Research Group


Current PhD Students:


Xian Yu (2017-present)
(In job market this year)


Huiwen Jia (co-advised by Cong Shi; 2018-present)
(In job market this year)


Xinyu Fei (2019-present)


Kati Moug (2019-present)


Kevin Smith (co-advised by Brian Denton; 2020-present)

Former PhD Students:


Zhihao Chen, PhD (2012-2016)
Thesis: “Strategic network planning under uncertainty with two-stage stochastic integer programming.” [link]
First position: Amazon.


Yan Deng, PhD (2012-2016)
Thesis: “Decomposition algorithms and parallel computing for chance-constrained and stochastic integer programs with applications.” [link]
First position: Google.


Yuchen Jiang, PhD (co-advised by Prof. Cong Shi; 2013-2018)
Thesis: “Supply chain and revenue management for online retailing.” [link]
First position: Uber.


Yiling Zhang, PhD (co-advised by Ruiwei Jiang; 2015-2019)
Thesis: Convex nonlinear and integer programming approaches for distributionally robust optimization of complex systems.
First position: Assistant Professor in ISE at the University of Minnesota.


Miao Yu, PhD (2016-2020)
Thesis: “Optimization approaches for mobility and service sharing.”
First position: Ford Motor Company. Current Position: Amazon.


Hideaki Nakao, PhD (2016-2021)
Topic: Distributionally robust optimization in sequential decision making.
First position: Postdoc at the Argonne National Lab.

Supervised Marian Sarah Parker Scholars (Undergraduate) through WISE:


Amanda Hazel (Summer 2012)
Topic: “Using Network Optimization Tools for Shelter Relief in Haiti.”
Recognition: Finalist of the Undergraduate Technical Paper Competition in 2013 IIE Great Lakes Regional Conference.


Joy Chang (Summer 2015)
Topic: “Optimizing Environmental Impacts and Social Welfare of Car Sharing.”
Recognition: 2016 INFORMS Undergraduate Operations Research Award, First Place.

Group News

  • 11/2021, PhD student, Huiwen Jia's paper titled “Partner with a Third-Party Delivery Service or Not? – a Prediction-and-Decision Tool for Restaurants Facing Takeout Demand Surges During a Pandemic” is accepted and forthcoming in Service Science special issue (also co-authored with Jorge Alberto Ramırez (undergraduate visiting student from Mexico) and Prof. Cong Shi). Congrats, Huiwen!

  • 09/2021, Prof. Shen is a co-recipient of the Wilson Faculty Fellowship in IOE, UMich for 2021-2024.

  • 09/2021, Co-PI Shen and PI Barton (from UMich ME) receive an NSF grant to study Model-Based Intelligent Agent Approaches for supply chain transparency and resiliency.

  • 09/2021, PhD student Xinyu Fei receives the 2021 Michigan Institute for Computational Discovery and Engineering (MICDE) student fellowship. Congratulations, Xinyu!

  • 08/2021, PhD student, Huiwen Jia's paper titled “Multi-armed bandit with sub-exponential reward” is accepted and forthcoming in Operations Research Letters (also co-authored with Prof. Cong Shi). Congrats, Huiwen!

  • 06/2021, PhD student, Kati Moug is a recipient of the 2021 Generation Google Scholarship. Congratulations, Kati!

  • 06/2021, PhD student, Xian Yu's paper titled “Integrated Vehicle Routing and Service Scheduling under Time and Cancellation Uncertainties with Application in Non-Emergency Medical Transportation” is accepted and forthcoming in Service Science (also co-authored with Dr. Huizhu Wang at Ford). This is work is based on a project supported by the Ford and UM Innovation Alliance Program (grant 000356-UM0222-H).

  • 06/2021, former PhD student, Dr. Miao Yu's paper titled “Improving column generation via random coloring and parallelization for Vehicle Routing Problems” is accepted and forthcoming in INFORMS Journal on Computing (also co-authored with Prof. Viswanath Nagarajan). Congrats, Miao!

  • 05/2021, our paper “An integrated car-and-ride sharing system for mobilizing heterogeneous travelers with application in underserved communities" won Honorable Mention of the Best Paper in the 2020 IISE Transactions Focus Issue on Operations Engineering and Analytics, announced in the 2021 IISE Annual Meeting.

  • 05/2021, Shen will give an invited talk in the Mixed Integer Programming Workshop 2021 (online) about Sequential Competitive Facility Location problem.

  • 05/2021, Shen is a featured speaker in the Modeling COVID-19 Symposium 2021 (online) co-organized by MICDE and SPH at the University of Michigan.

  • 05/2021, PhD students, Kati Moug, Xian Yu, Xinyu Fei and Huiwen Jia, will present their research work at the IISE Annual Conference.

  • 04/2021, PhD student, Xian Yu wins the IOE Murty Prize, which awards the Best Research Paper on Optimization written by a student in IOE. Congratulations, Xian!

  • 04/2021, Shen and Co-PI Wen Ye (UMich, SPH) are awarded an NSF grant to study the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic on transportation systems and how to redesign to make them more resilient and safe to use.

  • 03/2021, in the past few months, Shen gave invited talks on various topics virtually in the 2020 Big Data Ignite Webinar Series “Data-driven in Uncertain Times” (09.2020), the International Fair event at Universidad de Monterrey, Mexico (10.2020) and department seminars at the Eindhoven University of Technology (10.2020), University of Southern California (11.2020), Tippie College of Business–University of Iowa (12.2020), Texas Tech University (03.2020) and Lehigh University (03.2020). Thanks for all the invitations!

  • 03/2021, PhD student Hideaki Nakao passed his doctoral thesis defense. Congrats, Dr. Nakao!

  • 03/2021, new paper with Beste Basciftci and Xian Yu on “Resource Distribution Under Spatiotemporal Uncertainty of Disease Spread: Stochastic versus Robust Approaches” is posted on arxiv. This paper analyzes stochastic and robust ways of locating distribution centers and making shipment plans under demand uncertainty for critical resources during a pandemic, e.g., vaccines and test kits.

  • 03/2021, new paper with Mingyao Qi and Ruiwei Jiang on “Sequential Competitive Facility Location: Exact and Approximate Algorithms” is posted on arxiv. The paper considers a competitive facility location problem (CFLP), which is a Stackelberg game and admits a bilevel mixed-integer nonlinear program (MINLP) formulation. We reformulate the problem as a single-level MINLP model and derive valid inequalities based on submodularity and concave overestimation. We also propose an approximation algorithm for solving CFLP that is computationally more effective and admits a constant approximation guarantee.

  • 12/2020, PhD student Hideaki Nakao's paper titled “Distributionally robust Partially Observable Markov Decision Process with moment-based ambiguity” is accepted and forthcoming in SIAM Journal on Optimization. Congrats, Hideaki!

  • 11/2020, PhD student Huiwen Jia's paper titled “Benders cut classification for solving two-stage stochastic programs via Support Vector Machines” is accepted and forthcoming in INFORMS Journal on Optimization. Congrats, Huiwen!

  • 10/2020, PhD student Xian Yu's paper titled “Multistage Distributionally Robust Mixed-Integer Programming with Decision-Dependent Ambiguity Sets” is accepted and forthcoming in Mathematical Programming. (See link of the published PDF file.) Congrats, Xian!

  • 09/2020, Shen gave a seminar talk titled “Optimization and data analytics tools for addressing COVID-19 related problems,” in the graduate seminar series in the School of Industrial and Systems Engineering at University of Oklahoma.

  • 09/2020, PhD student Huiwen Jia receives the 2020 Michigan Institute for Computational Discovery and Engineering (MICDE) student fellowship. Congratulations, Huiwen!

  • 08/2020, PhD student Kati Moug receives the 2020 IOE Bonder Fellowship. Congratulations, Kati!

  • 08/2020, we build a website to provide a collection of optimization and data analytics tools for addressing COVID-19 related problems (including the Bluebus route and schedule redesign project and others related to optimizing testing locations, distribution of testing kits, business reopening or closedown strategies, and so on).

  • 08/2020, Shen's team applied integer programming and simulation to help redesign the University of Michgian's Campus bus systems to reduce trip time, bus capacity and infection risk. (News link)

  • 07/2020, a new PhD student Kevin Smith (co-advised with Brian Denton) joins our research group. Welcome, Kevin!

  • 06/2020, Shen receives support from Microsoft's AI for Health program for using free Azure credits to build a cloud-based system that will facilitate COVID-19 testing system design. (News link)

  • 04/2020, Shen completed an article on the Conversation about how to design and perform COVID-19 testing when supplies are scarse.

  • 03/2020, Shen completed an article on "A Summary of Operations Research and Industrial Engineering Tool for Fighting COVID-19" . A shorter read is here on Medium. The PDF slides are here (presented on April 2 in the IOE lunch-and-learn event).

  • 02/2020, Miao Yu successfully defended his PhD thesis. Congrats, Miao!

  • 02/2020, PhD alumni Yan Deng and current PhD student Huiwen Jia's paper titled “Scenario grouping and decomposition algorithms for chance-constrained programs” is accepted for publication in INFORMS Journal on Computing. Congrats!

  • 01/2020, Huiwen Jia's paper titled “Context-aware Route Recommendation with Weight Learning through Deep Neural Networks” is accepted to appear in the proceedings of 2020 American Control Conference (ACC2020). Congrats, Huiwen! This is a collaborative work with Didi Chuxing.

  • 01/2020, Shen is invited to give a plenary talk titled “New results of facility location involving competition, prioritization, and ambiguous decision-dependent uncertainty,” in the “Workshop on Smart Cities Optimization” organized by Fields Institute at the University of Toronto, Canada, January 2020. [link]

  • 12/2019, Hideaki Nakao's paper “Nonprofit resource allocation and service scheduling with cross-subsidization under uncertain resource consumption” is accepted for publication in OMEGA (The International Journal of Management Science). Congrats, Hideaki!

  • 09/2019, Xian Yu is one of the 2019-2020 MICDE fellowship recipients, who are honored because of ‘‘their exceptional academic record and the outstanding promise of their research in computational sciences.’’ Congrats, Xian!

  • 09/2019, former PhD student Yiling Zhang (now Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota) received honorable mention of the 2019 INFORMS Optimization Society Best Student Paper Award for her paper published on SIAM Journal on Optimization. Congrats, Yiling!

  • 09/2019, new PhD students Xinyu Fei and Kati Moug, and undergraduate student Jodi Yip join our research group. Welcome, Xinyu, Kati, and Jodi!

  • 08/2019, Xian Yu's paper “An integrated decomposition and Approximate Dynamic Programming approach for on-demand ride pooling” is accepted for publication in IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems. Congrats, Xian!

  • 07/2019, Xian Yu and Huiwen Jia have been awarded the Mixed-Integer Programming (MIP) Workshop Student Travel Grant to present their posters in this year's MIP Workshop 2019 at MIT. Congrats, Xian and Huiwen!

  • 06/2019, Miao Yu's paper “An integrated car-and-ride sharing system for mobilizing heterogeneous travelers with application in underserved communities” is accepted for publication in IISE Transactions. Congrats, Miao!

  • 04/2019, Yuchen Jiang's paper “Service-level constrained inventory system” is accepted for publication in Production and Operations Management. Congrats, Yuchen!

  • 04/2019, Shen receives funding from Ford Motor Company to design integrated ridesharing and goods delivery system. [news link]

  • 03/2019, Shen along with Yafeng Yin (UM CEE) and Yiheng Feng (UMTRI), receives funding from USDOT Center for Connected Automated Transportation (CCAT) for a collaborative research project that aims to reduce traffic and congestion in metropolitan and urban areas. [news link]

  • 03/2019, Yiling Zhang successfully passes her PhD defense. She will start as an Assistant Professor in the ISE Department at the University of Minnesota this fall.

  • 02/2019, Yiling Zhang is awarded the IOE Outstanding Student Award (a.k.a. Towner Prize for Distinguished Academic Achievement). Congrats, Yiling!

  • 12/2018, Shen leads a team that receives funding from Didi Chuxing to study robust route planning. [link].

  • 10/2018, Miao Yu's paper “An approximation algorithm for vehicle routing with compatibility constraints” is accepted for publication in Operations Research Letters.

  • 09/2018, new PhD student Huiwen Jia joins our research group. Welcome!

  • 08/2018, Yiling Zhang's paper “Ambiguous chance-constrained binary programs under mean-covariance information” is accepted for publication in SIAM Journal on Optimization.

  • 06/2018, Shen gave invited talks about “Integerated car-and-ride sharing (CRS) system for serving underserved populations” in Tsinghua University, Peking University, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and Didi Chuxing in China.

  • 05/2018, the paper “Chance-constrained surgery planning under conditions of limited and ambiguous data”, co-authored by PhD alumnus, Yan Deng, Shen, and Denton, is accepted for publication in INFORMS Journal on Computing.

  • 04/2018, Yiling Zhang is awarded the IOE Murty Prize for Best Research Paper on Optimization.

  • 03/2018, Yiling Zhang's paper “Solving 0-1 semidefinite programs for distributionally robust allocation of surgery blocks” is accepted for publication in Optimization Letters.

  • 03/2018, Yiling Zhang, Miao Yu, and Shen will present in the INFORMS Optimization Society Conference in Denver on March 23-25, 2018.

  • 03/2018, Shen gave an invited talk in the Distributionally Robust Optimization (DRO) workshop in Banff International Research Station (BIRS).

  • 12/2017, Hideaki Nakao receives Rackham International Fellowship.

  • 10/2017, Yiling Zhang publishes a paper “Integer programming approaches for appointment scheduling with random no-shows and service durations” in Operations Research, co-authored with Jiang and Shen.

  • 09/2017, new PhD student Xian Yu and visiting scholar Yang Zhan frong Shanghai Jiao Tong University join our research group. Welcome!

  • 08/2017, Shen receives Department of Energy (DoE) Early Career Award.

  • 08/2017, Shen leads an NSF grant on developing stochastic optimization models and approaches for designing and operating shared mobility systems under uncertain market demand and budget (co-investigated by Ruiwei Jiang at UM and Mengshi Lu at Purdue University).

  • 07/2017, Shen presents “Self-sustained car-and-ride sharing design and optimization for improving the mobility of underserved communities” in the INFORMS Transportation Science and Logistics Society, the 1st Triennial Conference in Chicago.

  • 07/2017, Shen is a co-PI of a UM proposal team to tackle real-time ridesharing problems in DiDi ChuXing (led by Pascal van Ventenryck, and co-investigated by Viswanath Nagarajan).

  • 07/2017, Shen is a co-PI for an NSF grant on power transmission planning under spatio-temporal uncertainties (led by Pascal van Ventenryck and co-investigated by Eunshin Byon and Ruiwei Jiang).

  • 06/2017, Yiling Zhang receives 2017-2018 MICDE Fellowship.

  • 06/2017, Hideaki Nakao presents a poster “On continuous mixing cuts for two-stage mean-risk stochastic mixed-integer programs” in the 2017 Mixed Integer Programming Workshop, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

  • 06/2017, Miao Yu presents "Minimum makespan vehicle routing problem with compatibility constraint” in the 14th International Conference on Integration of Artificial Intelligence and Operations Research Techniques in Constraint Programming (CPAIOR 2017), Padova, Italy.

  • 04/2017, Shen gives an invited seminar on “Ambiguous chance-constrained bin packing under mean-covariance information” in the Department of IEOR at University of Carlifornia, Berkeley.