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Metzger receives DHS award

for hurricane preparedness research, serves on “best and brightest” panel

By Lois Slavin, Communications Director, MIT Engineering Systems Division – April 11, 2008

Michael Metzger, a research assistant in the MIT Engineering Systems Division’s Center for Engineering Systems Fundamentals and a Ph.D. student in MIT’s Operations Research Center, received second place honors for his research on strategies for hurricane preparedness and response at the second annual Department of Homeland Security (DHS) University Network Summit. The event, held March 19-20 in Washington, DC, showcased key research and education priorities of DHS Centers of Excellence, the Science and Technology Directorate and the Department of Homeland Security at-large.

Metzger receiving award
Undersecretary of Homeland Security Jay M. Cohen presented
CESF RA Michael Metzger with an award for his research
on hurricane preparedness and response.

Metzger was one of a select group of students accepted to present his research at the summit’s poster session, which was attended by approximately 750 participants. His poster, entitled “Avoiding the Eye of the Storm,” followed the approach of MIT’s Engineering Systems Division to the analysis of complex systems.

Metzger’s advisor, Richard C. Larson, Mitsui Professor of Engineering Systems and Civil and Environmental Engineering and director of CESF, explains. “Mike’s proposed response strategy to approaching hurricanes embodies elements of engineering, management and the social sciences. On the one hand, he used a sophisticated form of 'Bellman's equation,' drawn from operations research to characterize sequential decision making under uncertainty. On the other hand, he also examines an area with no equations – focusing on the Boy-Who-Cries-Wolf problem – as an indicator of a population's willingness to follow an evacuation advisory."

Undersecretary of Homeland Security Jay M. Cohen presented Metzger with his award at a gala luncheon.

In addition, Metzger was invited to serve on the DHS scholars “best and brightest” panel. He was the only student to both win an award and speak on the panel.



MIT SoE MIT Sloan School of Management MIT School of Science SHASS SA+P