John Birge, the Jerry W. and Carol Lee Levin Professor of Operations Management at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, has been elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering for his contributions to the theory of optimization under uncertainty. Election to the NAE is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer. He is the first member of the Chicago Booth faculty to receive membership in the group.
Academy membership honors those who have made outstanding contributions to "engineering research, practice, or education, including, where appropriate, significant contributions to engineering literature," according to an announcement from the NAE on February 8. The honor also recognizes researchers involved in "pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of engineering, or developing and implementing innovative approaches to engineering education."
Birge joined the Chicago Booth faculty in 2004 after serving as dean of the Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science at Northwestern University. At Booth he teaches a course in revenue management and leads a workshop in operations management and management science.
Birge studies mathematical modeling of systems under uncertainty, especially for maximizing operational and financial goals using the methodologies of stochastic programming and large-scale optimization. He is the author of the book Introduction to Stochastic Programming (with F.V. Louveaux), and has published more than 70 research papers in leading academic journals.
His research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Ford Motor Company, General Motors Corporation, the National Institute of Justice, the Office of Naval Research, the Electric Power Research Institute, and Volkswagen of America.
Birge is the recipient of the Best Paper Award from the Japan Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, the Fellows Award from the Institute for Operations Research and Management Sciences, and the Medallion Award from the Institute of Industrial Engineers.
He received a Ph.D. and a master's degree in operations research from Stanford University, and a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Princeton.