Ellis Johnson Distinguished Seminar Series

The Ellis Johnson distinguished seminar series brings a distinguished leader to campus each fall and spring who can share wisdom and insight about the aviation industry and operations research with students and the wider Georgia Tech community. The series honors Dr. Ellis Johnson, Professor Emeritus in the School of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Georgia Tech.

While Ellis is best known as being one of the most influential research scientists in Operations Research and Mathematical Modeling, what many of us who worked with him most appreciate is his mentorship and passion for research. It are for these reasons that the ATL@GT Center has named its distinguished seminar series after Ellis.

As one of Ellis’ mentees early in my career, Ellis had a profound influence on my career fostering creativity and innovation that has guided my career since.  From my work on the early development of O&D-based revenue management and pricing systems and O&D fleeting to the development of the machine learning tools we use today to plan and operate Amazon Air’s Global Cargo Service, Ellis’ influence on how to think big, innovate and approach complex problems differently has helped guide my research, my management style and my career.

Timothy L. Jacobs, PhD, PE and Director of Research Science at Amazon

I had a privilege of working with Ellis at a very beginning of my career, when he was already one of the top experts in the field of Operations Research (OR). I was, of course, aware of a long list of his theoretical contributions and vast experience in applying OR in practice. What was eye-opening though is his genuine interest in any new problem he came across even if that was a very special practical use case and his willingness to “roll-up the sleeves” and do the routine work of digging through the data and trying out different ideas. I’ve learned from Ellis that there is no “easy button”. It takes patience and hard work to solve complex problems. He also showed a trick – if you really like what you do, then it’s fun, rather than hard work.

Sergey Shebelov, PhD, VP and Head of Research at Sabre Corporation

I would not be the Professor I am today without Ellis’ mentorship early in my career. Ellis introduced me to leading experts in the aviation field and was instrumental in connecting me to the AGIFORS community and encouraging me to pursue leadership positions. It is a privilege to honor Ellis through this seminar series and invite distinguished leaders that share his passion for aviation, research, and problem solving. It is my hope that the seminar series helps inspire students to pursue careers in aviation.

Laurie Garrow, PhD, Director of ATL@GT