Cynthia Barnhart, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, has been named co-director of the Operations Research Center. She succeeds Professor Thomas Magnanti, who was named dean of the School of Engineering in January. Professor James Orlin remains as the Operations Research Center co-director from the Sloan School.
Professor Barnhart is a specialist in the development of optimization models and algorithms for the transportation industry. She has worked on resource allocation and scheduling problems and has used her methods to solve large-scale logistics and transportation problems faced by airlines, railroads and trucking companies.
She joined the MIT faculty as an assistant professor in 1992, was promoted to associate professor in 1995 and received tenure in 1998. She did undergraduate work at the University of Vermont and graduate work at MIT, where she received the MST in 1985 and the PhD in 1988. Dr. Barnhart was an assistant professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology from 1988-92 before returning to MIT.
The Operations Research Center deals with the creation and application of scientific methods for decision-making. It draws on numerous disciplines including applied mathematics, computer science, economics, systems engineering and management. It is co-directed by faculty members from the Sloan School and the School of Engineering.
A version of this article appeared in the March 3, 1999 issue of MIT Tech Talk (Volume 43, Number 21).