Smith featured speaker at two computing conferences

Published: Dec 19, 2014 1:00:00 PM
Media Contact: Gail Riese,, 334-844-3447


Alice E. Smith, W. Allen and Martha Reed professor in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, was a featured speaker at the Current Challenges in Computing Conference (CCubed) in Napa, Calif., and at the 2014 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Symposium Series on Computational Intelligence (SSCI) in Orlando, Fla.

Smith was among a selected team of researchers and leading industry professionals at the CCubed conference exploring emerging advances in high performance computing as it relates to the scientific field of Decision Science, which allows for logical and consistent analysis of tough, complex decisions. In her talk, Smith discussed natural system computational paradigms of artificial neural networks and evolutionary algorithms for use in decision science. Artificial neural networks are statistical learning algorithms inspired by the brain in animals, and evolutionary algorithms use mechanisms inspired by reproduction, mutation and selection. Both are used to solve a wide variety of tasks that are difficult to decipher using conventional programming.

During the IEEE SSCI symposium, Smith presented strategies for the design of engineered systems using evolutionary computation paradigms. She discussed its use in aircraft airfoil design, optimal configurations for order picking warehouses, and the design of resilient ad hoc wireless communications networks.

Smith’s work uses computational intelligence — which includes artificial neural networks, meta-heuristics and fuzzy systems — and is combined with techniques from probability and statistics, as well as operations research. Primary application areas include manufacturing process control, advanced materials microstructure, design of reliable wired and wireless telecommunications networks, facilities design and economic modeling.

An Auburn faculty member since 1999, Smith has authored more than 200 publications, which have garnered more than 2,100 citations. She is a fellow of the Institute of Industrial Engineers, a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and of the Society of Women Engineers, a member of Tau Beta Pi and the Institute for Operations Research and Management Science. She was elected to serve on the Administrative Committee of the IEEE Computational Intelligence Society from 2013-15 and as IIE senior vice president, publications from 2014-17. She has served as chair of the Council of Industrial Engineering Academic Department Heads and as president of the INFORMS Association of Chairs of Operations Research Departments.