INFORMS Open Forum

Remembering John Bartholdi III

  • 1.  Remembering John Bartholdi III

    Posted 11-07-2019 15:13

    INFORMS is saddened to share the passing of John Bartholdi III, INFORMS Fellow and longtime member, whose work has been recognized by his peers as well as by the Defense Logistics Agency, Office of Naval Research, and Air Force Office of Scientific Research, to name a few.

    "John made numerous contributions to the OR/MS field and has been an inspiration for many of us," said Pinar Keskinocak, INFORMS 2019 President-Elect. "He was a master in developing elegant and yet easy-to-explain and simple-to-implement solutions to complex problems. For example, his work on self-organizing systems found applications ranging from warehouses to manufacturing to buses on campus! His impact in teaching, research, and practice is far reaching. His passing is a big loss for our community and he will be missed very much."

    Prior to his passing, Bartholdi was the Manhattan Associates/Dabbiere Chair and professor in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Georgia Tech and co-executive director of the Georgia Tech Panama Logistics Innovation & Research Center. At Georgia Tech, he taught at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, on topics that included supply chain issues, primarily warehousing, and in the Georgia Tech Supply Chain and Logistics Institute professional education program. While much of his research centered on problems in warehousing and distribution, he also pursued mechanics, politics, computer science, geography and biology. 

    Professor Bartholdi graduated in 1968 with a B.S. degree in mathematics from the University of Florida and then served two tours of duty during the Vietnam War as a paratrooper in a Naval Special Warfare unit. He returned to the University of Florida in 1977 to complete the Ph.D. program in operations research and later served on the faculties at the University of Michigan, Shanghai Institute of Mechanical Engineering, and the National University of Singapore. 

    Professor Bartholdi's contributions to the field of O.R. were recognized very early in his career, when he won the 1978 George Nicholson Student Paper Competition with his paper, "Cyclic Scheduling via Integer Programs with Circular Ones." He was also named a "Presidential Young Investigator" by the National Science Foundation from 1984-1989.

    Professor Bartholdi was an active member of INFORMS for many years, and was named an INFORMS Fellow in 2005. In 2012, he was again recognized by INFORMS as the winner of the Transportation and Logistics Society Best Paper Award with his article, "A Self Coordinating Bus Route to Resist Bus Bunching." Implementation of the ideas within this article won the 2014 Innovation Award from the Georgia Transit Association.

    Scharan Johnson
    Director of Membership and Communities
    Catonsville MD