George Bernard Dantzig, professor emeritus of operations research and of computer science who devised the "simplex method" and invented linear programming which is not related to computer programming , died May 13 at his Stanford home of complications from diabetes and cardiovascular disease. He was 90 years old. A funeral service has been held. Dantzig is regarded by most experts as having been the initiator of and leading figure in the revolutionary scientific development of mathematical programming as a powerful method for optimally managing resources in literally thousands of applications in industry and government in the last three decades," said Arthur F.

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American statistician George Bernard Dantzig — affected the world enormously with the mathematical discovery of the simplex method. Devised by Dantzig in the late s, this mathematical formula, or algorithm, is used by industry—and governments—to identify the best possible solutions to problems with many variables.

The simplex method is useable in calculations that involve resource allocation, worker scheduling, and production planning. Airlines use the algorithm to coordinate routes for commercial flights and governments use it to schedule refuse collection.

In addition, the simplex method is embedded on most computers through spreadsheet programs. Dantzig also worked as an applied mathematics and statistics professor, producing more than 50 doctoral students, many of whom became leaders in their fields.

Dantzig's parents wanted him to become a writer so they named him after George Bernard Shaw. During Dantzig's early childhood, the family strained to make ends meet as his Russian-born father struggled to establish himself in the United States.

Tobias Dantzig fled his native land after he was caught distributing anti-Tsarist propaganda. While there, he met Anja Ourisson, and after they married, the couple moved to the United States , settling in Oregon in The future looked bleak, however, because Tobias Dantzig believed his thick, Russian accent would relegate him to a life as a laborer.

Initially, he worked as a painter, lumberjack, and road builder, barely earning enough to support his family. Eventually, Tobias Dantzig was able to continue his studies and around earned a doctorate in mathematics from Indiana University.

Likewise, Anja Dantzig continued her education, earning a master's degree in French. She became a linguist at the Library of Congress in Washington, D. By the time Dantzig was a teenager, the family was living in Washington, D. At one point he was flunking algebra. Dantzig's mathematician father, however, kept after him, handing him countless problems to solve.

Eventually, Dantzig developed a love for geometry and his math grades improved, as did his analytical ability. As a teenager, Dantzig aided his father with his hallmark book on mathematics, titled, Number, The Language of Science , published in The younger Dantzig prepared figures for the book. Gass, a former doctoral student of the younger Dantzig, said Albert Einstein called the book "beyond doubt the most interesting book on the evolution of mathematics which has ever fallen into my hands.

In , Dantzig earned a mathematics and physics degree from the University of Maryland and that summer he married Anne Shmuner. Dantzig earned his a master's degree in mathematics at the University of Michigan in Dantzig decided not to pursue a doctorate at this time after realizing he lacked a passion for applied mathematics.

Dantzig spent the next two years working at the U. Bureau of Labor Statistics. There, he studied the work of mathematical statistician Jerzy Neyman and realized statistics could be used in everyday life. This prospect excited Dantzig and he soon enrolled in a doctoral program at the University of California , Berkeley, to study statistics under Neyman.

During that first year, Dantzig proved a rising star. The discovery of his abilities, however, was somewhat accidental. One day, Dantzig slipped in late for Neyman's statistics class and spied two problems scribbled on the chalkboard. Naturally, Dantzig assumed the problems were homework, though he found them quite challenging.

The problems, in fact, were not homework, but were two unconfirmed theorems. Dantzig eventually solved the problems. Dantzig could usually solve the homework problems in a few hours, but worked on these for several days.

It was Neyman. He rushed in with papers in hand, all excited: 'I've just written an introduction to one of your papers. Read it so I can send it out right away for publication. This Dantzig anecdote is said to have inspired a scene in the motion picture Good Will Hunting.

In the film, a math prodigy and janitor named Will Hunting solves a blackboard problem that had stumped veteran mathematicians. World War II , however, interrupted Dantzig's studies. In he took a job with the U. Army Air Force in Washington, D. Dantzig collected data on sorties flown, bombs dropped and aircraft lost, then used this information to help officials decide about aircraft procurement and troop training.

War Department. After Dantzig returned to UC-Berkeley in and completed his doctorate work, the university offered him a position. His wife told him to turn it down because she did not believe the pay offered them enough to live on, now that they had a child. Instead, Dantzig returned to work at the Pentagon , becoming the chief mathematician to the comptroller of the U.

Air Force. While at the Pentagon , Dantzig developed his simplex method. One of Dantzig's tasks at the Pentagon was to help the military effectively and efficiently deploy forces and equipment—such as pilots and aircraft—as well as schedule training and provide logistical support for all these activities. Figuring out how to coordinate all these activities involved thousands of conditions and variables, from getting the supplies to coordinating the necessary people.

In effect, the task involved coming up with a time-staged distribution schedule for training and supply activities. At the time, Dantzig could write his problems in a mathematical equation but lacked a computational method to solve them. The mathematical method Dantzig devised for solving these types of problems became known as the simplex method and the type of problem it solved was called linear programming. Dantzig is thus known as the father of linear programming.

Dantzig's linear programming module had many applications and grew into a field called operations research. Linear programming has countless applications; it can be used to figure out how to price products, schedule shipments and workers, and control supply chains, as well as evaluate policy alternatives. Shipping companies such as United Parcel Service of America and Federal Express use it to determine how many planes they need and where to place their delivery trucks.

In , Dantzig left the Pentagon and became a research mathematician at the Rand Corporation. Here, he continued his work with linear programming, generally for practical applications—sometimes for use in the military or in industry. In he returned to UC-Berkeley, joining the industrial engineering department. He also established its Operations Research Center and became its director. Dantzig proved a hands-on mentor and thesis adviser who always had time for his students.

In , Dantzig began teaching at Stanford University and helped countless doctoral students. He became a professor emeritus in , but continued his teaching and research until Dantzig was also involved in many organizations.

He was chairman of the Mathematical Programming Society from —74 and was senior editor of the Mathematical Programming journal. He enjoyed painting and woodworking and was also a movie fanatic.

Dantzig was writing a science fiction novel when he died. Dantzig wrote two books over the course of his life. The first, Linear Programming and Extensions , published in , was a culmination of his work at Rand and the Pentagon. It remains the authoritative text on the subject. The book includes his research and computations on the mathematical theory, and how he has applied them to industrial problems.

The book discusses the feasibility of building a city that uses all resources, including time and space, more wisely. The book studies whether facilities could be used around the clock. Colleagues and former students remember Dantzig as a well-rounded thinker who was concerned not only with mathematical challenges but also with solving political, economic and household problems.

Thapa recalled that Dantzig once worried that he was bothering the renters below him so he cut open some tennis balls and placed them on the legs of the tables and chairs in his dining room so as not to disturb the downstairs neighbors.

Dantzig died at his home in Palo Alto , California, on May 13, His family said he succumbed to complications from diabetes and heart disease.

He was survived by his wife of more than 65 years, Anne Dantzig, as well as two sons, David and Paul Dantzig, and a daughter, Jessica Klass.

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Dantzig, George Bernard gale. George Bernard Dantzig American statistician George Bernard Dantzig — affected the world enormously with the mathematical discovery of the simplex method.

Revered in Math World Dantzig was also involved in many organizations. Periodicals Daily Telegraph London , May 27, Mathematical Programming , January Online "George Dantzig," University of St. Learn more about citation styles Citation styles Encyclopedia. More From encyclopedia. From to … Donald E. Mathematics Learning.

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## Dantzig, George Bernard

American statistician George Bernard Dantzig — affected the world enormously with the mathematical discovery of the simplex method. Devised by Dantzig in the late s, this mathematical formula, or algorithm, is used by industry—and governments—to identify the best possible solutions to problems with many variables. The simplex method is useable in calculations that involve resource allocation, worker scheduling, and production planning. Airlines use the algorithm to coordinate routes for commercial flights and governments use it to schedule refuse collection. In addition, the simplex method is embedded on most computers through spreadsheet programs.

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## George B. Dantzig, operations research professor, dies at 90

Dantzig is known for his development of the simplex algorithm , [1] an algorithm for solving linear programming problems, and for his other work with linear programming. In statistics , Dantzig solved two open problems in statistical theory , which he had mistaken for homework after arriving late to a lecture by Jerzy Neyman. Early in the s the Dantzig family moved from Baltimore to Washington, D. His mother became a linguist at the Library of Congress , and his father became a math tutor at the University of Maryland, College Park.

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## George Dantzig

His mother was a linguist specialized in Slavic idioms. Dantzig studied his course at the University of Maryland, where he tooks a degree in He disliked the fact of don't see any application at any course of Mathematics that he tooks there. Next year, he took a studies of postgrade at the Mathematics School of the University of Michigan. However, excepting the Statistics, it seemed him that courses was too abstract; So abstract, that he only desired a thing: abandoning his postgrado's studies and getting a job.