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Student Spotlight: Anders Wikum

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September 12, 2022

Meet Anders Wikum
Incoming PhD student

Green Bay, Wisconsin

Boston, Massachusetts

Cornell University

Bachelor of Science, Operations Research and Information Engineering (ORIE)

Academic and work experience

I have always been interested in using math to tackle tangible, real-world problems.

My first real opportunity came during the COVID-19 pandemic, when I worked alongside a team of ORIE faculty and students to schedule Cornell’s courses, with the aim of holding an in-person fall 2020 semester. The experience motivated me to further explore algorithms for combinatorial optimization during my undergrad and cemented my decision to pursue a PhD. As I was considering options, I was drawn to MS&E (and Stanford more broadly) because of its strength in various aspects of Operations Research/Computer Science theory and clear focus on social applications.

Prior to joining MS&E, I worked for a year in analytics consulting with McKinsey & Company, where I supported digital transformations in the metals and energy sectors.

Impact I hope to have in my field and the world

Ultimately, I want to be in a position where I can work on problems in OR/CS that are both theoretically interesting and have a direct impact on people’s lives. I’ve been fortunate enough to learn from a number of folks across industry and academia who have managed to strike that balance, and I’m confident that a PhD in MS&E will set me up with the tools I need to find what that looks like for myself.

Interests and hobbies

Sports: Skiing, tennis, squash
Hobbies: Playing guitar and bass, discovering new bands/music (especially post-punk, shoegaze, dreampop, etc.), cooking, traveling

Meet the 2022 incoming PhD cohort