Floudas Devises Funding Formula
Professor Christodoulos Floudas, and graduate student Stacy Janak derived a mathematical formual to facilitate the National Science Foundation's (NSF) administration of grant proposals, which now might change the way jobs are assigned in everything from hospitals to the government. Martin Taylor '05, an M.D./Ph.D. student at Johns Hopkins University, designed the computerized form, called the Panel Assignment Problem Solver.
The computerized model uses the input of information -- such as the number of reviewers and proposals -- to distribute assignments in a spreadsheet form. It is a part of a genre called "general assignment problems" (GAP), whose solutions expand exponentially as the number of variables increases. Floudas has been working on GAPs throughout his twenty years at Princeton.
The current model, though designed for the NSF, can be altered for use by hospitals to distribute shifts to nurses and doctors, or government agencies to assign jobs to employees.