Our institute warmly welcomes Dr. Mohammad Ali Raayatpanah [محمدعلی رعایت پناه], Assistant Professor at the Department of Mathematics, Faculty of Mathematical Sciences and Computer [دانشکده علوم ریاضی و کامپیوتر] at Kharazmi University [دانشگاه خوارزمی] in Tehran [تهران], Iran [جمهوری اسلامی ایران]. Dr. Raayatpanah is an outstanding researcher in the fields of operations research and distributed computing, with special interest in linear and integer programming, network flows theory and algorithms, communication networks, and network coding. He will stay with us from July 2 to August 27, 2018 and conduct joint research with our team members during this period.

Dr. Raayatpanah has received Ph.D. in 2009 in Applied Mathematics at the University of Tehran [دانشگاه تهران], after receiving M.Sc. and B.Sc. degrees in the same field in 2004 at the University of Tehran, Iran and in 2000 at the University of Kashan [دانشگاه کاشان], Iran, respectively. Dr. Raayatpanah has published several works in top-level journals such as the Journal of Combinatorial Optimization, Computer Networks, the Optimization Letters, the Transactions on Emerging Telecommunications Technologies, the Journal of Network and Computer Applications, and the International Journal of Communication Systems. He also already conducted several international research stays at prestigious institutions including the University of Florida, USA (2012/10-2013/04), the Chinese University of Hong Kong [香港中文大學] (2015/07-09), Tsinghua University [清华大学], Beijing, China (2016/07-09), and at Fudan University [复旦大学], Shanghai, China (2017/07-09).

Today, the program of the Black-Box Discrete Optimization Benchmarking (BB-DOB@GECCO) Workshop has been released. This first release of the BB-DOB Workshop series takesplace at the Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference (GECCO'18) in Kyoto, Japan, whose program can be found here and is mirrored here. The aim of our workshop is to develop a similar standard methodology for the benchmarking of black-box optimization algorithms for discrete and combinatorial domains. We want to produce a well-motivated benchmark function testbed, a standardized experimental set-up, rules for measuring and the generation of data output, and standardized post-processing and presentations for the results in graphs and tables. Our workshop has six accepted submissions and will span over two sessions and take place on Monday, July 16, 09:00-12:40, in Training Room 3 (2F). The schedule will leave room for discussions and socializing.

Portrait of Dr. Zhen LIU.

The Institute of Applied Optimization welcomes Dr. Zhize Wu [吴志泽], who today has officially joined our team as researcher. Before joining our institute, he finished his PhD research at the School of Computer Science and Technology [计算机科学与技术学院] of the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) [中国科学技术大学]. Dr. Wu is an expert in Machine Learning, especially in advanced image processing, image classification, image representation, image retrieval, action recognition, and neural networks.

We are very happy to have Dr. Wu in our team and look forward to working together on many interesting applications of optimization methods.

Our group warmly congratulates our Master's student Qi Qi [齐琪] at the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) [中国科学技术大学], who completer her Master's degree in Computer Science. Ms. Qi has been an outstanding student supervised by Prof. Dr. Thomas Weise. She has significantly contributed to our Optimization Benchmarking project and also has given two conference reports, at GECCO 2017 and ICACI 2018. Ms. Qi will now join the group of Prof. Tianbao Yang at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa, USA. We wish her all the best for her future career and pursuit of a PhD degree.

Our Institute warmly welcomes our distinguished guest Prof. Dr. Rolf H. Möhring from the Fachgebiet Kombinatorische Optimierung und Graphenalgorithmen (COGA) of the Institut für Mathematik at the Technische Universität Berlin (TUB) in Berlin, Germany. Prof. Möhring will stay with us for a short research visit from June 5 to 8, 2018. During his stay, he gave the research talk on "Dynamic Network Routing: Meeting the Challenge of Complex Traffic and Transportation Tasks" and conducted joint research with our Dr. Zijun Wu.

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