George Bernard Dantzig

Born November 8, 1914, Portland, Ore.; inventor of the Simplex method of linear programming.

Education: AB, University of Maryland, 1936; MA, University of Michigan, 1937; PhD, mathematics, University of California, Berkeley, 1946.

Professional Experience: junior statistician, US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1937-1939; statistician, US Air Force, 1941-1945; chief mathematician, US Air Force Hq. Comptroller, 1945-1952; research mathematician, Rand Corp., 1952-1960; professor of engineering science and chairman, Operations Research Center, University of California, Berkeley, 1960-1966; professor of operations research and computer science, Stanford University, 1966-present.

Honors and Awards: DSc (Hon.): Israel Institute of Technology, 1973; University Linkoping, Sweden, 1975; University of Maryland, 1976; Yale University, 1978; Exceptional Meritorious Service Medal, War Dept., 1944; National Medal of Science, 1975; Von Neumann Theory Prize, Operations Research Society and Materials Science Society, 1975; Applied Mathematics and Numerical Analysis Prize, National Academy of Science, 1976; member, National Academy of Science; fellow, American Academy of Arts and Science; fellow, Operations Research Society; fellow, Institute for Management Science (president, 1966).


"For a short period of time Dantzig almost deliberately tried to avoid discovering the simplex method that made him famous. But logic triumphed over doubt. In a few months of brilliant, concentrated effort in the latter half of 1947, Dantzig conceived the inclusive framework into which the scattered pieces fitted and added a critical missing piece, the simplex method of solution. With that, linear programming was born." (Dorfman 1984)



Dantzig, George B., "Reminiscences About the Origin of Linear Programming," in Schlissel, Arthur, ed., Essays in the History of Mathematics, Memoirs of the American Math. Soc., No. 298, AMS, Providence, R.I., 1984, pp. 1-11.

Dantzig, George B., "Origins of the Simplex Method," in Nash, Stephen G., ed., A History of Scientific Computing, ACM Press History Series, 1990, pp. 141-151.

Dorfman, Robert, "The Discovery of Linear Programming," Ann. Hist. Comp., Vol. 6, No. 3,1984.

Orchard-Hays, William, "History of Mathematical Programming Systems," Ann. Hist. Comp., Vol. 6, No. 3,1984.


George Dantzig died on May 13, 2005 in Stanford, California. (MRW, 2012)

Portrait inserted (MRW, 2012)

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