April 07, 2023
Press Releases

Two students awarded full tuition and monthly stipend from UPS Foundation

The MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics (CTL) is pleased to announce that two students have been awarded the UPS Fellowship for the 2023–24 academic year. Made possible by a grant to CTL from the UPS Foundation, the UPS Fellowship is designed to support exceptional students, one incoming MIT Master’s student and one MIT PhD student pursuing scholarship relating to logistics, freight transportation, supply chain management, or a related topic. The fellowship was founded in 1983 to recognize and reward excellence in these fields, and selections are awarded solely on the basis of merit.

This year’s fellowship recipients are:

Ria Verma is an incoming student in the MIT Supply Chain Management master’s program who comes to CTL following a role as Data & Applied Scientist II at Microsoft. Ria’s work with product portfolio expansion, inventory planning, and machine learning resulted in new data insights into returns distribution, optimization, forecasting, and supply replenishment. Along with her industry experience comes a clear proficiency with technical and analytical skills that lead seamlessly into productive logistics-related research.

Ria received dual undergraduate degrees in Supply Chain Management and Economics, along with a Business Data Analytics certificate, at Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business, where she served as an ASU Women Business Leadership Mentor.

Xiaotong Guo is a PhD candidate in transportation engineering at MIT. Xiaotong’s research interests include transportation network modeling, travel behavior analysis, and robust urban mobility systems. Through his work, Xiaotong aims to develop innovative solutions to address complex transportation challenges like vehicle rebalancing for ridesharing programs and developing solutions to routing challenges for school buses and other public transportation.

In addition to his professional background and coursework, Xiaotong spends time as a mentor for both undergraduate and graduate students engaged in transit-based studies and is the co-chair of the Student Advisory Team for both the MIT Urban Mobility and MIT Transit labs. Xiaotong received his undergraduate degree from Tongji Univ in Shanghai, China, and his master’s degree in transportation systems engineering from Cornell University. Xiaotong brings performance optimization experience from his time at Meta as well as transit equity analysis for the Chicago Transit Authority.

"The UPS Fellowships continually reflect MIT CTL’s commitment to driving innovation into practice with the highest standards for academic research,” said Chris Caplice, Executive Director of MIT CTL. "Fellowships like these, and the support from the UPS Foundation, are an essential resource in providing opportunities to students like Ria and Xiaotong, who will in turn provide knowledge that will become an integral part of the entire supply chain industry.”

Please join us in extending well-deserved congratulations to Ria and Xiaotong!