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Esra Büyüktahtakιn Toy

Associate Professor
Mechanical & Industrial Engineering, New Jersey Institute of Technology

  •    Ph.D. in Industrial and Systems Engineering, University of Florida, 2009
  •    M.S. in Management Science, Lehigh University, 2007
  •    M.S. in Industrial Engineering, Bilkent University, 2005

E-mail: esratoy@njit.edu

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Systems Optimization and Data Analytics Lab (SODAL)

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Dr. Büyüktahtakιn Toy’s research focuses on advancing the state of the art in multi-stage stochastic combinatorial optimization with a mix of theory and algorithms. Her recent research investigates deep machine learning and supervised learning algorithms to predict optimal solutions to mixed-integer programs. Dr. Büyüktahtakιn Toy is a national leader in epidemic disease modeling and logistics optimization to tackle epidemic diseases in healthcare, agriculture, and forestry, e.g., infectious diseases that ravage the human body, such as the COVID-19, Ebola virus disease (EVD), and HIV, and invasive species that create havoc on forests, such as the emerald ash borer (EAB) in North America and Canada, Sericea Lespedeza damaging agricultural products in the Great Plains, and flammable buffelgrass in Sonoran Desert. The results, models, and methodologies that arise from her work have helped policymakers in healthcare and ecology optimize the location and timing of resource allocation under limited budgets.

 

Dr. Büyüktahtakιn Toy is the recipient of the NSF CAREER Award co-funded by the ENG Environmental Sustainability program and the NSF Division of Mathematical Sciences (Applied Mathematics, Computational Mathematics, and Mathematical Biology programs).

 

Recent News:

 

·        SODAL advisor Dr. Esra Büyüktahtakιn Toy is moving to her new position as an Associate Professor with tenure at the Industrial & Systems Department of Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, in August 2022 (8/1/2022).

 

·        SODAL member and former Ph.D. student Chen Chen defended her dissertation successfully and earned her doctoral degree on July 27, 2022. Congratulations, Dr. Chen Chen! (7/27/2022).

 

 

  • Journal article titled “A simulation-deep reinforcement learning (SiRL) approach for epidemic control optimization” co-authored by SODAL members Sabah Bushaj, Xuecheng Yin, Arjeta Beqiri, undergraduate student Donald Andrews and SODAL advisor Dr. Esra Büyüktahtakιn Toy, has been accepted for publication in Annals of Operations Research (7/28/2022).

 

  • Honored and thrilled that our IISE-T HSE article on “epidemic-vaccination-logistics” has been featured in the ISE magazine April issue. Here is the link for the featured article (4/15/2022).

 

 

  • Undergraduate research assistant and former SODAL member Bhumi Patel joined the University of Michigan Ann Arbor as a graduate student in January 2022. Congratulations Bhumi! (1/5/2022).

 

 

  • SODAL member and Ph.D. student Dogacan Yilmaz defended his dissertation proposal titled "Integrated Machine Learning and Optimization Approaches" with great success on December 13, 2021. Congratulations Dogacan! (12/13/2021).

 

 

  • SODAL member and former Ph.D. student Xuecheng Yin defended his dissertation with great accomplishments and earned his doctoral degree on July 28, 2021. Xuecheng joined Yale School of Public Health as a postdoctoral research associate on August 1, 2021. Congratulations Dr. Xuecheng Yin! (8/18/2021).

 

  • SODAL member and former Ph.D. student Sabah Bushaj confidently passed his dissertation defense with great success on July 27, 2021. Sabah is joining SUNY Plattsburgh as a tenure track Assistant Professor of Data Analytics starting August 25, 2021. Congratulations Dr. Sabah Bushaj! (8/18/2021).

 

 

 

 

 

  • SODAL receives funding from USDA Forest Service. Dr. Büyüktahtakιn Toy serves as the lead PI of the team with CO-PI Dr. Selina Cai and collaborator Dr. Robert Haight from the US Forest Service, for a $72.5K grant to develop “Optimizing public-private partnership under a limited budget and heterogeneous participants: a game-theoretic optimization approach to EAB management” (04/26/2021).

 

  • SODAL member and PhD candidate Xuecheng Yin won the first place at the 2021 Virtual Dana Knox Student Research Showcase by his presentation titled “A Data-Driven Stochastic Programming Epidemic Modeling Framework to Controlling the COVID-19” (4/23/2021).

 

  • Dr. Büyüktahtakιn Toy was invited to speak at the “CAREER Awardee Q&As - Reflections from Recent CAREER Awardees” panel in the 2021 NSF Engineering CAREER Proposal Writing Workshop virtually welcoming 800+ junior faculty from engineering schools nationwide (3/18/2021).

 

 

 

 

  • Congratulations to Xuecheng Yin, a doctoral student at SODAL, for successfully passing his doctoral proposal examination on April 30, 2020.

 

  • Congratulations to Sabah Bushaj, a doctoral student at SODAL, for successfully passing his doctoral proposal examination on April 23, 2020.

 

 

 

 

  • Congratulations to Dr. Sevilay Onal, a former postdoctoral research associate and SODAL member, who will be joining the University of Illinois Springfield as a tenure-track Assistant Professor of Management Information Systems (8/12/2019)

 

 

 

  • Dr. Büyüktahtakιn Toy was invited to give a talk at the 2019 IISE Doctoral Colloquium at IISE Annual Conference, May 2019, Orlando, FL

 

 

  • SODAL receives funding from USDA Forest Service. Dr. Büyüktahtakιn Toy serves as the lead PI of the team with CO-PI Dr. Selina Cai and collaborator Dr. Robert Haight from the US Forest Service, for a $61K grant to develop

“A Principal-Agent Game Theoretical Model for Intervention Planning of Emerald Ash Borer in Public and Private Forests” (05/10/2019)

  • Journal article co-authored by former group member, Dr. Eyyub Kibis, and Dr. Büyüktahtakιn Toy has been accepted for publication by Mathematical Biosciences. The article titled  “Optimizing Multi-Modal Cancer Treatment under 3D Spatio-Temporal Tumor Growth” integrates the spread of cancer cells into a 3D spatio-temporal reaction-diffusion model of cancer growth while taking into account therapeutic (surgery, chemo-, and radio-therapy) effects to minimize the number of new cancer cells (10/25/2018).

 

 

  • SODAL receives funding from USDA Forest Service. Dr. Büyüktahtakιn Toy serves as the lead PI of the team with collaborator Dr. Robert Haight from the US Forest Service, for a $58K grant to address risk-averse resource allocation challenges to protect community forests from the threat of EAB. (07/01/2018)

 

 

 

  • Congratulations to Dr. Eyyub Kibis, a former PhD student and SODAL member, who has joined the Huether School of Business at the College of Saint Rose, Albany, New York, as a tenure-track Assistant Professor of Business Analytics (8/16/2017).

 

 

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