Ryan Peng, 2014, Operations Research and Financial Engineering

This past summer, I worked in the Princeton Laboratory for Energy Systems Analysis (PENSA) to develop a computer model for optimizing purchases of energy contracts in order to meet random customer demands. The primary goal was to maximize profits, while minimizing exposure to risks that are inherently present with this type of random demand. This is an important and fundamental challenge that energy distribution companies face every day. In order to create such a model, I used my skills in applied math (linear programming and stochastic calculus) and computer science (MATLAB and related software) to develop an efficient program that would determine the amounts of energy that should be bought on each day. Through this project, I have sharpened my technical skills and learned much about energy policy and distribution. I had a great time working on this model, while learning from my advisors and talking to my colleagues who worked on other energy research projects at PENSA. With this experience in mind, I feel better prepared to perform original research for my senior thesis at Princeton.