E. Leonard Arnoff

TIMS President, 1968-69

Len Arnoff was the 15th President of TIMS. His career spanned all categories of involvement in Operations Research: professor, textbook writer, consultant, consulting firm innovator, academic administrator, and professional service contributor. Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Len graduated at the age of 15 from Glenville High School, notorious at that time for successful alumni in business, politics, and even the founders of the comic book Superman. Choosing mathematics over law, he has degrees at all levels in mathematics plus an additional masters in mechanical engineering.

After receiving a PhD from the California Institute of Technology, Dr. Arnoff’s seminal career began in 1952 as a mathematician and aeronautical research scientist at the Lewis Flight Propulsion Laboratory, National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, a precursor of NASA. His first academic appointment followed in 1953 at the Case Institute of Technology, widely known as the first comprehensive O.R. program with the first masters and doctoral degrees in O.R. He was Chair for the first PhD degree granted in O.R. at Case.

Len was co-author of the first comprehensive text in O.R. with C. West Churchman and Russell Ackoff, An Introduction to Operations Research that resulted from a series of novel executive education short courses at Case for professionals the book has affectionately been referred to as the “Big Red Book” by those who encountered it since its publication in 1957. Len was a delegate at the First International Conference in Operational Research that was held in Oxford, England, 1957. He was the driving force behind the creation of the management science consulting group at Ernst and Whinney and directed it during much of his time there from 1961-1983. In 1983 Len became Dean at the College of Business at the University of Cincinnati. He was insistent upon integrating new computer technologies into all aspects of business education and research.

Len served as the 1968-69 president of TIMS. He was a departmental editor of Management Science from 1955-70. Len was on advisory committees for the Weatherhead School of Management at Case from 1979-82. Between 1980 and 1985 he was vice-president/president-elect, president, and past president of OMEGA RHO. Len was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences. He was chosen as one of 43 early pioneers, practitioners, and developers of the O.R. field for the book, Profiles in Operations Research,.

Len Arnoff had a distinguished military career in the U.S. Army, earning the Bronze Star medal for bravery, and the Purple Heart with two oak leaf clusters for three injuries during his service in Germany and the Battle of the Bulge. He was on the National Board of Directors for Camp Fire USA and Panorama Services and Products, Inc., the Camp Fire for-profit subsidiary. Len was an Official for the U.S. Figure Skating Association, an ardent fisherman often fishing the northern waters of Canada, and was fluent in French.

To honor him, the E. Leonard Arnoff Memorial Lecture on the Practice of Management Science, was established in 1992. The lecture series annually attracts top speakers in Operations Research and Management Science to the University of Cincinnati.

PhD, 1952, California Institute of Technology