J. Cole Smith

Dean, College of Engineering and Computer Science

Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

223 Link Hall




  • PhD, Industrial and Systems Engineering, Virginia Tech, 2000
  • BS, Mathematical Sciences, Clemson University, 1996

Areas of Expertise:

  • Integer programming and combinatorial optimization
  • Network flows and facility location
  • Computational optimization methods
  • Large-scale optimization due to uncertainty or robustness considerations

My research interests lie in the field of mathematical optimization, especially in mixed-integer programming and combinatorial optimization. Much of my research has recently focused on network interdiction and fortification, along with bilevel mixed-integer optimization problems. I am particularly interested in interdiction problems that involve uncertain data, and/or in which there is an asymmetry of information among the players. My research has applications in areas including logistics, national security, healthcare, production, ecology, and sports. This research has recently appeared in journals such as Operations Research, Mathematical Programming, IISE Transactions, Networks, and INFORMS Journal on Computing, and has been supported by agencies including the National Science Foundation, the Office of Naval Research, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.


  • 2019 Member, Academy of Distinguished Alumni for the Grado Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Virginia Tech
  • 2018 Fellow, Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers
  • 2014 Glover-Klingman Prize for Best Paper in Networks (Sullivan and Smith, 2014)
  • 2010 Hamed K. Eldin Outstanding Young Industrial Engineer in Education Award
  • 2009 IIE Operations Research Division Teaching Award
  • 2007 IIE Transactions Best Paper Award (Lim and Smith, 2007)

Selected Publications:

* Lozano, L., Bergman, D., and Smith, J.C., “On the Consistent Path Problem,” Operations Research 68(6), 1913-1931, 2020.

* Holzmann, T. and Smith, J.C., “The Shortest Path Interdiction Problem with Randomized Interdiction Strategies: Complexity and Algorithms,” Operations Research, 69(1), 82-99, 2021.

* Nguyen, D. and Smith, J.C., “Network Interdiction with Asymmetric Cost Uncertainty,” European Journal of Operational Research, 297(1), 239-251, 2022.

* Lozano, L. and Smith, J.C., “A Binary Decision Diagram Based Algorithm for Solving a Class of Integer Two-Stage Stochastic Programs,” Mathematical Programming, 191(1), 381-404, 2022.

* Curry, R.M. and Smith, J.C., “Minimum-cost Flow Problems Having Arc-activation Costs,” Naval Research Logistics, 69(2), 320-335, 2022.