Students Support Fang in the Best Way Possible

Since 1988, Walter Clark Chair and University Alumni Distinguished Graduate Professor of Operations Research and Industrial Engineering at NC State University, Shu-Cherng Fang has mentored hundreds of students in the ISE Department. In honor of that dedication, former students have created the Shu-Cherng Fang ISE Graduate Student Endowment to recognize Fang’s commitment in a way that he loves the most—supporting other students.

For Fang, mentoring students goes beyond the classroom and even university borders and involves helping them to understand the “big picture” of life. “We were fortunate to spend several years in Fangroup, where we got married, received our doctorate degrees, and landed our first job offers,” shared former students Tao Hong (OR Ph.D. 2010) and Pu Wang (ISE Ph.D. 2010). “Dr. Fang is more than an academic advisor. His mentorship has empowered our personal and professional growth, leaving an indelible mark on our lives.” Fang believes in the philosophy of becoming a whole person. “Life has many, many faces,” he said. “It is important to study and immerse yourself in the things that you enjoy about life; to read, to experience, and to learn about what makes you happy — listen to your mind!”

Shu-Cherng Fang writing on a blackboard

Although Fang has achieved enormous success on a global scale and earned many professional accolades throughout his career (including last year’s dedication of a special issue of the Journal of Uncertain Systems in honor of his 70th birthday on June 14), he knows his own formula for genuine success. “The most satisfactory things about being a professor are being able to watch students grow, being a part of their lives and having the luxury to work on important problems,” he confided. “Under Dr. Fang’s guidance, I learned the art of conducting research, mentoring students and embracing the pleasures of life,” confided Qingwei Jin (ISE Ph.D. 2011). Fang also knows how to keep things in perspective. “If I put all my time into my research, I could have done better,” he declared. “But life is more than that.” When asked what it means to him that his students put together this endowment, he answered with his characteristic humility: “Most Grateful!”

The new endowment will honor a top-performing graduate student in ISE and OR with an award that confers prestige and a cash stipend. In addition to Dr. Fang’s ground-breaking work in Operations Research and Industrial Engineering at NC State, his work has impacted faculty and students at Tsinghua University, Fudan University, Chiao-Tung University and many others worldwide. “We hope this endowment helps and inspires next generations of ISE and OR students to reach new heights,” said Hong and Wang.

Finally, please join us in wishing Shu-Cherng Fang a “Happy Birthday” today (June 14th). If you want to support the Shu-Cherng Fang ISE Graduate Student Endowment, please visit the NC State Advancement website.

To learn more about Shu-Cherng Fang and his prestigious career, visit

More Quotes from Former Students

“We want to express our heartfelt appreciation for the incredible support, care, and professional advice Dr. Fang has provided throughout our journey together. His guidance and mentorship have helped us navigate through the intricacies of academic path, making us better students and more well-rounded individuals for our career after school time. We are sincerely grateful for Dr. Fang’s influence, and would like to support the tradition passing down to all the future students from the ISE department. Look forward to seeing more faculty and students benefiting from this endowment and more people joining our appreciation.”

  • Lan Li (ISE Ph.D., 2010)
  • Kun Huang (ISE Ph.D., 2011)

“Being part of Fangroup is a memorable journey and a valuable asset to me.” 

  • Sean Zhou (OR Ph.D., 2006)

“Happy 70th birthday, Dr. Fang! Exactly 28 years ago, I got the honor to know you, and you brought me to NCSU, where I started the second part of my life. I forever appreciate what you did for us students, both academically and life in general. Keep healthy, and I will write another message in another 28 years!” 

  • Yi Liao (ISE Ph.D. 2002)

“I feel so lucky that I can be one of Dr. Fang’s students. I am so proud of it. Dr. Fang is not only a distinguished mentor but also a perfect academic father to me. I have learned and benefited so many things from him in every aspect. He is one of the most important people in my life. Thank you, Dr. Fang! I hope you are happy and healthy every day.” 

  • Ye Tian (ISE Ph.D. 2012)

“I took two courses with Dr. Fang and I absolutely enjoyed both. Dr. Fang is caring and supportive of students in the class who get to transpired by his deep interest and understanding of OR. He also tries to establish friendships and preserve the bond long after the classes are over. His research contributed to OR community in general and ISE/OR program at NCSU especially. I extend my congratulations on Dr. Fang’s birthday and wish him all the best.” 

  • Rahman Khorramfar (ISE Ph.D. 2021)

“I would like to express my gratitude for your unwavering support and guidance throughout my graduate school journey. It has already been more than 20 years! Unbelievable! Your invaluable assistance has facilitated my academic growth and enabled me to navigate the challenges that have arisen. I am also grateful for your patience and attention, even when I presented the most unconventional ideas. Your influence on me has been enduring and has left a lasting impact. You have been a mentor, a colleague, and a source of inspiration. Thank you once again for your invaluable contributions to my academic and personal development.”

  • Ilker Birbil (ISE Ph.D. 2002)

“I am delighted to have had the opportunity to study in your research lab. Although I only spent a year as a visitor from 2010 to 2011, you provided equal support and assistance to me. In particular, I am grateful for your guidance not only in academic matters but also in daily life communication and support. Last year, when I shared the difficulties I encountered in teaching OR, you surprised and delighted me by immediately calling me overseas to chat and offer advice. It was truly amazing to see your dedication to mentoring students, which goes beyond that of a typical teacher. You have my utmost respect.”

  • Hsin-Wei Hsu (ISE Ph.D. 2011)

“I vividly remember when I met you 28 years ago when I enrolled in the OR program (located at Riddick Hall). You certainly played an important role in my education in OR, but even more, what I learned from you as a mentor has been vital for my career and life. You have the keen ability to teach complex concepts with unusual clarity, rigor, good pace, and focus on the fundamentals. Your dedication and care of students in the FANGroup made us push our limits to become the best version of ourselves and to work as a team. When I returned to my home country to start my academic career I asked for your advice to succeed. With your unique wisdom and subtle smile on your face, you told me: “just have the best students”. At the time, I did not fully understand what you meant. Now, I value immensely your wise advice as it has become my north. Having the best students requires attracting them with good courses, supporting them, nurturing and investing time in them, and growing with them, after all, … what you have done with all of us!”

  • Andrés Medaglia (OR Ph.D. 2001)