MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR:
am honored and humbled to have been selected as the incoming chair of the UW-Madison Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering. In particular, in a time of difficult economic circumstances, it is encouraging to be chair of a department with a healthy research enterprise. For example, in the recently released review of doctoral programs performed by the National Research Council, the department ranked highly with regard to the average number of citations per publication (a good measure of research quality), and also the average number of research awards per faculty member and the number of PhDs granted (good measures of the size of the department’s research enterprise).
I’m also pleased to be benefiting from the initiatives undertaken by Patti Brennan as outgoing chair, Carol Anne Krueger as the department’s administrator, and Pam Peterson as our student-services coordinator. In particular, Patti devoted a great deal of effort and thought to helping the department function more efficiently and transparently, so that faculty members have a say in how the department is run, without needing to spend undue amounts of time in committee meetings. Working together with Carol Anne, Pam and the rest of the department’s staff, she also ensured the department continued to function smoothly even in a time of rapid change.
Finally, under Patti’s guidance, the department was able to successfully recruit a number of new faculty members to join our enterprise. This is obviously crucial to the future health of the department. Achieving this during a time of tight and even declining budgets is a real testimonial to Patti’s leadership, and to the respect with which the department is viewed by everyone from potential faculty candidates to college administrators deciding how to allocate scarce faculty positions among departments.
On the teaching side of our enterprise, a number of the courses we offer have become attractive electives to engineers from other majors. This is most especially true of ISyE 313: Introduction to Engineering Economics, which this semester has well over 100 students enrolled. That is a gratifying endorsement for the usefulness of the course, which deals with the mathematics of interest rates and discounting—something that I am confident will be beneficial to students not only in their engineering careers, but also in making their own economic decisions about things like car loans, mortgages and planning for retirement.
I look forward to interacting with many of you over the next few years in my new role as department chair. In the meantime, I would like to wish all of you a good new year!?
Vicki M. Bier,
Professor and Chair
3270 Mechanical Engineering Building
1513 University Ave.
Madison, WI 53706