Mordecai Avriel

August 8, 1933 – May 28, 2018

Brief Biography

Mordecai Avriel was an Israeli operations researcher who is the author or editor of seven books and more than seventy articles on mathematical programming, optimization, and policy analysis. Avriel studied operations research under Douglass James Wilde at Stanford University. He received a PhD in 1966 with a dissertation on optimization with a focus on geometric programming, a class of optimization models particularly well-suited to engineering functions entailing products of powers of variables. Avriel was Professor Emeritus of Operations Research in the William Davidson Faculty of Industrial Engineering and Management at Technion – Israel Institute of Technology and a former Dean of the Faculty. His industrial experience includes employment with Bechtel Corporation, Mobil Oil, Electric Power Research Institute and Bank of America. From 1995 to 2010, Avriel was Director of Analytic Development at Bank Hapoalim in Tel Aviv.

In 1976, Avriel published a comprehensive text that presents the theory and algorithms for a number of nonlinear programming methods.  In 1979, Avriel edited Engineering Optimization with Yale University Professor Ron Dembo as part of Springer’s Mathematical Programming Studies. The main purpose of the work was to bring a selection of engineering optimization problems in design to the attention of traditional mathematical programmers. The following year, he edited Advances in Geometric Programming, the eleventh volume of Mathematical Concepts and Methods in Science Engineering series.  

Avriels’s research interests evolved alongside the key developments in mathematical programming and optimization theory. As in the past, his most recent work focuses on the interaction between theory and application. This involves the implementation of existing optimization methodologies to solve practical problems and the development of new methods for future use. In finance, Avriel specialized in portfolio optimization, risk management, and financial engineering, helping investors and financial institutions navigate periods of high volatility markets.

Avriel served as President of the Operations Research Society of Israel in the mid-1980s and is a recipient of the society’s Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2006, he was elected a Fellow of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences.

Other Biographies

Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. The William Davidson Faculty of Industrial Engineering and Management. Professor Emeritus Mordecai Avriel. Accessed May 7, 2015. (link)


Stanford University, PhD 1966 (Mathematics Genealogy


Academic Affiliations
Non-Academic Affiliations
  • Mobil Oil
  • Bank Hapoalim
  • Bank of America
  • Bechtel Corporation
  • Electric Power Research Institute 

Key Interests in OR/MS

Application Areas

Image Gallery and Slideshow

Awards and Honors

Operations Research Society of Israel Lifetime Achievement Award 2005

Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences Fellow 2006

Professional Service

Operations Research Society of Israel, President 1983-1987

Selected Publications

Hasson D., Avriel M., Resnick W., Rozenman T., & Windreich S. (1968) Mechanism of calcium carbonate scale deposition on heat-transfer surfaces. Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Fundamentals, 7(1): 59-65.

Avriel M. (1976) Nonlinear Programming: Analysis and Methods. Dover Publications: New York.

Avriel M. & Dembo R. S., eds. (1979) Engineering Optimization. Elsevier Science: Amsterdam.

Avriel M., ed. (1980) Advances in Geometric Programming. Springer: Berlin.

Amit R. & Avriel M., eds. (1982) Perspective on Resource Policy Modeling: Energy and Minerals. Ballinger Publishing: Pensacola, FL.

Avriel M., Diewert W. E., Schaible S., & Zang I. (1988) Generalized Concavity. Mathematical Concepts and Methods in Science and Engineering, Vol. 36. Springer/Plenum: New York.

Avriel M. & Golany B. (1996) Mathematical Programming for Industrial Engineers. Chapman and Hall: London.

Avriel M., Penn M., Shpirer N., & Witteboon S. (1998) Stowage planning for container ships to reduce the number of shifts. Annals of Operations Research, 76: 55-71.

Avriel M, Penn M., Shpirer N. (2000) Container ship stowage problem: complexity and connection to the coloring of circle graphs. Discrete Applied Mathematics, 103(1): 271-279.