MHI Ph.D. Scholar Harsha Honnappa to Teach at Purdue University

by Elise Herrera-Green

HarshaThe Ming Hsieh Institute is proud to announce that 2013-2014 MHI Ph.D. Scholar Harsha Honnappa will start an Assistant Professor (tenure track) position at the School of Industrial Engineering at Purdue University in the Spring of 2015.

The soon to be Boilmaker attributes some of his success to his experiences at USC and within the Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical Engineering.

These experiences include working with his advisors Rahul Jain (Associate Professor, Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical Engineering) and Amy Ward (Associate Professor of Data Sciences and Operations – USC Marshall School of Business) as they devoted generous amounts of their time assisting with research and providing encouragement. Also aiding him was the Ming Hsieh Institute scholar program, as their funding gave him the opportunity to speak at U.C. Berkeley and Northwestern University.

And when reflecting on his time at USC Viterbi and his accomplishment, Honnappa had some words of advice for younger Ph.D. students considering an academic career, “It’s natural to hit roadblocks while working on a problem. It’s important not to get discouraged and to keep at it. Its amazing what you can do when you push yourself.”

Honnappa commended USC Viterbi for being a great place to practice interdisciplinary research. During his time at USC, he initiated, with Rahul Jain, a research program in collaboration with the Keck School of Medicine of USC, and worked closely with his advisor Amy Ward from the USC Marshall School of Business.

Always having been interested in mathematics and theory, Honnappa focused his Ph.D. dissertation on the mathematical study of queues and the role they play in transportation and telecommunications engineering. His research set out to answer the over arcing question – given the constraints, how many jobs/people are waiting at any point in time? And how long do they need to wait?

In an attempt to answer these questions, his dissertation consisted of two connected theses – studying queuing systems open only for a specific duration of time, and studying the strategic behavior in queues.

Between now and the Spring of 2015, Honnappa will head to Stanford and after that University of Texas, Austin to complete two short post-doc positions.

Congratulations, Professor Honnappa!