In the span of only three months, William J. “Bill” Cook, Chandler Family Chair and professor in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering, has been recognized by two of the profession’s most distinguished bodies for his theoretical and computational contributions to discrete optimization. In November, the Institute for Operational Research and Management Sciences named Cook as Fellow, and just this month the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) announced Cook’s election as a member.
Election to the National Academy of Engineering is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer. Academy membership honors those who have made outstanding contributions to "engineering research, practice, or education, including, where appropriate, significant contributions to the engineering literature" and to the "pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of engineering or developing/implementing innovative approaches to engineering education."
Cook, known widely for his work with the Traveling Salesman Problem and his research in combinatorial optimization and integer programming, is one of sixty-eight newly elected NAE members and nine foreign associates. Among those newly elected, Cook joins two Georgia Tech alumni in this honor: Parker H. "Pete" Petit (ME 1962, Masters in Engineering Mechanics, 1964) and Linda Griffith (CE 1982). Within ISyE, Cook shares this distinction with Ellis Johnson (1988), George L. Nemhauser (1986), H. Donald Ratliff (1996), William B. Rouse (1991) and Jeff Wu (2004).
In addition to his research interests in combinatorial optimization and integer programming, Cook is also heavily involved in research dealing with computational issues involved in treating hard discrete problems such as large instances for the celebrated traveling salesman problem. He is the author or editor of seven books, the latest due out in this year, and the current editor-in-chief of the Mathematical Programming Computation journal. Other awards include the I.E. Block Community Lecturer prize from the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics and the Beale-Orchard-Hays Prize for Excellence in Computational Mathematical Programming.
Industrial and Systems Engineering