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Zelda Zabinsky

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Professor Emeritus
Industrial & Systems Engineering

Adjunct Professor Emeritus
Electrical & Computer Engineering

Adjunct Professor Emeritus
Mechanical Engineering

Adjunct Professor Emeritus
Civil & Environmental Engineering


Professor Zabinsky joined the department in 1985. She has published numerous papers in the areas of global optimization with algorithm design and complexity analysis. Her book on "Stochastic Adaptive Search in Global Optimization" is available at the publishers’ web site. Her book was reviewed in Interfaces Vol. 35 Issue 4, 2005.


  • Ph.D. in Industrial and Operations Engineering, University of Michigan
  • M.S. in Industrial & Operations Engineering, University of Michigan
  • B.S. in Mathematics, University of Puget Sound

Research Statement

Dr. Zabinsky has applied optimization and stochastic models to many different engineering applications, including the optimal design of composite structures (for aircraft fuselage), and air traffic flow management. She has worked in supply chain optimization, including inventory management, production, and manufacturing. The stochastic models coupled with optimization lead to problems where risk is important, typically risk of supply not meeting demand. This has been applied to health care systems, and the power grid with renewable generation (e.g., solar panels and wind turbines). She has also worked on applications of operations research in transportation, health care, nanosatellite communications, and forestry.

Her work has appeared in Mathematical Programming, Journal of Global Optimization, Operations Research, International Journal of Production Economics, Composite Structures, IEEE Transactions on Power Systems, among other journals. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Boeing Commercial Airplane Company, NASA-Langley, FAA, and Microsoft. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Industrial Engineers, and active in INFORMS (Institute of Operations Research and the Management Science), and the Mathematical Optimization Society.