Some of you may remember Kaushik Gorahava from his time at UT Arlington as a student and a teaching assistant. Below is his reflection on his research and experience at UT Arlington:
I completed my Ph.D. from the Industrial & Manufacturing Systems Engineering department at The University of Texas at Arlington in summer 2013. After having worked as an Industrial Engineer in India’s manufacturing industry for more than three years, I came to the USA in August 2007 to pursue further studies. I completed my M.S. in Industrial Engineering degree in 2009 and took many advanced Statistics, Optimization, and Mathematical Modeling courses in the Industrial Engineering and Mathematics department, respectively.
As a project in the Stochastic Processes course, I reviewed and analyzed a Stochastic Model for using Ring Vaccination for smallpox control. The project was well received in the class and motivated me to pursue further research at the interface of Systems Science and Epidemiology. Under the guidance of my mentors, I developed my broad research area, optimization in neglected public health issues, for my Ph.D. dissertation. In fall 2009, I started my Ph.D. in the Center On Stochastic, Modeling, Optimization, and Statistics (COSMOS) laboratory, under the guidance of Dr. Jay Rosenberger, an expert in Optimization. I was also mentored by my dissertation co-adviser, Dr. Anuj Mubayi, an applied mathematical scientist working at the intersection of epidemiology and social networks.
Being from India, a developing country, I had observed first-hand the suffering caused by disease and poverty. I noticed an urgent need for improvement in public health policies, especially the basic ones. I chose to work on improving one of the basic control measures for a neglected infectious disease, Leishmaniasis, which mostly affects poverty stricken communities and is the second deadliest vector-borne disease in the world. Leishmaniasis spreads to humans by the bite of an infected sandfly. Bihar’s Public Health Department has limited financial resources and can spray insecticide at a limited number of sites. My research aimed to address questions on optimal insecticide allocation for conducting a spray campaign. My dissertation research involved building and analyzing optimization models. The mathematical models were built by considering factors affecting disease transmission and metrics to help the Public Health Department make better decisions. The results of my dissertation study recommended an improved and long-lasting insecticide spray campaign policy for Bihar’s Public Health Department.
I also enjoyed training and teaching individuals, a set of skills which I acquired through my experience as a Teaching Assistant at the Industrial Engineering department during my doctoral studies. During my graduate studies, I mentored some undergraduate and master’s students. I am an independent researcher now and aim to work at the interface of System Dynamics Engineering and Medical Sciences.
Written by Dr. Kaushik Gorahava
Dr. Gorahava graduated in 2013 with a PhD in Industrial Engineering and currently works as a Systems Analyst for Horizon Technologies Inc.