Abraham Charnes

TIMS President, 1960

Abraham Charnes was the seventh President of TIMS. He had a profound influence on scientific progress in arenas as diverse as the mathematics of operations research, optimization, statistics, fluid dynamics, as well as on functional areas of business including accounting, finance, human-resource planning, and marketing. Dr. Charnes was awarded the 1982 von Neumann Theory Prize of ORSA and TIMS (together with Cooper and Duffin). In September 1977, in an event held to honor his 60th birthday, he received the U.S. Navy Medal for Public Service, the Navy’s highest civilian award. His contributions were recognized in many other ways. He was a fellow of AAAS, and the Econometrics Society.

Following service in the Navy during World War II, Dr. Charnes obtained a Ph.D. in mathematics at the University of Illinois. He then joined the faculty of Carnegie Tech in 1948. There his many accomplishments included pioneering work in mathematical optimization. His basic discovery of the association of linear independence with the extreme points of convex polyhedra was particularly noteworthy. He moved to Purdue in 1955 and to Northwestern University in 1957. At Northwestern he performed successful research in many disciplines, such as stochastic programming, generalized inverses, game theory, and nonlinear programming.

Following his transfer to the University of Texas at Austin in 1968, he did seminal work together with W. Cooper and E. Rhodes that gave impetus to the new field of data envelopment analysis (DEA). A true pioneer in OR/MS, Dr. Charnes authored or co-authored over 400 articles, and seven books.

At the time of his death in 1992, he was University Of Texas System Professor and Jesse H. Jones Professor of Biomathematics and Management Science at the University of Texas , Austin

BA (mathematics), 1938 and PhD (mathematics), 1948, Illinois.

Abraham Charnes's Awards