Tianay Zeigler, 2018, Operations Research and Financial Engineering
This past summer, I did research to find the optimal way to integrate energy from the grid and solar energy for use in daily appliances such as heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC). To do so, I used backwards dynamic programming, a method that steps through every combination of a state and evaluates it. I also used linear regression in MATLAB to predict the best decision to make given certain input. This input included current solar levels, possible solar shifts in the next five minutes, current temperature of the room, current energy prices, and possible future energy prices. If perfected, this model will help to decrease stress on the grid and make our world more efficient when it comes to energy consumption. By working through this problem, I greatly increased my aptitude with MATLAB and learned about optimal learning and stochastic optimization. The lab was an amazing environment in which to learn and implement new ideas and methods. After this experience, I might look into something similar for a senior thesis in the coming year.