Accolades: Researchers and Student Entrepreneur Earn Honors

Accolades is an occasional News Center feature that highlights recent accomplishments of UT Dallas faculty, staff and students. To submit items for consideration, contact your school’s communication manager.

Engineers Recognized for Work to Improve Business Forecasting Practices

Jie Zhang

Dr. Jie Zhang

Two researchers from the Department of Mechanical Engineering in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science have received the 2017-2018 SAS-IIF Research Award from the International Institute of Forecasters (IIF).

IIF is a nonprofit organization dedicated to developing and furthering the generation, distribution and use of knowledge on forecasting. Every year, IIF provides two awards on forecasting, one each in business applications and methodology.

Dr. Jie Zhang, an assistant professor, and doctoral student Cong Feng were selected to receive the business applications award. Their project, “Hierarchy-Based Disaggregate Forecasting Using Deep Machine Learning in Power System Time Series,” aims to address the challenges of collecting decentralized information in power systems by developing a data-driven forecasting methodology based on deep machine learning.

“The power and energy system has been under significant transformation in recent years due to the growing prevalence of smart grid technology and the increasing decentralized components. Detailed information is required at the different levels to help electricity users, utilities and policymakers develop better power system management,” Zhang said.

For Feng, this is the second recognition for his research since last fall. In December, he received a best student paper award at the IEEE/ACM International Conference on Big Data Computing, Applications and Technologies. That paper was titled “Characterizing Time Series Data Diversity for Wind Forecasting.”

Graduate Student Selected for National Fellowship

Omeed Shams

Omeed Shams

A UT Dallas graduate student has been accepted into a national fellowship program that he hopes will accelerate his entrepreneurship capabilities and help grow his company.

Omeed Shams is one of 17 college students awarded a 2018 Future Founders Fellowship, which provides mentoring, entrepreneurship retreats, peer skill sharing and volunteer opportunities.

“I’m excited to meet these people and stay connected with them, but also learn from them as well. They’re all in a very similar stage that I’m in,” said Shams, a master’s student in innovation and entrepreneurship in the Naveen Jindal School of Management.

As part of the program, each of the fellows will be sharing skills with their colleagues. Shams’ presentation is called, “How to build a team on a bootstrap budget.”

His work focuses on a platform called Kwest. In 2016, the app was used as a local scavenger hunt/guided tour platform. Now, Kwest has been updated as an augmented reality gaming platform.

“I think it has a ton of potential — both from a consumer standpoint, but also from an acquisition standpoint,” he said. “If it gets acquired, I will launch something else.”

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].

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