András Prékopa

Past Awards

INFORMS President's Award: Awardee(s)
2014 - Awardee(s)

The 2014 INFORMS President’s Award is awarded to Dr. András Prékopa for his significant and longstanding contributions to operations research in both basic theory and effective applications. He was one of the initiators of the very important area of optimization under uncertainty, and his work has provided foundations for the creation of its mathematical tools as well as for its practical use in problem solving. 

Dr. Prékopa is a professor at Rutgers University, and professor emeritus at the Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest. His contributions have resulted in many books and more than 160 published papers from 1950 to the present, and he has supervised 56 doctoral students. These achievements have been recognized by his selection as a full member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences as well as several other honorary posts. He has received many awards, including the very prestigious Széchenyi Prize for outstanding scientific achievements, given by the Hungarian Government in 1996, and the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary, awarded by the president of Hungary in 2005. 

His mathematical contributions include a number of fundamental results in probability theory, including work in random measures and random set functions. Some of his best-known results are in stochastic programming, including the general formulation of chance-constrained programming permitting stochastic dependence. He introduced the concept of logarithmic concavity, which has been extremely important because for a wide class of chance-constrained problems it leads to convexity properties that make the problems computationally accessible. He has contributed to a number of other probabilistic research areas, as well as to the history of optimization. 

His work, however, was not confined to the advancement of theory. In 1962, he developed with M. Ziermann an inventory-control model to determine safety-stock levels, which was widely used in Hungary and was credited for significant savings. During his service as head of a department in the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in the 1970s and 1980s, he and several of his colleagues developed a model for daily power generation in the Hungarian power grid that combined unit commitment and distribution decisions. This model was implemented and in regular use by the Hungarian Government at a time when such optimization-based planning was a revolutionary advance over methods in use elsewhere. 

The purpose of the INFORMS President's Award is to recognize important contributions to the welfare of society. András Prékopa’s work has significantly impacted both the mathematical foundations of operations research and its implementation for the effective management of important societal resources. It is an honor to present the 2014 INFORMS President's Award to András Prékopa.

Optimization Society Khachiyan Prize: Awardee(s)
2012 - Awardee(s)

The 2012 recipient of the Leonid Khachiyan Prize of the INFORMS Optimization Society, awarded for lifetime achievements in the area of optimization, is András Prékopa of Rutgers University.

András Prékopa was one of the pioneers of stochastic programming and has been a major contributor to its literature. In the 1960's, he amended one of the three basic model types of the discipline, chance-constrained programming, by taking into account stochastic dependence among the random variables involved. One of his main results in the area concerns the convexity theory of probabilistically constrained stochastic optimization problems. He introduced the concept of logarithmic concave measures and provided several fundamental theorems on logconcavity, which supplied proofs for the convexity of a wide class of probabilistically constrained stochastic programming problems. These results had impact far beyond the area of mathematical programming, as they found applications in physics, statistics, convex geometry and other fields. In addition to these theoretical developments, Prékopa gave the first algorithm, as well as several subsequent ones, for solving stochastic programs with probabilistic constraints. He also formulated models in this class for numerous real-world applications that he and his coworkers solved, often reaching interesting practical conclusions.

Professor Prékopa is the author of one of the major graduate textbooks on stochastic programming and has published more than 160 papers in scientific journals. In his long career he supervised over 50 doctoral dissertations, with many of his students going on to distinguished academic careers. Besides his work on stochastic programming, he has had an ongoing interest in the historical contributions of Hungarian mathematicians, including Bolyai and Farkas.

Professor Prékopa founded the Department of Operations Research at Eötvös University, Budapest and has been on the faculty of Rugters University since 1985. He was the founder and first chair of the Committee on Stochastic Programming of the Mathematical Programming Society. His extensive professional service includes serving on many conference committees and journal boards. Professor Prékopa has been the recipient of numerous international awards, including membership in the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, being named a Fellow of the Econometric Society and receiving the EURO Gold Medal.

Selection committee

Kurt Anstreicher (Chair), Egon Balas, Claude Lemaréchal, Éva Tardos.

Egon Balas (left), András Prékopa, and Jon Lee.