George Nemhauser Selected First Recipient of the INFORMS Optimization Society Khachiyan Prize

Nov 22, 2010 | Atlanta, GA

George Nemhauser, the A. Russell Chandler Chaired Professor in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Georgia Tech, has been honored as the first recipient of the newly established INFORMS Optimization Society Khachiyan Prize, created to recognize an individual or a team for life-time achievements in the area of optimization.  

The award is named for Leonid Khachiyan, famous in the optimization community for his use of the ellipsoid algorithm to demonstrate that linear programming, in the Turing machine model, has a polynomial-time algorithm. The Khachiyan Prize recognizes a sustained career of scholarship from nominees who are still active at the year of the nomination. The prize serves as an esteemed recognition of innovativeness and impact in the area of optimization, including theory and applications.

Nemhauser’s remarkable academic career spans nearly a half-century, during which time he has grown into one of the world's foremost experts in discrete optimization and become one of the most recognized members of the INFORMs community. The basis for Nemhauser’s outstanding position as an OR scientist is his fundamental contributions to the theory and practice of integer programming and combinatorial optimization. His integer programming books have guided the field for more than thirty years, each introducing a host of new techniques for handling IP models in theory and practice. As well, Nemhauser’s nearly two hundred research papers in the field are unmatched in their breadth of coverage.

Though he has shown a unique ability to find, solve, and present applied work in Operations Research, Nemhauser is first and foremost a superb contributor to the theory underlying optimization techniques. This is evident from his publications throughout his whole career, starting with traveling-salesman-problem work in 1962 and continuing through his recent papers on piecewise-linear optimization. Fundamental models and techniques covered by Nemhauser include Lagrangian optimization, dynamic programming, capital budgeting, set partitioning, cutting planes, branch-and-price, transportation problems, graph coloring, vertex packing, submodular functions, facility location, cutting stock, and stochastic programming

Nemhauser is a founding partner of the Sports Scheduling Group, a company that does scheduling for various college conferences and major league baseball. He has served ORSA as council member, president, and editor of Operations Research, and he is past chair of the Mathematical Programming Society. Nemhauser is the founding editor of Operations Research Letters, and co-editor of Handbooks of Operations Research and Management Science.  He has also served various governmental agencies, including the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the National Research Council.. His other honors and awards include the Kimball Medal, the Lanchester Prize (twice awarded), Morse lecturer of ORSA, and membership in the National Academy of Engineering.

Click here to view Nemhauser's acceptance speech.

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Barbara Christopher
Industrial and Systems Engineering