ORSNZ is saddened to share that Shabbir Ahmed, Anderson-Interface Chair and Professor of the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, passed away on June 19th, 2019.
A tribute by Alejandro Toriello has been published on the INFORMS Open Forum
Reflections from ORSNZ Members
I had the pleasure of visiting Shabbir at Georgia tech during a visit in the course of my PhD. Shabbir was very unassuming. He was easy to talk to about topics within our research, and also outside of research including his hobby of music. From just a short visit and several email exchanges, it was rather surprising to me to learn that someone with Shabbir’s standing could be so honest, approachable and easy-going. Our community has lost a great researcher but also a passionate teacher and mentor.
I was very sad to hear that Shabbir Ahmed died on June 19 after battling cancer for the past 10 months. Shabbir was not only a brilliant researcher but a colleague and good friend. He was the external examiner to our Engineering Science PhD student Oscar Dowson last year, and I examined Jikai Zou, one of his recent PhD students. I met Shabbir in 2004 and had stayed in touch with him through our work together in the Committee on Stochastic Programming (COSP). Shabbir was an active participant in this committee, writing a tutorial for the website on stochastic integer programming, and also designing and drawing COSP’s logo (see the home page of https://stoprog.org/). It was quite clear from early on that Shabbir was going to be a star in the mathematical programming community. Last year he won the INFORMS Optimization Society Farkas Prize, awarded each year to the world’s top mid-career optimization researcher. It seemed as if this was another milestone on a career that would continue to reach even greater heights. Alas that was not to be. We received some heartening news in February that his cancer was responding to treatment, but then the shocking news in June that he had died. He will be missed by many.