Sara Shashaani
Industrial and Operations Engineering
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
1205 Beal Ave. Room G769

I currently work as a postdoctoral research fellow at the Guikema Research Group. My current research projects consist of designing improved (probabilistic) predictive models, specifically used for hurricane-induced power outages, with challenges in highly imbalanced datasets with a large set of explanatory variables. 

My research interests include stochastic optimization and Monte Carlo simulation methodology, theory and algorithms, their integration with data science and analytics, and their applications in long-term important problems in society such as sustainability and environment resiliency, energy infrastructure systems, healthcare, transportation, and human behavior modeling and economics. 

The popular Winter Simulation Conference (WSC), the INFORMS Simulation Society, the ACM Transactions on Modeling and Computer Simulation, the Journal of Simulation of the Operations Research Society, and the Society of Modeling and Simulation International provide evidence of the importance of simulation as a subfield of Operations Research. 

I received my Ph.D. degree in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University in December 2016. My Ph.D. research was under the supervision of Dr. Raghu Pasupathy, and involved designing and implementing algorithms for derivative-based and derivative-free "Simulation Optimization" problems, that are problems whose objective functions and constraints are unknown and can only be observed with noise through a stochastic simulation. 

I am passionate about activities that target the environment, community wellness, and science communication. In my spare time, I enjoy dancing Argentine tango and running.

Awards and Honors
  • Best Student Paper Award, Ph.D. Colloquium, Winter Simulation Conference 2016
  • Ross Fellowship Award, Purdue University 2014-2015
  • Outstanding Teaching Assistant, ISE Virginia Tech, 2013-2014
  • Best Poster Award, INFORMS Annual Meeting 2012
  • Visiting Researcher Summer Scholarship, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and Virginia Tech 2012

  • Instructor: Economic Decision Making, IOE University of Michigan 2017
  • Guest Lecturer: Predictive Data Analysis, IOE University of Michigan 2016
  • Lab Instructor: Advanced Data Analysis, IE Purdue University 2015-2016
  • Teaching Assistant: Introduction to Probability and Statistics, IE Purdue University 2014-2016
  • Teaching Assistant: Stochastic Operations Research and Simulation, ISE Virginia Tech 2013-2014