Polyak Wins Fulbright Award

Posted: July 19, 2001 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Robin Herron

Roman Polyak, professor of mathematics and operations research, has been named one of 2,000 U.S. Fulbright grantees. In October he will go to Technion, the Israel Institute of Technology, for a six-month sabbatical to lecture and conduct research.

Polyak’s modified barrier functions theory (MBF) and recently developed nonlinear rescaling principle have been widely recognized and used as the basis for others’ work in nonlinear optimization.

Arkadi Nemirovski, professor at Technion and a leading expert in optimization theory, wrote in support of Polyak’s nomination, “In the early nineties the MBF-based codes, developed in tight collaboration with Professor Polyak, allowed us to solve in a reasonable time extremely large-scale problems coming from Truss Topology and Shape Design, and turned out to be by orders of magnitudes faster than the best algorithms known at the time.”

Polyak, who has been at George Mason since 1993, wins praise for his teaching effectiveness as well as his research. Karla Hoffman, chair of the Systems Engineering and Operations Research Department, says, “In all of his courses, he is patient, thorough, and so totally in love with the subject matter that students perform at a very high level, and he receives very high teaching evaluations from the students.”

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