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Catz Fellow, Alex Teytelboym, Highly Commended in 2020 Vice-Chancellor’s Innovation Awards

We are delighted to announce that Alex Teytelboym, Fellow and Associate Professor in Economics, has been Highly Commended in the Policy Engagement category for the 2020 Vice-Chancellor’s Innovation Awards for his project Annie™ MOORE: Increasing Employment of Resettled Refugees using Machine Learning and Optimisation.

Together with researchers at Lund University in Sweden and Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts, Alex Teytelboym developed the Annie™ MOORE (Matching and Outcome Optimization for Refugee Empowerment) software that helps an American resettlement agency (HIAS) place resettled refugee to the local communities.

The pioneering software uses advanced machine learning and state-of-the-art integer optimisation methods to suggest placements of refugees in order to maximise their employment chances. It also ensures the needs of the refuges, such as child care or language support are met and the service capacities of hosting communities around the United States are not exceeded. To date over 1,100 refugees have been resettled using the software and it is estimated Annie™ has obtained a 30 percent boost in the number of employed refuges, and lead to an improved quality of refugee integration into communities.

Alex says of this commendation, “I am absolutely delighted about being commended for this award and grateful to the Department of Economics and St Catz for all the support have they provided whilst we have been working on Annie™. I hope that the technology and insights we have developed can be used by refugee resettlement agencies around the world, including the Home Office, in the nearest future.”

Alex Teytelboym became a Fellow of St Catherine’s and Associate Professor in Economics in 2017. His research looks at network economics and market design, with a focus on the applications of economic theory to many policy areas, including environment, energy, and, of course, refugee resettlement.

You can read more about the project here and read the working paper here.

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