Masakazu has been a foremost leader in continuous optimization for decades. His influence became especially pronounced beginning in the 1980's due to his fundamental contributions in laying the foundations of primal-dual interior-point methods, first for linear programming, and then with great technical strength for semidefinite programming, a subject for which even now he continues to provide stellar insight in the context of sums-of-squares problems. Anyone who has seriously pursued algorithm implementation for semidefinite programming recognizes that no one has provided deeper relevant theory and ideas than Masakazu.
Masakazu has also been an important contributor in polynomial optimization as he (and co-workers) provided the first software package (SparsePOP) that implements a sparse version of the Moment-SOS Hierarchy for large scale problems with some structured sparsity. He thus demonstrated that the methodology is not restricted to problems of modest size.
Masakazu is a Fellow of SIAM and the OR Society of Japan. Together with collaborators Megiddo, Mizuno, Noma, and Yoshise, he won the INFORMS Lanchester Prize and the INFORMS Computing Society Prize. He has also served in an editorial role for the journal Mathematical Programming A, the SIAM Journal on Optimization, and the Journal of the Operations Research Society of Japan. He has also been an associate editor for several journals including Mathematics of Operations Research and Mathematical Programming Series B.
Robert Vanderbei (chair), Don Goldfarb, Jean Lasserre, James Renegar