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Professor Alexandre Belloni Wins Young Researcher Competition

August 22, 2007

The Mathematical Programming Society has named Assistant Professor Alexandre Belloni the winner of its Young Researcher Competition for his paper
Norm-induced Densities and Testing the Boundedness of a Convex Set . The research explored properties of a family of probability density functions and developed connections between the densities and geometric properties. The paper also developed connections between these densities and geometric properties such as diameter and width of the recession cone. Professor Belloni established a new set inclusion characterization for convex sets, leading to a new concentration of measure phenomena for unbounded convex sets. Finally, these properties were used to develop an efficient probabilistic algorithm to test whether a convex set, represented only by membership oracles, is bounded or not, where the algorithm reports an associated certificate of boundedness or unboundedness.

Alexandre Belloni is an Assistant Professor in Duke University's Fuqua School of Business. During the year 2006-2007 he was a Herman Goldstine Post-doctoral Fellow at the IBM Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, New York. He earned his bachelor's degree in English degree from the Pontifical Catholic University and his master's degree in Mathematical Economics from the Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics, both in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He started his doctoral studies at MIT in 2002 under the supervision of Robert Freund and graduated in 2006. His research interest spans over diverse topics in mathematical programming, statistics/econometrics, probabilistic methods, complexity theory and applications to engineering, management science, marketing and economics. Throughout his studies he received several awards and fellowships from IBM, SIAM and MIT. He received Second Prize at the INFORMS 2006 George Nicholson Student Paper Award competition. In August 2007 he joined The Fuqua School of Business at Duke University as an Assistant Professor of Decision Sciences and he teaches the core course in Statistical Models to Fuqua's daytime MBA students. He is a member of the Brazilian national field hockey team.