Reda joins Amazon Scholars: Optimization at Scale

Sherief RedaBrown Engineering and Computer Science Professor Sherief Reda has been selected an Amazon Scholar, an elite group of academics from universities around the globe who want to work on large-scale technical challenges while continuing to teach and conduct research at their universities. Reda will be working with Amazon’s Supply Chain Optimization Technologies (SCOT) team, a team Amazon often refers to as its central nervous system.

The Amazon Scholars program is designed for academics who want to apply research methods in practice and help Amazon solve hard technical challenges without leaving their academic institutions. Given the scale and ownership of both an information infrastructure and physical infrastructure, Amazon is a unique place to measure the impact of new scientific ideas. 

Specifically, Amazon’s SCOT team is a collaboration of engineers, economists and strategic sourcing employees who work on some of the world’s most complex supply chain challenges, at Amazon scale. When customers place orders, Amazon’s systems use real-time, large-scale optimization techniques to choose from where to ship and how to consolidate multiple orders. By understanding inventory availability for the millions of items on Amazon, computing accurate delivery expectations for customer orders, and monitoring fulfillment network changes to inform delivery updates and optimizations, customers get their shipments within the promised timeframe, and in an efficient manner.

Reda’s engagement is also indicative of Amazon’s intention to engage more deeply with Brown University, both because of its world class reputation (it is already a top source of student recruiting) and because Rhode Island is a growing research location for Amazon. He is the first Amazon Scholar from Brown. In addition to Reda having the opportunity for a ground-up impact on systems and business, he will also gain valuable, real-world, industry experience to bring back to students in his research lab and classroom. 

Amazon Scholars must meet strict guidelines to be considered for the program, including external recognition as an applied science expert who routinely applies knowledge from other disciplines. Research and communications are also noted as important qualifiers. Researchers may come from the backgrounds of artificial intelligence, avionics, computer vision, data science, economics, machine learning, optimization, natural language processing, quantum computing, and robotics.

Reda's research interests are in the area of computer engineering, focusing on energy-efficient computing, design automation of integrated circuits, embedded systems, and computer architecture. After earning his undergraduate and Sc.M. degrees from Ain Shams University in Cairo, Reda received his Ph.D. in computer science and engineering from the University of California at San Diego in 2006. He joined the Brown faculty that same year.

He was recently named a 2023 Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). He has co-authored and edited two books, has published over 135 articles in leading journals and archival proceedings, and he has received several best paper nominations and awards. He has been a principal investigator or co-PI on more than $21M of funded projects from federal agencies and industry corporations. Reda has served as a chair and technical program committee member for many IEEE/ACM conferences in his research area, and as an associate editor for Elsevier Integration and IEEE Transactions on Computer-Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems. He was a recipient of the NSF CAREER award in 2010, and holds five U.S. patents.