Operations research and information engineering Assistant Professor Peter Frazier is working with researchers at Georgetown University to find a drug that can stop Ewing’s sarcoma from metastasizing. “It’s an operations research problem because you have this resource which is your time and money and the effort that you put toward doing these tests
While subjective, Frazier says his method of picking the most promising derivatives of compounds that do well in initial robot testing is useful. “If you don’t make some kind of assumptions, you just won’t be able to say anything at all and that’s unacceptable,” he says. “Bayesian statistics is a quantitative way of encapsulating your intuition about a problem. You’re going through a haystack looking for the needle, so you want to be able to use the intuition that you have, even though it’s not very reliable, to direct the search.”
Frazier often commutes to campus on his mountain unicycle. “It’s fun to be different. You ride down the street, and people will say ‘Hello.’ to you and say ‘Oh that’s cool! How do you do that?’ and kids love it,” he says.