Seminar on May 24, 2019

Placement Optimization in Refugee Resettlement
Andrew Trapp
Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Abstract
Hundreds of thousands of refugees are resettled yearly from refugee camps to host countries. Local areas that host refugees are reluctant to open capacity, and most impose tight restrictions on the refugee family types they accept. We model this matching challenge as a 0-1 knapsack variant and explore outcomes-related objectives in the search toward an optimal allocation. Our employment optimization matching problem is embedded within a dynamic software tool that facilitates interactive use to fine-tune the recommended match results. We estimate counterfactual employment outcome improvement to be 22%-37%.

Short Bio
Andrew Trapp is Associate Professor of Operations and Industrial Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), with courtesy professorships in Mathematical Sciences and Data Science. He holds a PhD in Industrial Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh, and his research focuses on the use of analytics, primarily theoretical and applied mathematical optimization, to solve hard decision problems arising in areas such as humanitarian operations, healthcare, sustainability, and data mining. He develops new theory, models, and computational solution approaches to tackle such problems, and publishes in leading operations research journals such as Operations Research, the European Journal of Operational Research, INFORMS Journal on Computing, IIE Transactions, Discrete Optimization, and Decision Support Systems.

Venue
Friday, May 24, 2019 at 4.00 pm in IE227