Superstorm halts operation of the electricity power grid! Software bug in alarm system causes U.S.-Canada 2003 blackout! Quake disrupts production facility! The possibility of such high-impact rare events poses many challenges to system design and operation.

Two popular approaches have been developed, but each has its limitations. With stochastic optimization, the estimates are unstable. Robust optimization, in contrast, may lead to overly conservative results.

To address these problems, researchers from Argonne National Laboratory, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Ohio State University, and Courant Institute, New York University are co-organizing a workshop on “Mathematical Optimization of Systems Impacted by Rare, High-Impact Events.” The goal of the workshop is to provide a forum for exploring new models and solution approaches for optimization under uncertainty.

Two computational mathematicians from the Mathematics and Computer Science Division at Argonne National Laboratory  — Mihai Anitescu and Kibaek Kim  — are scheduled to give presentations.

“The workshop provides an excellent opportunity for researchers with diverse perspectives to apply a multidisciplinary focus — including optimization and stochastic analysis — to high-impact rare events in complex energy systems,” said Anitescu, who is also a member of the workshop organizing committee.

The workshop is sponsored by the Institute for Computational and Experimental Research in Mathematics (ICERM) and will take place in Providence, Rhode Island, on June 24-28, 2019. ICERM welcomes applications from faculty, postdocs, graduate students, industry scientists, and other researchers who wish to participate. For details about the workshop, see the website:

For  details about the workshop, visit the website at: