INFORMS Open Forum

  • 1.  Remembering Alan Hoffman

    Posted 02-04-2021 09:34
    Edited by Scharan Johnson 02-09-2021 16:34

    INFORMS is saddened to share the passing of long-time INFORMS member Alan Hoffman, a leader in advancing the study of linear programming who is also credited with developing the foundations of inversion geometry.

    After serving in the U.S. Army in WWII, Hoffman graduated from Columbia University and began his career with the National Bureau of Standards (today the National Institute of Standards and Technology). From there he became a scientific liaison officer of mathematics at the London branch of the Office of Naval Research, and later joined the Management Consultation Services unit of General Electric Company (GE) in New York.

    Hoffman then spent the majority of his career (41 years) as a research staff member in the Mathematical Sciences Department of IBM's T.J. Watson Research Center, becoming an IBM Fellow in 1977 and retiring as an IBM Fellow Emeritus in 2002. He published close to 200 papers during his 41 years at IBM.

    During his life he counted among his associates George Dantzig, Richard Bellman, Harold Kuhn, Ralph Gomory, Philip S. Wolfe, and many others. In 1992, both he and Wolfe were recognized with the John von Neumann Theory Prize by ORSA and TIMS (predecessors of INFORMS), during the presentation of which George Nemhauser recognized them as the intellectual leaders of IBM's mathematical programming group. In 2000, the Mathematical Programming Society created the one-time Founders Awards and awarded Hoffman along with nine others, recognizing that group as those who laid the foundation for the many areas of mathematical programming.

    To learn more about Hoffman's many contributions, click here to read his full biography.

    Scharan Johnson
    Director of Membership and Communities
    Catonsville MD