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Messages from Dr. Yong Zheng:
  • Call for PhD students: information about our PhD program, admission guidelines for domestic students and international students. The application deadline for the prospective PhD students starting in the upcoming Fall semester is Jan 31. Note that you need to mention me as your preferred PhD advisor in the application form and/or cover letter.
  • Dr. Zheng is looking for self-motivated PhD and Master students to conduct research in the area of data science and AI, paraticularly in recommender systems, user modeling and decision making, AI for Education and large language models (LLMs). Interested students please feel free to drop me an email with your CV, TOEFL/GRE, transcript (and I can not reply to every individual email).

About DMO

Decision making is a cognitive process that involves selecting a course of action or choice from among multiple alternatives. It's a fundamental aspect of human life and is present in various contexts, ranging from everyday situations to complex professional, personal, and strategic scenarios, such as resource allocations, risk management, strategic planning, cybersecurity, supply chain management, Web information systems (e.g., information retrieval and recommender systems), and so forth. Factors influencing decision making may include cognitive biases (mental shortcuts that can lead to errors in judgment), emotions, cultural and social influences, personal experiences, time constraints, and the availability of information.

Optimization, on the other hand, is a systematic process that aims to find the best possible solution based on specific criteria. It involves mathematical and computational techniques to minimize or maximize an objective function while adhering to a set of constraints. Optimization seeks to identify the globally optimal solution, which is the best solution achievable according to the defined criteria. Multiple optimization techniques have been proposed and applied in machine learning and AI, such as convex optimization, non-linear optimization, evolutionary algorithms, multi-objective optimization, game theroies, etc.

Welcome to the Center for Decision Making and Optimization (DMO) directed by Dr. Yong Zheng, where the future of informed decision-making meets the power of cutting-edge optimization techniques. In an increasingly complex and interconnected world, the ability to make informed choices and optimize outcomes is paramount. DMO is your gateway to a world of innovative research, advanced methodologies, and practical applications that empower individuals, organizations, and communities to navigate the complexities of decision-making with confidence and precision.

At DMO, we are dedicated to advancing the science and practice of decision-making and optimization across a wide range of disciplines and industries. Our multidisciplinary team of experts combines the latest advancements in mathematics, data science and AI, as well as domain-specific knowledge to tackle real-world challenges and create tangible solutions. Whether you're a business leader seeking to enhance operational efficiency, a researcher exploring new frontiers in optimization, or a policymaker aiming to make data-driven choices, DMO is your partner in unlocking the full potential of your decisions.

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Research Interests

  • General Areas: Data Science, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence
  • Decision Making (DM): Multi-Criteria DM, Group DM, Multi-Objective DM, Human-Centric DM, Personalization, Recommender Systems, etc.
  • Optimization: Linear/Non-Linear Optimization, Multi-Objective Optimization, Game Theories, etc.
  • Application Areas: FinTech, Education, E-Commerce, Online Streaming, Social Media, etc.

Publications (Selected)

The list of full publications can be found via Google Scholar (), DBLP (), ResearchGate ().


Dr. Yong Zheng
    Director of the Center for Decision Making and Optimization (DMO)
    Department of Information Technology and Management
    Office: Galvin Tower #15E3-1, 10 West 35th St, Chicago, IL 60616
    Tel: 312.567.3575


Dr. David Xuejun Wang
    Senior Principal Data Scientist
    Morningstar, Inc.
    22 W Washington St #7
    Chicago, IL 60602
Call for Collaborators...
    Welcome new members to join our center!

Ph.D. Students

Call for PhD Students...
Call for PhD Students...

Student Supervision

Students marked with * are the ones who had co-authored publications with Dr. Yong Zheng.

  • PhD Students & Alumni
    • Full-Time PhD Students (Research Projects & Thesis)
      • 2024 - Present, TBA

    • Part-Time PhD Students (Research Projects & Thesis)
      • 2016 - 2020, Diego Sanchez-Moreno* (Part-time PhD Student at University of Salamanca, Spain)
        Dissertation: Improving collaborative filtering music recommender systems: a focus on user characterization from behavioral and contextual factors

    • PhD Alumni
      • 2020, Diego Sanchez-Moreno; Senior Software Engineer at Syndigo, USA

  • MS Students
    • Graduate Students in the Joint Program with Universities in Spain (Research Projects & Thesis)
      • Maria Delgado Franco, Beatriz Blanco, Project: Grey Sheep Users In RecSys
      • Arturo Pavon Estrade, Project: Personality-Aware Recommendations
      • Juan Ruiz Toribio*, Project: Transparency and Fairness
      • Alejandro Susillo Ridao*, Project: AI for Education
      • Raquel Noblejas Sampedro, Project: Mobile Security
      • Jorge Torres, Project: Group RecSys
      • Gonzalo Florez Arias*; Project: Recommender Systems based on Deep Learning
      • Guillermo Canete; Project: Generative Reviews
      • Paula Labandeira Campos; Project: Multi-Criteria Recommender Systems

    • Other Graduate Students at ITM Department (Research Projects)
      • Ruthvik Kilaru, Munawar Ali, Navaneeth Kamath; Project: AI for Education
      • Arnold Liu*; Project: Data Science Running Efficiency Over Computing Machines/Clusters
      • Shuaiqi Zheng*; Project: Impacts on Educational Learning by the COVID-19 Pandemic
      • Mili Singh*, Mayur Agnani*; Project: Identification of Grey Sheep Users In Recommender Systems
      • Tanaya Dave*, Neha Mishra*, Harshit Kumar*; Project: Reciprocal Recommendations
      • Shephalika Shekhar*; Project: Multi-Criteria Recommender System
      • Alisha Anna Jose*; Project: Context-Aware Recommender System
      • Nastaran Ghane*, Milad Sabouri*; Project: Multi-Stakeholder Recommendations
      • Sridhar Srinivasan*, Kim Taehun*; Project: Malware Detection and Usage Analysis In Mobile Apps
      • Archana Subramaniyan*; Project: Personality-Aware Recommendations
      • Vih Dogo*, Yash Agrawal*, Shubham Sudhir Madke*; Project: Crime Predictions over the Chicago Transit Authority Services,
        a collaboration with Digby's Detective & Security Agency, Inc.


Contact: Dr. Yong Zheng
Office: IIT Galvin Tower #15E3-1, 10 West 35th Street, Chicago, IL 60616, USA
Telephone: 312.567.3575
Snail Mail: Dr. Yong Zheng
IIT Galvin Tower #15E3-1
10 W 35th Street
Chicago, IL, 60616, USA


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