Marakada “Mike” Chitharanjan Shetty, retired professor in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE), passed away on February 25, 2012 in Great Falls, Virginia, where he relocated after his retirement. Shetty received his bachelor’s degree in mechanical and electrical engineering from Benares University in India, his master’s in industrial engineering from Ohio State University, and a Ph.D. in industrial engineering from Northwestern University.
Shetty joined ISyE in January of 1968 and retired in December of 1992 after 25 years of service to the School. He was instrumental in attracting new faculty to ISyE, many of which are now senior faculty and consider him a mentor.
Reflections from ISyE faculty:
“Mike first made an indelible impression on my life as a major professor in my Ph.D. program, where he was a wise and patient mentor. He was encouraging and had a wonderful sense of humor. Later Mike became a senior faculty colleague as I began my faculty career, where he served as an inspiration and helpful guide to all of us.” – Jane Ammons, H. Milton and Carolyn J. Stewart School Chair
“Mike's specialization was classical optimization; he worked on hard, fundamental problems. Importantly, he was really the School's primary and most credible link to the methodological research culture in optimization that, frankly, thrived elsewhere at that time. But as crucial as that role was in laying the groundwork for the exceptional, indeed world-class strength in optimization that exists now in ISyE, I think many who knew and interacted with him would agree that his broader role as the model of what constitutes genuine scholarship was just as profound.” – R. Gary Parker, professor emeritus in ISyE
“When I first came to ISyE all those years ago, Mike Shetty and Dick Serfozo were the two senior faculty who I most looked up to. Mike was a guy who exemplified what it meant to be a professor at a major research university.” – Dave Goldsman, professor in ISyE
“Mike was a true scholar, and a harbinger of ISyE's exceptional strength in optimization.” – Craig Tovey, professor in ISyE
“It was clear from my first interaction with him that Mike was a true and serious scholar, and in that role, his impact in shaping this School is immeasurable. He also struck me as a joyful person--I can still see his grin and that distinctive shake of the head when he laughed.” – Leon McGinnis, professor emeritus in ISyE
"Mike was instrumental in giving birth to and nurturing the area of optimization which has become a key part of IE. In addition, he had that rare quality of character, which I admired and will always remember." – Dick Serfozo, professor emeritus in ISyE
“I remember Mike Shetty as a colleague who early on earned my respect from at least two perspectives. He was at the epicenter of the transformation in academic reputation, which our School developed in the mid 1970’s, catapulting us into national and international limelight. Although his primary research area was anchored on nonlinear programming, he appreciated the centrality of dynamic programming in advancing the field of optimization. I personally found it refreshing to engage him occasionally on their relationships. Perhaps, the other and more appealing of his scholarship to me, was his intellectual and professional integrity which were never colored by departmental politics or myopia. Mike was an academician that one was proud to call a colleague. The transformational history of ISyE will be truly incomplete without a chapter on Professor Mike Shetty's contributions to its current prominence.” – Augustine O. Esogbue, former professor in ISyE