William W. Cooper

TIMS Founding President, 1954

William W. Cooper

William W. Cooper, who passed away on June 20, 2012, was the first (founding) President of TIMS. He was the Foster Parker Professor of Finance and Management, Emeritus, in the Red McCombs Graduate School of Business and the Nadja Kozmetsky Scott Centennial Fellow and Janie Slaughter Brisco Fellow and the Janie Slaughter Briscoe Centennial Fellow in the IC2 Institute of The University of Texas at Austin.

Before moving to The University of Texas at Austin in 1980 he was University Professor of Management Science and Public Policy (1946-1975) and Dean of the School of Urban & Public Affairs (l969-l975) at Carnegie-Mellon University, and the Arthur Lowes Dickinson Professor of Accounting at Harvard ( l975-l980)

Professor Cooper was active in several professional societies In addition to being the first President of The Institute of Management Sciences, he served on the editorial boards of Management Science, Operations Research, Naval Research Logistics Quarterly, and The Accounting Review, and was the founding Editor-in-Chief of Auditing: A Journal of Practice and Theory. He is currently on the editorial boards of The European Journal of Operational Research, Omega, and Socio-Economic Planning Sciences. He is a fellow of INFORMS, the Econometric Society, the Accounting Researchers International Association, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

He was President of the Accounting Researchers International Association and Director of Publications and Chairman of its Publications Committee. He was a member of the Executive Committee of the American Accounting Association.

Bill Cooper received the John Von Neumann Theory Medal jointly awarded by TIMS and ORSA in l982 and was inducted into the International Operational Research Hall of Fame by the International Federation of Operational Research Societies in 2006. Other awards include:

  • The Professional Achievement Citation of the University of Chicago Alumni Association (l986)
  • The University of Texas College of Business Administration Hall of Fame (1990)
  • Outstanding Accounting Educator (1990)
  • The American Institute of Accountants award for the most valuable article on an accounting topic
  • The Accounting Hall of Fame(1995)
  • The Distinguished Service in Auditing Award of the American Accounting Association's Auditing Section
  • Lifetime Contributions to Management Accounting (2002)
  • Three separate McKinsey Foundation awards for the most valuable article of the year on a management topic
  • The gold medal of The International Society for Multi-Criteria Decision Making (2004)

He was author or co-author of more than 500 articles and co-author or co-editor of 27 books in Accounting and Management Science. Among his books are Management Models and Industrial Applications of Linear Programming, Studies in Manpower Planning, New Perspectives in Organization, Management Science and the Quality of Life, Management Science Approaches to Manpower Planning and Organization Design, Computational Economics, and 4 books on Data Envelopment Analysis: He served as a consultant to more than 200 private corporations and government agencies including the Office of Naval Research, the General Accountability Office, the Office of Management and Budget, the Marshall Plan , the U.N's International Labor Organization, General Motors TRW, and Arthur Andersen & Co.

AB (economics), 1938, Chicago; MA, 1976, Harvard; DSc. (hon.), 1970, Ohio State; DSc (hon.) 1982, Carnegie-Mellon; and Doctor Honoris Causa, 1995, University of Alicante (Spain)

Remarks by Prof. Cooper on the History of TIMS (8/3/98)

My own belief is that it is very important to be in the right place at the right time and to seize the opportunities that present themselves. The founding of TIMS is an example. The topic of such a society was first broached to me by Melvin Salveson while we were both attending a summer meeting of the Econometric Society at the University of Michigan in the very early 1950s. While Abe Charnes and I were serving as consultants to the electronic division of the Hughes Aircraft Company in Los Angeles in the succeeding summer, Salveson organized another meeting on this topic with attendees from Hughes, RAND and UCLA. Unfortunately, the meeting was diverted by George Dantzig (then at RAND) who became upset when he discovered that Salveson had already collected some $300 in dues for a society that did not yet exist. Another meeting was therefore organized at Columbia University in the following fall by Merrill Flood. At that meeting a vote was taken to initiate the society and I was elected president.

Salveson suggested the name Management Science Institute which we altered to The Institute of Management Sciences. I, together with Merrill Flood, Cuthbert Hurd (IBM) and Mel Hurni (GE) wrote the charter for TIMS. My wife-- a practicing attorney--incorporated it in Pennsylvania and California. Abe Charnes and I persuaded C. West Churchman to be the first (organizing) editor of Management Science and the three of us wrote the policy statement that appeared in the first issue consisting largely of papers previously collected by Salveson. This was an impressive looking journal with art work supplied from Hughes Aircraft Co. by George Kozmetsky. One of papers in this issue, by Lionel Name and Harold Smiddy of General Electric, dealt with industrial engineering as a precursor to management science. Hurni seized this as an opportunity to persuade Smiddy (his boss) to order 2,000 copies of the first issue and the resources that were thereby added to the $300 collected by Salveson provided a financial basis (managed by the treasurer, Harold Cauvet) for the founding of TIMS.

William W. Cooper's Awards