Hello! I’m an assistant professor in the Integrated Systems Engineering department at the Ohio State University; I am also a core faculty member of the Sustainability Institute as well as Co-PI of the EmPOWERment NRT program.  I have additional affiliations with the Translational Data Analytics Institute, the Center for Quantum Information Science and Engineering, and the STEAM Factory. I work on optimization algorithms: in simple terms, leveraging computers and mathematics to help make better decisions.


BASc in Industrial (Systems) Engineering in 2010 from the University of Toronto, and PhD in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research in 2015 from the University of California, Berkeley. I was a postdoctoral research scientist in the Industrial Engineering and Operations Research department at Columbia University from 2015 to 2017.


My research focuses on the design and implementation of algorithms for discrete optimization (via MINLP), including algorithms that can leverage hardware acceleration via parallel computing or quantum computing. I’ve worked on a variety of applications including: scheduling, facility location, financial portfolio optimization, and various problems arising in power systems operations, policy, and planning. I’m also interested in global optimization methods for machine learning problems, including tensor completion and optimal classification trees.

Recent-ish Funding/Award News

PhD student Alex While received an EmPOWERment fellowship (news link)

3-year $310k grant from the Office of Naval Research for Distributed Projections for Mixed-Integer Programming (news link)

1-year $25k grant with Prof. Cathy Xia and Prof. Bhavik Bakshi from the Sustainability Institute for Toward Net-Zero, Nature-Positive Electric Power Systems with Stochastic Models of Techno-Ecological Networks

1-year $40k grant with Prof. Theodore Allen from Goodwill for Optimal Scheduling Software System for Staffing Houses (news link)

1-year $10k seed grant for CQISE for Quantum Computing for Discrete Optimization (news link)

Current Graduate Students

Milad Dehghani Filabadi, PhD Candidate

Yongzheng Dai, PhD Candidate

Pavan Etha, PhD student

Alexander While, PhD student

Dengfeng Gao, PhD student

Abhishek Tiwari, Master’s student

Past Advisees

Xinliang (Frederick) Zhang (BS 2021), Position: PhD @ University of Michigan, CSE

Wenqi Kou (BS 2020), Position: M.Eng. @ University of California, Berkeley, IEOR




Chen Chen, Assistant Professor

Department of Integrated Systems Engineering

The Ohio State University

244 Baker Systems Engineering Building

1971 Neil Ave

Columbus, OH 43210