Mona I. Abou-Sayed Proposed Statement of Research
Mona I. Abou-Sayed
Southern Methodist University


In January 1996, I began my graduate studies in Operations Research at Southern Methodist University Computer Science Department. I was selected as a Research Assistant in which I am working on a telecommunications grant. During my studies, not only do I plan to pursue research in operations research techniques specific to our project, I would also like to become familiar with the needs of the other fields in the industrial world. Therefore, I am also working part-time for Eclectic Computing Concepts, doing some programming for a military application, as I wish to gain both academic and industrial insight into my research. Upon graduation, I am planning to work in industry for a few years, and possibly enter the academic research track after some experience. I feel it is very important to become aware of the expectations outside academia to increase the potential benefits from academic research.

I have chosen the field of operations research (OR) for my graduate studies because it is a growing field of study. due to the advanced developments in computing capabilities. Operations research is the study of technical and analytical tools for management decision making. OR applications can be used in any industry, including transportation, airline, telecommunications, defense, manufacturing, and the space industry. A research breakthrough in the telecommunications field. for example, may also be applicable in the space science and engineering industry. Therefore, our current research has potential benefits for the space industry.

The telecommunications project we are working on deals with the allocation of working and spare capacities/bandwidths in a network. This also involves network recovery in the event of a failure. In any network, there are links between two locations (nodes). The connection running between two nodes is built with a certain capacity. assuring demand between locations is satisfied while also attempting to reduce costs. It would be impossible to have a connection, for example. with wnlimited bandwidth. It would also be unreasonable to have a connection with the exact needed bandwidth for information transmittal, since failures are bound to occur in a network. In our project, we will be finding techniques for the allocation of both working and spare capacity on an arc to minimize the costs and assure that the needs of the network are met. The results of such research can be beneficial to almost any industry that makes use of communications and information transmittal, especially the space and engineering fields.

Operations research can also be used in the space industry to optimize resource allocation. crew and shuttle scheduling, as well as numerous other applications. Recently, I was browsing the World Wide Web and located many sites on the internet discussing issues of importance in the NASA space industry. particularly in the Space Data and Computing Division. Many of the goals and objectives of these divisions within NASA are problems in which OR techniques can become useful. We have many mechanical and electrical engineers to design the NASA aircraft, many businessmen to take care of accounting and bookkeeping, and many astronauts to operate the aircraft; operations research engineers have the capability to bring to the space industry something different, making the everyday operations run more efficiently and smoothly. I look forward to producing research which will benefit any industry.


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