Felix Pollaczek

Felix Pollaczek

Past Awards

INFORMS Elected Fellows: Awardee(s)

John von Neumann Theory Prize: Winner(s)

The citation reads as follows:

Felix Pollaczek began his long and distinguished career as a queueing theorist in the early 1930's with the publication of what is now called the Pollaczek-Khintchine formula. He has given us many powerful and innovative analytical methods for attacking single and multiple server queues in both loss and delay systems. Frequently these methods allowed him to solve queueing problems without imposing special distribution assumptions needed by other methods. These methods generally involved the use of complex variables and integral equations, which made them difficult for most queueing theorists to read.

However, over the years the power and generality of these methods has come to be appreciated and for some multiple channel queueing problems still remain our only alternative for solutions. While obtaining the waiting time distribution for the general single server queue, Pollaczek developed identities for the characteristic function of the maximum of a random walk. These identities later caused much excitement among probabilists when they were published independently and by a different method in the probability literature. Throughout his career Pollaczek has also had a continuous interest in the application of queueing theory to telephone and airport traffic. For his many deep and lasting contributions to queueing theory we award Felix Pollaczek the John von Neumann Theory Prize.