• Brendan Harcourt

Andrea Boskovic ‘21

Updated: Feb 23

This article is part of a series on the Joint Mathematics Meeting.

In her study, Andrea Boskovic addressed the question: “How can we allocate items to users as they arrive one-by-one onto an e-commerce platform?” She approached this resource allocation problem by designing a series of algorithms based on progressive levels of difficulty. Her first algorithm focused on a group of customers simultaneously visiting an e-commerce platform. Her second algorithm heightened the difficulty, with customers visiting one-by-one at a constant rate over time. Her final algorithm focused on the most complex yet practical scenario: customers visiting one-by-one at varying rates over time, mimicking a realistic e-commerce platform. Boskovic believes that her research could help companies such as Amazon recommend products to consumers while maximizing their revenues and satisfying various practical constraints.

Boskovic conducted her research through the Research in Industrial Projects for Students program sponsored by the Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics at UCLA. She has developed a newfound appreciation for the feeling of struggling through a challenge. “It's easy to get frustrated when you can't figure something out, and other than research papers on the topic, there usually aren't many resources for help,” she notes. “This makes figuring out even a small piece of the question you are trying to answer so satisfying.” Her favorite aspects of this year’s JMM were spending time in Denver with her friends and learning about new and unfamiliar topics within the field of mathematics.

Boskovic plays the violin for the Amherst Symphony Orchestra, works as a Statistics and Data Science Fellow, and works in Professor Carter’s biophysics laboratory. This summer, she plans to modify her resource distribution algorithms for the purpose of optimizing iron allocation in cells.

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