George Nemhauser Wins 2012 John von Neumann Theory Prize

George Nemhauser, the A. Russell Chandler Chaired Professor in the Stewart School of Industrial & Systems Engineering (ISyE), along with his colleague Laurence Wolsey, professor at the Catholic University of Louvain, has been named the winner of this year’s prestigious John von Neumann Theory prize.  Nemhauser and Wolsey were selected for their outstanding and lasting contributions to integer optimization and example setting scholarship, and will be presented with the prize on October 14, 2012 at the Informs Annual Meeting in Phoenix, AZ.

The John von Neumann Theory prize is awarded annually to a scholar (or scholars in the case of joint work) who has made fundamental, sustained contributions to theory in operations research and the management sciences.  The Prize is awarded for a body of work, typically published over a period of several years. The Prize typically reflects contributions that have stood the test of time and include significance, innovation, depth, and scientific excellence.

Nemhauser is now the third faculty member from ISyE to receive this prestigious honor.  Ellis Johnson, Professor Emeritus in ISyE won the prize in 2000, and Arkadi Nemirovski, the John Hunter Chair in ISyE, won in 2003.  Past winners include notable scholars such as John Nash, Harry Markowitz, and Robert Aumann. 

Nemhauser, who received his Ph.D. in operations research from Northwestern University in 1961, joined the faculty of ISyE in 1985.  He has served the Operations Research Society of America as council member, president, and editor of Operations Research, and he is past chair of the Mathematical Programming Society. Nemhauser was the founding editor of Operations Research Letters, and founding co-editor of Handbooks of Operations Research and Management Science.  His honors and awards include membership in the National Academy of Engineering, the Kimball Medal, the Lanchester Prize (twice awarded), Morse lecturer of INFORMS and the Khachiyan prize of INFORMS for lifetime achievements in optimization. His current research interests are in solving large-scale mixed-integer programming problems. He is actively working on several applications, including maritime inventory routing.