Biography and Research Interests

Prof Christine A. , NAE, joined the Department of Industrial Systems Engineering & Management and the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering as NUS Distinguished Professor on 31 August 2015. Prof Shoemaker obtained her Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Southern California supervised by Richard Bellman in Dynamic Programming. Upon her graduation, she joined the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering and later the School of Operations Research and Information Engineering at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA. She was promoted to full Professor in 1985. From 1985 to 1988, Professor Shoemaker was the Chair of the Department of Environmental Engineering at Cornell University. In 2002-2016, Prof Shoemaker was appointed the Joseph P. Ripley Professor of Engineering at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, USA.

Prof Shoemaker’s research focuses on finding cost-effective, robust solutions for problems in engineering and science by using computational mathematics for optimization, modeling and statistical analyses. Her application areas focus on water resources and environmental issues, but the algorithms (and her open source software) are general and have been applied to a range of problems including physical and biological groundwater remediation, carbon sequestration (with multiphase transport), population ecology, computer architecture, and watershed models. These efforts include development of numerically efficient nonlinear optimization algorithms utilizing high performance computing (including asynchronous parallelism) and applications to realistic models of complex, nonlinear systems. Her algorithms do local and global, continuous and integer optimization, stochastic optimal control, and uncertainty quantification.

In her recent research, algorithm efficiency for computationally expensive objective functions (e.g. computer codes) is greatly improved with the use of statistically based surrogate response surfaces iteratively built during the search process and with intelligent algorithms that effectively utilize parallel and distributed computing. The optimization and uncertainty quantification effort is used to improve model forecasts, and to have a tool for comparing alternative management practices, monitoring procedures, and design in water resources and other areas.

Links to .pdf's of publications related to this research, to software/shortcourse material, and to information on the people in her research group are given in her personal website https://sites.google.com/site/shoemakernusgroup/home.

Prof Shoemaker has graduated 32 PhD students with Cornell Degrees with majors in Civil & Environmental Engineering, Applied Mathematics, Operations Research & Industrial Engineering, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, or Entomology.

Prof Shoemaker is also a Co-PI in the “E2S2” CREATE grant at NUS. In this grant she is focusing on application of her optimization algorithms to calibration of complex models of water quality and she will also be working on optimization of anaerobic digestion processes for waste to energy conversion with Chemical Engineering colleagues. She is current working on application of her algorithms to machine learning for image analysis. Much of this research is being done on the NSCC supercomputer. In U.S. she also had multiple grants from four directorates at U.S. National Science Foundation (in Geosciences, Engineering, Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE), and Mathematical and Physical Sciences Directorates ) and from Department of Energy and USDA.

Prof. Shoemaker is a member of the Operations Research Analytics Cluster at NUS. http://ora.nus.edu.sg/aboutus/members.html