Death of Mike Rothkopf

Mike Rothkopf, former president of INFORMS, died while swimming on the campus of Penn State.

A regular natatorium patron, the 68-year-old supply chain information systems professor appeared to be “just relaxing” — floating on his back — when concerned lifeguards tapped him on the shoulder at about 8 a.m. yesterday, said Tom Griffiths, manager of aquatic facilities.

Three student lifeguards and three professional staff members attempted to revive the unresponsive Rothkopf using an automated external defibrillator and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, Griffiths said. Rothkopf was pronounced dead at Mount Nittany Medical Center at about 9:15 a.m. His cause of death was unknown by press time yesterday, the hospital’s nurse supervisor said.

Mike had recently moved to Penn State after a long career at Rutgers. A former editor of Interfaces, Mike was passionate about the need for academics and practitioners in our field to communicate more and have more (and better) interactions. He was a tremendous force in our field, and will be sorely missed for his insights, his common-sense, and the wisdom he gained throughout his career.


One thought on “Death of Mike Rothkopf”

  1. I had the pleasure of meeting Mike when invvestigating optimal oil and gas lease inventory theory. Mike’s insight and knowledge was invaluable in our research project. I am saddened and shocked by his sudden death, but only hope that his contributions into operations research will continue into the future.

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