Systems Ph.D. alum selected as Intel Faculty Fellow

Faisal Alkaabneh Ph.D. ’20, the first graduate of Cornell Systems’ doctorate program, was selected an Intel Faculty Fellow for 2021-22.

“This is a great opportunity for us since it will give us access to Intel's subject expert matter in software development as well as establish a relationship with Intel,” said Alkaabneh, who is an assistant professor in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro.

Professor Alkaabneh’s winning proposal, titled "AI-Based Tool for Social Good: Optimizing Food Allocation and Inventory Management at Food Banks", aims at developing a novel and innovative approach to using cloud computing, visualization techniques, analytics, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools for social good.

“Specifically, this research award will contribute to the advancement of food banks operations efficiency and social welfare by developing a framework for optimizing resource (i.e., food) allocation and inventory management at food banks in an integrated manner in uncertain environment,” Alkaabneh said.

“Effective mitigation to the threat of food insecurity, one in eight Americans is food insecure including 13 million children, requires food banks to substantially increase the effectiveness and efficiency of their food allocation operations,” he added.

In 2017, Professor Alkaabneh, under the supervision of Cornell Systems Engineering Professor H. Oliver Gao started collaborating with the Food Bank of the Southern Tier (FBST), located in Elmira, N.Y., to help optimize food allocation and inventory management operations, taking into account effectiveness, efficiency and equity performance measures. Since then they have been recruiting Cornell computer science graduate students to build a website that translates their research into a practical tool. At the end of 2020, they had a pilot platform that was fully functioning and can be used by food bank personnel and recipients (e.g., food insecure households, agencies, etc.).

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