Creative Research Medal 2000
Qing Zhang and his team have developed a new mathematical theory to assist manufacturers in optimizing production. The research focuses on stochastic manufacturing systems, which will experience random events that affect production such as changes in market demand, employee strikes and machinery failure. Dr. Zhang’s theory can help management anticipate and compensate for these events while maintaining cost efficiency and profit. The theory includes elements of hierarchical decision making (decisions whose impact may be felt relatively quickly or much more slowly, and the people who make those decisions), Markovian systems (decisions based on a relatively recent experience versus past experiences), and changes to those systems, as well as production and marketing rates, inventory and other variables. His work combines mathematics, control engineering, scientific computation and management sciences.