John E. Mitchell

Graduate Program Director, Mathematical Sciences

Professor Mitchell's interests are in various areas of optimization. From a theoretical point of view, he develops algorithms for integer optimization, conic optimization problems, and problems with complementarity constraints, areas that have multiple applications in allocation of resources as well as in other areas of science. One particular current area is in sparse and low-rank optimization, especially in the use of exact complementarity formulations. Sparse formulations occur in, for example, compressed sensing and genome-wide association studies. Low-rank optimization is also used in some problems in compressed sensing and also in statistics and in financial optimization. Current application areas of particular interest are in effective resource allocation in disaster management and humanitarian logistics, looking both at preparation and mitigation for a potential disaster, and in recovery from a disaster. He also looks at the related area of designing resilient supply chains.


Ph.D. Operations Research (Cornell University, 1988)

M.S. Operations Research (Cornell University, 1986)

B.A. Hons Mathematics (University of Cambridge, 1983)

Research Focus
  • optimization
  • integer programming
  • linear programming
  • conic optimization
  • semidefinite programming
  • mathematical modeling of interdependendent infrastructures
  • sparse optimization and rank minimization
Select Works
  • CRISIS: Modeling the restoration of interdependent civil and social infrastructure systems following an extreme event, with Ryan Loggins, Richard G. Little, Thomas C. Sharkey, and William A. Wallace. Natural Hazards Review 20(3), 04019004, 2019.
  • Solving linear programs with complementarity constraints using branch-and-cut, with Bin Yu and Jong-Shi Pang. Mathematical Programming Computation 11(2), pages 267--310, 2019.
  • A Penalty Method for Rank Minimization Problems in Symmetric Matrices, with Xin Shen. Computational Optimization and Applications 71, pages 353--380, 2018.
  • Complementarity Formulations of ℓ0-norm Optimization Problems, with Mingbin Feng, Jong-Shi Pang, Xin Shen, and Andreas Wächter. Pacific Journal of Optimization 14(2), pages 273--305, 2018.
  • On conic QPCCs, conic QCQPs and completely positive programs, with Lijie Bai and Jong-Shi Pang, January 26, 2014. Revised October 17, 2014. Mathematical Programming, 159(1), pages 109-136, 2016.
  • Applying Ranking and Selection Procedures to Long-Term Mitigation for Improved Network Restoration, with Emily Heath and Thomas C. Sharkey. EURO Journal on Computational Optimization, 4(3), pages 447-481, 2016.
  • A dynamic spatial price equilibrium model of integrated urban production-transportation operations considering freight delivery tours, with José Holguin-Veras, Ning Xu, and Miguel Jaller. Transportation Science, 50(2), pages 489-519, 2016.
  • Identification and Classification of Restoration Interdependencies in the Wake of Hurricane Sandy, with Thomas C. Sharkey, Sarah Nurre, Huy Nguyen, Joe H. Chow, and William A. Wallace. ASCE's Journal of Infrastructure Systems, 22(1): 04015007, 2016.