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Portrait image for Scott Rodilitz

Scott Rodilitz

Assistant Professor of Decisions, Operations and Technology Management
“My research aims to amplify the impact of organizations that promote social good.”
Areas of Expertise:
  • Analysis of Complex Stochastic Systems
  • Data-Driven Optimization Crowdsourcing
  • Nonprofit Operations
  • Platform Design
  • Public Policy
Biography
 

Drawing on techniques from operations, computer science, economics and statistics, Scott Rodilitz produces research that optimizes online platforms to support public- and civic-sector decision makers. “I build data-driven models of large stochastic systems to shed light on how organizations can harness the power of crowdsourcing and platform-based markets,” he says.

“My research is motivated in part by a collaboration with Food Rescue US,” says Rodilitz, who worked with the organization to hone its strategy for connecting volunteers with donations. Food Rescue US, which curbs hunger and food waste in communities nationwide, faced fundamental design challenges related to notification systems and platform growth that Rodilitz was able to help meet with a forward-thinking, location-specific algorithm.

The experience led Rodilitz to research how an organization might best influence volunteers to engage with their app. “Excessive notifications may overwhelm volunteers,” he says. The platform faces a trade-off between notifying more volunteers about immediate needs or waiting to send notifications until later needs arise. “As one way to reduce uncertainty about future needs,” Rodilitz says, “platforms frequently use a commitment lever known as ‘adoption,’ which can have double-edged impacts on volunteer engagement. We studied how platforms can balance an increase in match certainty with a potential decrease in engagement.”

Rodilitz spent a summer as a research science intern at Lyft and, before pursuing his Ph.D., taught mathematics at Kingswood Oxford School. He has been a coach as well as a teacher and, outside his professional research, he pursues a range of athletic activities, such as soccer and trail running. In 2021, he was a post-doctoral researcher with a joint appointment at Stanford and Yale. Having grown up in Redondo Beach, California, he returned to the West Coast to join the UCLA Anderson faculty as an assistant professor in 2022.

Education

Ph.D. Operations, 2021, Yale University School of Management
B.A. Mathematics and Economics (Magna Cum Laude), 2013, Williams College

Research

Publications

“Fair Dynamic Rationing,” with Vahideh Manshadi and Rad Niazadeh. Forthcoming in Management Science.
      • Winner, Michael H. Rothkopf Junior Researcher Paper Prize 2021 (Entrant: Rad Niazadeh)
      • Accepted to the 22nd ACM Conference on Economics & Computation (EC ’21)

“Online Policies for Efficient Volunteer Crowdsourcing,” with Vahideh Manshadi. Management Science 2022.
      • Second Place, MSOM Best Student Paper Competition 2021
      • Honorable Mention, INFORMS Public Sector OR Best Paper Award 2020
      • Accepted to the 21st ACM Conference on Economics & Computation (EC ’20)

“Diffusion in Random Networks: Impact of Degree Distribution,” with Vahideh Manshadi and Sidhant Misra. Operations Research 2020.
      • Accepted to the 13th Workshop on the Economics of Networks, Systems and Computation (NetEcon ’18)

“Snapshot Models of Undocumented Immigration,” with Ed Kaplan. Risk Analysis 2020.
      • Honorable Mention, INFORMS Public Sector OR Best Paper Award 2019

Working Papers

“Commitment on Volunteer Crowdsourcing Platforms: Implications for Growth and Engagement,” with Irene Lo, Vahideh Manshadi, and Ali Shameli. Major Revision, Manufacturing & Service Operations Management (MSOM).

“Online Algorithms for Matching Platforms with Multi-Channel Traffic,” with Vahideh Manshadi, Daniela Saban, and Akshaya Suresh. Submitted to Management Science.
      • Accepted to the 23rd ACM Conference on Economics & Computation (EC ’22)