Gifford H. Symonds

TIMS President, 1956

Gifford H. Symonds was the third president of TIMS in 1956, and then chairman of the Education Committee of ORSA during 1961-1963. He also was a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Gifford Symonds started his professional career as a chemical engineer. From 1929 to 1947 he was a technical manager at Esso Standard Oil, where he continued as an executive until 1960. His work, Linear Programming: The Solution of Refinery Problems (1955), became the first book on the subject.

In 1960, Gifford Symonds joined the faculty of Case Institute of Technology, where he continued until 1965. Next he joined the Industrial Engineering and Operations Research department of the University of California at Berkeley. He taught operations research at various institutions he visited including the Helsinki School of Economics (1964), National Bureau of Standards (1965), Johns Hopkins University (1966), and the University of Melbourne (1970).

Gifford Symonds worked on optimization problems, especially those arising in production scheduling under uncertainty and in stochastic and chance-constrained programming. He developed competitive business games to understand consumer behavior, socio-economic models, and models for competitive-cooperative systems.

Gifford Symonds died in 1997 at the age of 93.

 BSChE, (ca. 1934) MIT