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George Dantzig

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George Dantzig — master of operations research


A trained mathematician, George Dantzig (1914-2005) is known as the father of linear programming and the “simplex algorithm.” Working during the midcentury heyday of industrial expansion intersecting with the rise of computing power, Dantzig developed the mathematical algorithms that helped countless organizations sort through myriad possibilities to optimize their complex systems for profit and efficiency.

Dantzig joined the faculty at Stanford in 1966 in the departments of Operations Research and Computer Science. In 1973, he was appointed the C.A. Criley Professor of Transportation Sciences.

Virtually every industry, from petroleum refining to the scheduling of airline flights, has been transformed by his work. The journal “Computing in Science and Engineering” named the simplex algorithm as one of the top 10 algorithms of the 20th century.