Kumar Rajaram

Profile photo of Kumar Rajaram
“I concentrate my research efforts on developing analytical models that improve how operations are managed across a variety of industries.”

Professor of Decisions, Operations and Technology Management; Ho-Su Wu Chair in Management; DOTM Area Chair

Areas of Expertise

  • Operations Management in the Motion Picture Industry
  • Operations Management in the Process Industry
  • Process Improvement in Health Care
  • Process Improvement in Nonprofits
  • Retail Operations Management
  • Theme Park Operations




Kumar Rajaram is professor of decisions, operations and technology management and the Ho-Su Wu Chair in Management at the UCLA Anderson School of Management. Rajaram’s current research interests include improving operations in the health care industry, nonprofit sector and process manufacturing sector, including food processing, pharmaceuticals and the petrochemical industry. He has focused on developing analytical models of complicated systems with a strong emphasis on practical implementation.

Rajararm’s work has been published in leading research journals such as Operations Research, Management Science, Manufacturing and Service Operations Management, Marketing Science and Production and Operations Management. He has been awarded the Eric and “E” Juline Faculty Excellence in Research Award at UCLA Anderson.

Rajaram developed a new control paradigm called “Robust Process Control” to increase the productivity of large-scale industrial processes. By focusing on the design and control of these processes in operational environments, this technique has resulted in four-fold increases in productivity in several types of industrial processes. These methods have been implemented at several process companies worldwide. For this work, he has been recognized by the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) as a Franz Edelman Laureate for outstanding applications of operations research and management science techniques to practice. He has also developed techniques to better balance supply with demand for products with short life cycles and highly unpredictable demand. This work has been applied at several large fashion retailers in Europe and North America and has resulted in substantial improvements to profitability at these sites. He has also worked in developing analytical models to improve planning for HIV/AIDS screening, testing and care at the Veterans Administration. In addition, he has worked at improving patient flows at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and has developed models to improve staff and operating room assignments for surgeries at this hospital.



At the UCLA Anderson, Rajaram teaches the MBA core course on operations and technology management, various executive education courses and doctoral level courses on operations management and models for operations design, planning and control.



Ph.D. Operations Management, 1998, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

M.A. Managerial Science and Applied Economics, 1997, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

M.S. Industrial Engineering and Operations Research, 1993, University of Massachusetts at Amherst

M.Sc. Mathematics, with Honors, 1991, Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, India

B.E. Electrical and Electronics Engineering, with Honors, 1991, Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, India



Improving Supplier Compliance Through Joint and Shared Audits with Collective Penalty[Full Text]  F. Caro, P. Chintapalli, K. Rajaram, C.S. Tang.  Manufacturing and Service Operations Management. Forthcoming.

Integrated Anesthesiologist and Room Scheduling for Surgeries:  Methodology and Application.  S. Rath, K. Rajaram, A. Mahajan. Operations Research. Forthcoming.

Elective Patient Admission and Scheduling under Multiple Resource Constraints. [Full Text]  C. Barz, K. Rajaram. Production and Operations Management. 24(12): 1907-1930. December 2015.

Planning for HIV Screening, Testing, and Care at the Veterans Health Administration. S. Deo, K. Rajaram, S. Rath, U.S. Karmarkar, M.B. Goetz. Operations Research, 63(2): 287-304. March-April 2015. 

The Retail Planning Problem under Demand Uncertainty. [Full Text] G. Georgiadis, K. Rajaram. Production and Operations Management, 22(5): 1200-1213. September-October 2013.

A Framework for Improving Access and Customer Service Times in Healthcare: Application and Analysis at the UCLA Medical Center. [Full Text] C. Duda, K. Rajaram, C. Barz, T. Rosenthal. The Health Care Manager. July-September 2013. 

Aggregate Production Planning for Process Industries under Oligopolistic Competition. [Abstract] [Full Text For ScienceDirect Subscribers] U.S. Karmarkar, K. Rajaram. European Journal of Operational Research. 223(3): 680-689. December 2012.

Process Location and Product Distribution with Uncertain Yields. [Abstract] [Full Text] F. Caro, K. Rajaram, J. Wollenweber. Operations Research. 60(5): 1050-1063. September-October 2012.

Distribution Planning to Optimize Profits in the Motion Picture Industry. [Abstract] [Full Text For Wiley Subscribers] B. Somlo, K. Rajaram, R. Ahmadi. Production and Operations Management. 20(4): 618-636. July-August 2011.

Buffer Location and Sizing to Optimize Cost and Quality in Semi-Continuous Manufacturing Processes: Methodology and Application. [Abstract] [Full Text For InformaWorld Subscribers] [Best Application Paper 2011]. K. Rajaram, Z. Tian. IIE Transactions. 41(12): 1035-1048. December 2009.

A Decision Analysis Tool for Evaluating Fundraising Tiers. [Abstract] [Full Text] K.F. McCardle, K. Rajaram, C.S. Tang. Decision Analysis. 6(1): 4-13. March 2009.

Joint Pricing And Inventory Control With A Markovian Demand Model. [Abstract] [Full Text For Science Direct Subscribers] R. Yin, K. Rajaram. European Journal of Operational Research. 182(1): 113-126. October 2007.

Buffer Sizing in Multi-Product Multi-Reactor Batch Processes: Impact of Allocation and Campaign Sizing Policies. [Abstract] [Full Text For Science Direct Subscribers] I.V. Nieuwenhuyse, N. Vandaele, K. Rajaram, U.S. Karmarkar. European Journal of Operational Research. 179(2): 424-443. June 2007.

Bundling Retail Products: Models and Analysis. [Abstract] [Full Text For Science Direct Subscribers] K.F. McCardle, K. Rajaram, C.S. Tang. European Journal of Operational Research. 177(2): 1197-1217. 2007.

A Generalization of the Inventory Pooling Effect to Non-Normal Dependent Demand. [Abstract] [Full Text] C.J.Corbett, K. Rajaram. Manufacturing and Service Operations Management. 8(4): 351-358. Fall 2006.

Analyzing Variability In Continuous Processes. [Abstract] [Full Text For Science Direct Subscribers] K. Rajaram, A. Robotis. European Journal of Operational Research. 156(2): 312-325. 2004.

Campaign Planning And Scheduling For Multi-Product Batch Operations With Applications To The Food Processing Industry. [Abstract] [Full Text] U.S. Karmarkar, K. Rajaram. Manufacturing and Service Operations Management. 6(3): 253-269. 2004.

Advance Booking Discounts Under Retail Competition. [Abstract] [Full Text] K.F. McCardle, K. Rajaram, C.S. Tang. Management Science. 50(5): 701-708. 2004.

The Benefits Of Advance Booking Discount Programs: Models And Analysis. [Abstract] [Full Text] K. Rajaram, C.S. Tang, A. Alptekinoglu, J. Ou. Management Science. 50(4): 465-478. 2004.

Flow Management To Optimize Retail Profits At Theme Parks. [Abstract] [Full Text] K. Rajaram, R. Ahmadi. Operations Research. 51(2): 175-184. 2003.

Achieving Environmental And Productivity Improvements Through Model Based Process Redesign. [Abstract] [Full Text] K. Rajaram, C.J. Corbett. Operations Research. 50(5): 751-763. 2003.

Product Cycling With Uncertain Yields: Analysis And Application To The Process Industry. [Abstract] [Full Text] U.S. Karmarkar, K. Rajaram. Operations Research. 50(4): 680-691. 2002.

An Interactive Decision Support System For On-Line Process Control. [Abstract] [Full Text For Science Direct Subscribers]K. Rajaram, R. Jaikumar. European Journal of Operational Research. 138(3): 554-568. 2002.

The Impact Of Product Substitution On Retail Merchandising. [Abstract] [Full Text For Science Direct Subscribers] K. Rajaram, C.S. Tang. European Journal of Operational Research. 135(3): 582-601. 2001.

Optimizing Inventory Replenishment Of Retail Fashion Products. [Abstract] [Full Text] M.L. Fisher, K. Rajaram, A. Raman. Manufacturing and Service Operations Management. 3(3): 230-241. 2001.

Grade Selection And Blending To Optimize Cost And Quality. [Abstract] [Full Text] U.S. Karmarkar, K. Rajaram. Operations Research. 49(2): 271-280. 2001.

Assortment Planning In Fashion Retailing: Methodology, Application And Analysis. [Abstract] [Full Text For Science Direct Subscribers] K. Rajaram. European Journal of Operational Research. 129(1): 186-208. 2001.

Accurate Retail Testing Of Fashion Merchandise: Methodology And Application. [Abstract] [Full Text] M.L. Fisher, K. Rajaram. Marketing Science. 19(3): 266-278. 2000.

Incorporating Operator-Process Interactions In Process Control: A Framework And Application To Glucose Refining. [Abstract] [Full Text For Science Direct Subscribers] K. Rajaram, R. Jaikumar. International Journal of Production Economics. 63(1): 19-31. 2000.

Robust Process Control At Cerestar's Refineries. [Abstract] [Full Text] K. Rajaram, R. Jaikumar, F. Behlau, C. Heynen, F. van Esch, R. Kaiser, A. Kuttner, I. Van Dewege. Interfaces. Special Issue: Edelman Award Papers. 29(1): 30-48. 1999.

Costing For Manufacturing Decisions: An Analytical Framework. [Abstract] [Document Request] R. Giglio, K. Rajaram. Engineering Valuation and Cost Analysis. 2: 45-54. 1998.

Modeling The Transport Sector In India. [Document Request] K. Rajaram, N. Somasekhara, T.R. Krishna Mohan, K.S. Yajnik. Journal of Scientific and Industrial Research. 51: 696-708. 1992.


Book Chapters & Cases

The Akshaya Patra Foundation: Process Analysis and Improvements in the Service Factory that Feeds a Million Kids. [Full Text] K. Rajaram, N. Brahambhatt. UCLA Anderson School Case. 2010.

Nairobi District Hospital.
K. Rajaram, S. Benavides, J. Bonham, C. Ireland, N. Pelham, M. Yaguchi. UCLA Anderson School Case. 2010.
[Full Text]

Merchandise Planning Models for Fashion Retailing. K. Rajaram Supply Chain Analysis: Information, Systems, Optimization. C.P. Teo, K.K. Wei, C.S. Tang (eds.). Springer/Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 105-140. 2008.

Fundamentals of Operations Management for HIV/AIDS Health Care Organizations. K. Rajaram. Johnson and Johnson/UCLA HIV/AIDS Management Development Institute. April 2006.

Advanced Booking Discount Programs between Competing Retailers. K.F. McCardle, K. Rajaram, C.S. Tang. Supply Chain Optimization. J. Geunes and P.M. Pardalos (eds.). Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 51-86. 2005.

Venice Family Clinic: Managing Patient Wait Times.
K. Rajaram, K. Conner. UCLA Anderson School Case. 2005.

Managing Demand Uncertainty for Short Life Cycle Products Using Advance Booking Discount Programs.
C.S. Tang, K. Rajaram, J. Ou. Supply Chain Management: Models, Applications and Research Directions. J. Geunes, P.M. Pardalos and H.E. Romeijn (eds.). Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp.69-95. 2002.

Cerestar Benelux B.V.: Managing Variability at a Continuous Process.
K. Rajaram. UCLA Anderson School Case. 1997.


Working Papers

H. Jahandideh, K. Rajaram, K. McCardle (November 23, 2016)  Production Campaign Planning Under Learning and Decay. [Download].

W. Zhang, K. Rajaram. (May 2017). Managing Limited Retail Space for Basic Products: Space Sharing vs. Space Dedication. [ Download ]



  • Best Application Paper, Institute of Industrial Engineers, 2010
  • Deloitte Consulting Award for Management Field Study Achievement, 2009
  • Niedorf “Decade” Teaching Award, UCLA Anderson School of Management, 2005
  • Eric and “E” Juline Faculty Excellence in Research Award, UCLA Anderson School of Management, 2003
  • Citibank Teaching Award, UCLA Anderson School of Management, 2000
  • George Robbins Assistant Professor Teaching Award, 1999
  • Franz Edelman Laureate, Institute for Operations Research and Management Science (INFORMS), 1998