Karla L. Hoffman

INFORMS President 1998

Karla L. Hoffman was the fourth President of INFORMS. She worked from 1975 to 1984 as a Mathematician in the Applied Mathematics Division of the National Bureau of Standards. In 1984, she was the first mathematician to receive the Bureau of Standards’ Applied Research Award. That same year, she received the U.S. Department of Commerce Silver Medal for Meritorious Service, for her work in advancing the use of combinatorial optimization techniques by government agencies. In 1985, Dr. Hoffman joined the Operations Research and Systems Engineering Department at George Mason University, where she was Department Chair from 1996 to 2001. In 1989, she received the George Mason University Distinguished Professor Award and in 2010, she received the Outstanding Research Faculty Award from the Volgenau School of Engineering.

Dr. Hoffman is internationally recognized for her work in the optimization field. She has published extensively in professional journals, edited two books on operations research-related subjects, and served on a variety of editorial boards. Dr. Hoffman has always advocated working on practical problems, and her consulting activities have included crew and fleet scheduling algorithms for the airline industry, real-time scheduling algorithms for truck and bus transportation systems, and capital budgeting tools for a major telecommunications company. Her interest in combinatorial auctions led to consulting arrangements with the Federal Communications Commission on auction design for spectrum auctions, and with the Federal Aviation Administration, where she studied the use of auctions for slot allocation at congested airports.

Dr. Hoffman has been actively involved in INFORMS activities for over 25 years. She served on the ORSA Board during the formation of INFORMS, and was actively involved in the ORSA-TIMS merger that created the organization. She served twice as Treasurer, first of ORSA in 1993-4 and then as Vice President of Finance for INFORMS in 1995-6. She chaired the ORSA/TIMS Joint Finance Committee, was co-program chair of the 1985 Washington, D.C. ORSA/TIMS meeting, chaired the ORSA Computing Technical Section in 1981 (now INFORMS Computing Society), and chaired the Technical Section Committee of ORSA for four years. She served on INFORMS’ Executive Committee from 1995-1999. More recently, she served as Chair of the INFORMS Summer Meeting in Puerto Rico (2007) and was the Omega Rho Plenary Speaker at the 2008 INFORMS National Meeting. She has also been active in the Mathematical Programming Society, where she served on its Board for three years, was chair of the Society’s Committee on Algorithms, edited its newsletter, and chaired the Beale/Orchard-Hays Prize Committee. She is currently serving a three-year term (2010-2012) as the North American representative of the International Federation of Operations Research Societies (IFORS). She is a Fellow of INFORMS.

AB, 1969, Rutgers, MBA 1971 and PhD (Operations Research) 1975 George Washington University

Karla L. Hoffman's Awards