively.
Before joining the Booth faculty, Kumar spent 14 years on the faculty of the Stanford University Graduate School of Business where he was the Fred H. Merrill Professor of Operations, Information and Technology. He also served as senior associate dean for academic affairs, overseeing the school’s MBA program and leading faculty groups in marketing and organizational behavior. While at Stanford, Kumar was awarded the Finmeccanica Faculty Scholarship, was named a Spence Faculty Scholar and received multiple teaching commendations. He also was named Professor of the Year at the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad.
Kumar’s research includes performance evaluation and control of manufacturing systems, service operations, and communications networks. In particular, he studies systems affected by stochastic variability via mathematical models. He also studies application of optimization methods and control theory to managerial problems. Kumar has served as the editor of the Stochastic Models area of the journal Operations Research. He co-developed a widely used factory simulator for teaching operations management. The simulator, “Littlefield Technologies,” has been used in classes at more than 50 business and engineering schools. He also served as an operations consultant to several companies.
Born in India, Kumar received a Master of Engineering degree in computer science and automation from the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore and a Bachelor of Engineering degree from Mangalore University in Surathkal. He earned a PhD in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
2014 - 2015 Course Schedule
||Dynamic Programming/Markov Decision Processes
With A. Bassamboo and R. Randhawa, “Dynamics of New Product Introduction in Closed Rental Systems,” Operations Research (2009).
With N. Collins and J. Bendor, “The Adaptive Dynamics of Turnout,” Journal of Politics (2009).
With K. Muthuraman, “Multidimensional Portfolio Optimization with Proportional Transaction Costs,” Mathematical Finance (2006).
With J. Swaminathan, "Diffusion of Innovations under Supply Constraints," Operations Research (2003).
"Two-server closed networks in heavy traffic: diffusion limits and asymptotic optimality," Annals of Applied Probability (2000).
For a listing of research publications please visit
’s university library listing