George Bernard Dantzig


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(1914–2005; b. Portland, OR; d. Palo Alto, CA)

American specialist in operational research who was the originator of the simplex method and has been described as the father of linear programming. Dantzig, the son of a mathematician, was named in honour of George Bernard Shaw. He obtained his AB in mathematics and physics at U Maryland and his MA at U Michigan. During the Second World War he was head of the Combat Analysis Branch of the United States Air Force statistics section. His work in the air force involved ‘programming’, which in those days meant the production of efficient scheduling for the training and deployment of men. He was awarded his PhD (supervised by Neyman) at UCB in 1946. He devised the simplex method in August 1947 while working at the Pentagon. Subsequent appointments included chairs at UCB and at Stanford U. He was awarded the National Medal of Science in 1975.

Subjects: Probability and Statistics.

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