Engineering News
April 19, 2004, Vol. 74, No. 13S

IEOR professor Candace Yano has been teaching in the IEOR department since 1993, and has held a joint
appointment between IEOR and Haas Business School since 2001. Her main research interests are in the area of operations management, specifically production and inventory systems, and issues at the interface between operations management and marketing.

Professor Minute: Interview with IEOR professor Candace Yano

What do you do to forget about engineering and/or work ?

With a joint appointment between IEOR and Haas I naturally spend some of my time thinking about non-engineering things. For example, some of my current research includes elements of marketing decision making. Besides this, there are always housework and gardening chores.

What is your personal recipe for success?

I don’t really have a recipe per se. I’m a person who is very internally motivated. So, I work hard because I enjoy what I’m doing and I do things just because they are the right things to do, even if nobody notices or rewards me. Fortunately, other people often see value in what gets accomplished.

What can a student do to get through your hardest class?

In most years, I teach IEOR 150, Production Systems Analysis. What students find most difficult is the case studies—complex, open-ended problem scenarios that require “translating” elements of a real situation into a decision model, then analyzing it. I often have to encourage students to visualize what would be happening in the actual manufacturing system and among the people involved in planning and controlling it. Besides developing skills in doing this, it pays to be conscientious—attend class and do the homework.

Why did you become a professor?

I get bored easily, so I need to be in an intellectually stimulating environment working on interesting research. A university is really the best place to find such an environment. I also like teaching, but I think I found this out after I became a professor.

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