January 16, 2004

Colloquium Speaker: Dr. Sheldon Jacobson


Dr. Sheldon H. Jacobson is a Professor, Willett Faculty Scholar, and Director of the Simulation and Optimization Laboratory in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at the University of Illinois. He has a B.Sc. and M.Sc. (both in Mathematics) from McGill University, and a M.S. and Ph.D. (both in Operations Research and Industrial Engineering) from Cornell University. His theoretical research interests include the analysis and design of heuristics for intractable discrete optimization problems. His applied research interests address problems in the manufacturing, aviation security, and health-care industries. He has been actively studying the application of operations research methodologies to address aviation security questions since 1996. In 1998, he received the Application Award from the Institute of Industrial Engineers Operations Research Division. In 2002, he was named an Associate in the Center for Advanced Study at the University of Illinois, and was awarded the Aviation Security Research Award by Aviation Security International, the International Air Transport Association, and the Airports Council International. In 2003, he received the Best Paper Award in IIE Transactions Focused Issue on Operations Engineering and was named a Guggenheim Fellow by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. His research has been published in a wide spectrum of journals, and he has received research funding from several government agencies and industrial partners, including the National Science Foundation, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and the Federal Aviation Administration.


Colloquium Topic: Understanding Aviation Security Issues using Operations Research Models and Analysis

Aviation security has become a topic of intense national interest, as the risk of terrorism and of other hazardous threats to the nation's air system increase. Recent events have hastened changes to improve the security of the air traffic industry. This includes multi-million dollar investments in new security technologies and equipment. This presentation discusses a number of issues that impact the way security is currently being maintained at airports around the United States. Probability models that capture the interdependencies between several security information sources are presented. A cost benefit model for baggage screening devices is also presented. Directions for future research in aviation security are also discussed.