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Burer Receives INFORMS Prize for Young Researchers

Sam Burer, an assistant professor in Management Sciences at The University of Iowa's Henry B. Tippie College of Business, has received the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) 2002 Optimization Prize for Young Researchers for his paper on "Semidefinite Programming in the Space of Partial Positive Semidefinite Matrices." Operations Research (OR) and the Management Sciences (MS) are the professional disciplines that deal with the application of information technology for informed decision-making. Operations research aims to provide a rational basis for decision making by seeking to understand and structure complex situations and to use this understanding to predict system behavior and improve system performance.

Burer's research involves the development and computer implementation of algorithms and techniques for optimizing specially structured mathematical problems. While theoretical at this stage, research on such structured mathematical problems can lead to the development of tools that can be used in business, statistics, finance, science and engineering. These tools can help provide solutions to complex decisions (such as determining how to minimize costs or maximize profits) when faced with an extremely large number of options.

The Optimization Prize for Young Researchers was established in 1998 and is administered by the INFORMS' Optimization Section. It is presented annually to one or more researchers who have received their terminal degree within the last five years. The award is given for an outstanding paper in optimization that is submitted to or published in a refereed professional journal. The prize serves as recognition of promising colleagues who are at the beginning of their academic or industrial career. In addition to a certificate, winners receive $1,000. Winners are also invited to give a lecture on the paper at the fall INFORMS meeting.

Burer's research has earned him funding from the National Science Foundation's Numeric, Symbolic, and Geometric Computation Program. Burer received his Ph.D. in Algorithms, Combinatorics and Optimization from Georgia Institute of Technology in 2001. He has a BS in mathematics from the University of Georgia.

The University of Iowa's Henry B. Tippie College of Business offers undergraduate and graduate programs that consistently rank among the top 30 public business schools in the nation. In addition to the nationally-ranked MBA Program, students can receive degrees in accounting, economics, finance, management and organizations, management science, and marketing.

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