John A. Muckstadt

September 27, 1940

Brief Biography

Muckstadt Fellow Portrait

John Anthony Muckstadt is the Acheson-Laibe Professor at Cornell University and a Fellow of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS). Muckstadt studied mathematics at the University of Rochester prior to pursuing graduate degrees at the University of Michigan. He received a MS in industrial administration, an MA in mathematics, and a PhD in industrial engineering, in 1964, 1965, and 1966, respectively. His dissertation dealt with scheduling in power systems. After receiving his PhD, Muckstadt joined the Air Force Institute of Technology, where he instructed graduate students in applied operations research courses.

Working largely in inventory systems and scheduling problems, Muckstadt joined the Deputate of Material Management and Deputate of Acquisition Logistics at the Air Force Logistics Command Headquarters. There, he designed and implemented mathematical models of the material management logistics environment. While he worked at Air Force Logistics from 1971 to 1974, Muckstadt concurrently held a part-time teaching position at the University of Dayton. An officer in the Air Force until 1983, he was named an Outstanding US Air Force Reserve Officer in 1981.

In 1974, Muckstadt joined the faculty at Cornell University’s School of Operations Research and Industrial Engineering and has remained there since. In the 1980s, he was Co-Director and Director of the Cornell Manufacturing Engineering and Productivity Program. In 1987, he became Director of the School of Operations Research and Industrial Engineering, holding that position for nine years. During this period, Muckstadt’s research focused on production-distribution systems and production planning. He and William L. Maxwell published an article in Operations Research that presented a model and algorithm that could be used to find consistent and realistic reorder intervals for each item in large-scale production-distribution systems.

Muckstadt has consulted with a number of governmental and industrial organizations including Avon, Bell Atlantic, General Motors, the United States Navy, the Logistics Management Institute, General Foods, IBM, and the RAND Corporation. He has primarily consults in the areas of inventory management, production control, supply chain system strategy and operations, manufacturing and logistics systems design. In 2008, he was named a Fellow of the Manufacturing and Service Operations Management Society of INFORMS.  

Other Biographies

Cayuga Partners. Personnel: John A. "Jack" Muckstadt, Ph.D. Accessed May 28, 2015. (link

Cornell University. Operations Research and Information Engineering People: John A. Muckstadt. Accessed May 28, 2015. (link)


University of Rochester, AB 1962

University of Michigan, MS 1964

University of Michigan, MA 1965

University of Michigan, PhD 1966 (Mathematics Genealogy


Academic Affiliations
Non-Academic Affiliations

Key Interests in OR/MS

Application Areas
  • Emergency Services

Oral Histories

Jack Muckstadt (2019)  Interview by Mark Eisner, May 20, 2019, Ithaca, NY

NOTE:  The video chapter transcripts below are searchable, with search results displayed as marks on the time bar above the search box.  Click a mark to jump to the search word or phrase in the video and transcript, or click on any word in the transcript to jump to that point in the video.

Jump to Chapters

Chapter 1: Early Days and Upbringing
Chapter 2 : The Path to Operations Research
Chapter 3: A PhD and Two Masters from Michigan
Chapter 4: Air Force Assignments
Chapter 5: Involvement with the RAND Corporation
Chapter 6: Getting Hired by Cornell
Chapter 7: Working with Bill Maxwell
Chapter 8: Summers at RAND
Chapter 9: Getting Interested in Manufacturing
Chapter 10: Becoming Director of ORIE
Chapter 11: Investing in Computing Facilities and Experiential Learning
Chapter 12: Establishing a Financial Engineering Program
Chapter 13: Consulting for Aeroquip
Chapter 14: "Change the People or Change the People"
Chapter 15: Consulting for General Motors
Chapter 16: Moving into Health Care
Chapter 17: Availability of Data for Analysis, Then and Now
Chapter 18: Reflections on a Career in Operations Research

Image Gallery and Slideshow