School of Engineering
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Benjamin Van Roy
Professor of Electrical Engineering, of Management Science and Engineering and, by courtesy, of Computer Science
BioBenjamin Van Roy is a Professor of Electrical Engineering, Management Science and Engineering, and, by courtesy, Computer Science, at Stanford University, where he has served on the faculty since 1998. His research focuses on understanding how an agent interacting with a poorly understood environment can learn over time to make effective decisions. He is interested in questions concerning what is possible or impossible as well as how to design efficient learning algorithms that achieve the possible. His research contributes to the fields of reinforcement learning, online optimization, and approximate dynamic programming, and offers means to addressing central problems of artificial intelligence.
He has graduated fifteen doctoral students, published over forty articles in peer-reviewed journals, and been listed as an inventor in over a dozen patents. He has served on the editorial boards of Machine Learning, Mathematics of Operations Research, and Operations Research, for which he has also served as editor of the Financial Engineering Area. He has also founded and/or led research programs at several technology companies, including Unica (acquired by IBM), Enuvis (acquired by SiRF), and Morgan Stanley.
He received the SB in Computer Science and Engineering and the SM and PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, all from MIT. He has been a recipient of the MIT George C. Newton Undergraduate Laboratory Project Award, the MIT Morris J. Levin Memorial Master's Thesis Award, the MIT George M. Sprowls Doctoral Dissertation Award, the National Science Foundation CAREER Award, the Stanford Tau Beta Pi Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, and the Management Science and Engineering Department's Graduate Teaching Award. He is an INFORMS Fellow and has been a Frederick E. Terman Fellow and a David Morgenthaler II Faculty Scholar. He has held visiting positions as the Wolfgang and Helga Gaul Visiting Professor at the University of Karlsruhe and as the Chin Sophonpanich Foundation Professor and the InTouch Professor at Chulalongkorn University.
Assistant Professor of Management Science and Engineering
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsMelissa Valentine is an Assistant Professor at Stanford University in the Management Science and Engineering Department, and co-director of the Center for Work, Technology, and Organization (WTO). WTO is a world leader in producing field research (i.e., research that uses actual observation of social phenomena) to develop new understanding about the changing nature of work.
Prof Valentine's research focus is on understanding work groups and teams in organizations, particularly how they are changing in response to new industry trends and new technologies. She conducts in-depth observational studies to develop new understanding about new forms of work groups and teams. Her work makes contributions to understanding classic and longstanding challenges in designing groups and organizations (e.g., the role of hierarchy, how to implement change, team stability vs. flexibility) but also brings in deep knowledge of how the rise of information technology has made possible new and different team and organizational forms. Her research agenda is organized around two main themes: 1) temporary teams and organizations and 2) groups and teams in complex work organizations.
Prof. Valentine has won awards for both research and teaching. With her collaborators, she won a Best Paper Award at the CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems and the Outstanding Paper with Practical Implications award from the Organizational Behavior division of the Academy of Management. In 2013, she won the Organization Science/INFORMS dissertation proposal competition and received her PhD from Harvard University.
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Management Science and Engineering
BioRESEARCH AREA: Organizations, Technology, and Entrepreneurship
DISSERTATION TITLE: Institutional Effects in the Worldwide Expansion of the Innovation Economy
Gonzalo Valdes' doctoral dissertation addresses the question of why some countries’ attempts to imitate first world approaches to innovation succeed, while others are much less successful. Specifically, his research links institutional theory to the socio-technical and socio-economic capabilities of organizations within countries to produce innovation. Additionally, he recently published a paper, together with Prof. Stephen Barley, about the need for continual learning in the information economy (“The learning imperative in postindustrial work.” In Work and occupations). He also published research about the capabilities of the public sector to harness the opportunities of ICT (e.g., “E-government maturity model.” In GIQ).