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{ Category Archives } Obituary

Death of Benoit Mandelbrot

The mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot has passed away at the age of 85. Mandelbrot made a career in defining and studying fractals, geometric shapes that do not lose complexity as you zoom in on them. Things like coastlines are fractals: as you zoom in on a coastline, smaller and smaller inlets and other curves appear. For […]

Martin Gardner has Passed Away

Martin Gardner has passed away.  I know I am not the only person in operations research who was inspired by Gardner’s Mathematical Games columns in Scientific American.  I have a strong memory of whiling away long high school physics classes reading Gardner’s columns (and thankful that patient and insightful physics teacher had a stack of […]

Gerry Thompson has Passed Away

Gerry Thompson, a colleague of mine at the Tepper School, has passed away.  Gerry was one of the founders of operations research, having done significant work dating back to the 1950s.  Much of Gerry’s early work was in game theory (particularly work with Kemeny).  Over time, Gerry moved into pure operations research and did a […]

Russell Ackoff passed away

Russell Lincoln Ackoff passed away October 29, 2009.  Ackoff was one of the most controversial researchers in operations research.  A prolific writer, his early work was pure operations research, as it was understood in the early 1960s.  Ackoff was an early (1956-57) president of the Operations Research Society of America (ORSA, a forerunner of INFORMS) […]

Kurt Spielberg Passing

There is news from Monique Guignard, via a complicated path, that Kurt Spielberg has passed away, struck by a passing car outside the Philadelphia Museum of Art.  Kurt did a lot of work on how to make integer programming and relaxation methods really work in practice.   This work started in the 60s and continued […]

Passing of Randy Pausch

Randy Pausch, the Carnegie Mellon professor whose “Last Lecture” led to a book and world-wide attention, passed away today from pancreatic cancer. From a message from Jared Cohon, President of CMU: Randy captured the minds and hearts of millions worldwide with his Carnegie Mellon lecture, “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams,” and his book, “The Last […]

Passing of Rick Rosenthal

Update Jan 10. A webcast celebrating Rick’s life will be available live starting at 1:30PM PT on January 10. This is a post I had hoped to not make. Rick Rosenthal of the Naval Postgraduate School has passed away following a long, courageous, and inspiring fight with cancer. In my list of those I admire […]

Passing of Joan Wingo

The field of operations research is full of unsung heros: people who make the field better by doing their jobs with enthusiasm, creativity, and skill. If you have published in Operations Research over the last six years, or if you have read and admired papers in that journal, you will have seen the work of […]

John Muth

John Muth passed away in October. He was an early faculty member at the school I am at (the Tepper School at Carnegie Mellon) and a key researcher in the economic area of rational expections. What is the OR content? Check out his obituary and note the work in operations management and forecasting along with […]