Richard Bellman

Past Awards

John von Neumann Theory Prize: Winner(s)

The von Neumann Prize Committee, chaired by Kenneth Arrow, Nobel Laureate in Economics and Professor at Harvard, gave the following citation as its reason for selecting Richard Bellman for the Prize.

Although Richard Ernest Bellman has contributed to an enormous range of classical and contemporary topics in pure and applied mathematics, we single out his leadership in the mathematical theory of multi-stage decision processes. Starting in the early '50s, he perceived the major philosophical themes, the scope of applications and the relevant computational and mathematical issues. Without slighting the contributions of predecessors, collaborators or other scholars, we have no doubt that under the rubric "dynamic programming" Richard Ernest Bellman has led this development of multi-stage decision processes.

It is hard to conceive what management science would be like without either the indirect, philosophical impact of his work or the direct invocation of methods he pioneered. We award Richard Ernest Bellman the second von Neumann Prize for over twenty years of leadership and guidance in the subject he created: dynamic programming."