Robert F. Rinehart

ORSA President, 1953

Robert Rinehart was the second President of ORSA. A pioneer in military operations research, Dr. Rinehart received the Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award, from the Army. During World War II, he worked in undersea warfare operations research with the Navy’s Operations Research Group in Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and Hawaii. The Navy awarded him the Medal for Merit, the Navy Ordnance Development Award, and the Asiatic Pacific Campaign Ribbon.

Dr. Rinehart began his career as head of the Mathematics and Engineering Drawing Department at Ashland College, Ashland, Ohio (1934-1937). From 1937 to 1965, he taught mathematics at Case Institute of Technology in Cleveland, but took several leaves of absence to work on other projects. From 1948 to 1950, he served as executive secretary of the Research and Development Board for the Department of Defense in Washington.

In 1958, Dr. Rinehart accepted a two-year appointment as director of special research and operations research for Duke University. From 1962 to 1964, he was director of defense analyses in Washington, after which he returned to Case Institute to resume teaching mathematics. He published about 25 papers in mathematics and operations research. He also served as a translator for the Russian Translations Project of the American Mathematical Society, as a reviewer for mathematical reviews, and as contributing editor covering Eastern Europe for International Abstracts in Operations Research.

In addition to working with ORSA, Dr. Rinehart served as the president of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics and was a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He received an honorary doctorate in science from Wittenberg College in 1960, and was listed in Who’s Who in America. During his retirement, Dr. Rinehart continued to be a Russian translator for several professional scientific organizations.

Prof. Rinehart died in 1985.

B.A. 1930 (mathematics), Witttenberg College; M.S. and Ph.D. (mathematics), Ohio State University; PhD (Science) (hon.) 1960, Wittenberg College.