Andrew Schaefer, Noah Harding Chair and Professor of Computational Applied Mathematics and Operations Research (CMOR) at Rice, has received the 2023 Curriculum Innovation Award from the George R. Brown School of Engineering.
The award recognizes a faculty member who improves “the quality of education at Rice University through pedagogical and curricular innovation.”
“I believe Andrew is one of Rice’s finest teachers! His use of the Socratic method in relation to mathematical modeling and optimization is masterful. He presents a ton of examples to the class and encourages them to think back on what they had learned previously, to lead the discussion to solutions. Because of his efforts, the annual enrollment in his course has grown and the department has seen an increase in its majors,” said Illya Hicks, professor and chair of CMOR.
Schaefer created an interdisciplinary professional master’s degree program in industrial engineering, part of the CMOR department, drawn from operations research, probability and statistics, manufacturing, and human factors. In 2021, he created an undergraduate major in operations research.
Schaefer earned his B.A. and M.A. in computational and applied mathematics from Rice in 1994, and his Ph.D. in industrial and systems engineering from Georgia Tech in 2000. He joined the Rice faculty in 2015 after spending 15 years with the Department of Industrial Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh.
His research interests in the broad field of operations research and industrial engineering include mixed-integer programming, stochastic optimization and large-scale optimization.