Dr. Sharath Raghvendra recently won a NSF CRII Award for his proposal titled “The Geometry Behind Logistics — Approximation Algorithms for Real-Time Delivery”. The CRII Awards are a new program at NSF targeted towards untenured faculty members, in their first 2 years in an academic position, who have not yet served as PI on any NSF support. This is the first year of the program and the CS department is proud to have a recipient. Sharath’s abstract states, “In the era of instant gratification, consumers expect to receive delivery of goods and services on demand. In an effort to address consumer needs, vendors have adopted routing algorithms with little or no provable guarantee. The algorithms available today are often unreliable and yield higher costs than desired. There are two major difficulties finding effective solutions. First, in many cases, routing decisions need to be made with partial or no information on future requests. The second challenge is related to processing speed. In current solutions, even if all required information is available in advance, it could take several hours to compute an efficient route making real-time routing almost impossible. This project investigates a new approach for real-time algorithms applicable in routing applications. The idea is to use “straight-line” distance between locations as a proxy for the actual road travel distance to design high quality approximation and online algorithms”. Click here to read more. Dr. Sharath is an assistant professor in the department.