H. Newton Garber

May 2, 1930 – February 7, 2014

Brief Biography

Garber Presidential Gallery Photo

Hirsh Newton Garber was the thirtieth president of The Institute of Management Sciences (TIMS). Over a career spanning four decades, he made substantial contributions to operations research and the management sciences, dedicating a significant level of time and care to professional organizations. Garber grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He completed his undergraduate education at nearby University of Pennsylvania and chose to pursue graduate study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in electrical engineering. It was at MIT that he had his serious interactions with operations research. He edited notes from the university’s first summer course in the subject, wrote his doctoral thesis on a class of queueing problems, and was among the earliest members of the MIT Operations Research Center. He received a ScD in 1956 under the supervision of William Kirby Linvill. Many of Garber’s fellow students of the period, including John D. C. Little, would also go on to play major role in the growth of OR.

Garber joined the RCA Corporation and helped establish the firm’s company-wide operations research function, eventually becoming the Director of Operations Research. Garber moved to the financial sector after thirty years with RCA. At Merrill Lynch he founded and led the company’s OR team. Under his direction the group was awarded the 1997 INFORMS Prize annually given to organizations that have shown an effective integration of advanced analytics and operations research. The Merrill Lynch Private Client Group was lauded “for wide-ranging development and application of OR/MS methodology to its decision making” and for being a “role model exemplifying the value of OR/MS as an integral part of business practice”. Upon retiring from Merrill Lynch as First Vice President and Director of the Management Science Group, Garber founded his own consulting service, Garber Associates.

An influential public voice in operation research, Garber spent his career emphasizing the importance of OR practice to the professional community and general population. In this endeavor, he worked tirelessly to create a TIMS public relations program. The resulting Public Information Committee is now a committee of TIMS’ successor, the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS). In addition to his tenure as TIMS president, Garber served on numerous committees across the OR community. He was a founding member of the joint TIMS-Operations Research Society of America (ORSA) Roundtable and was a driving force in College of the Practice of Management Science: the “Practice Section of INFORMS”.

Garber was instrumental in establishing one of the most important events in the OR/MS community, the Franz Edelman competition, named for his RCA colleague and predecessor as Director of Operations Research. The Edelman Award for Achievement in Operations Research and the Management Sciences attests to the contributions of OR practice in the profit and non-profit sectors. Garber helped develop the competition’s international appeal. In the process, he also played central role in upgrading the journal of practice Interfaces from an informal publication into a highly respected journal. With Interfaces, he provided a platform for Edelman competitions to be chronicled and shared globally. During his lifetime Garber judged over twenty-five individual Edelman events. For his service to professional organizations, Garber received the George E. Kimball Medal in 2001 and was elected in the inaugural class of INFORMS Fellows the following year He passed away in Philadelphia in 2014.

Other Biographies

INFORMS. Miser-Harris Presidential Gallery: H. Newton Garber. Accessed March 31, 2015. (link)


University of Pennsylvania, BS 1952

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, SM 1953

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, ScD 1956 (Mathematics Genealogy


Academic Affiliations
Non-Academic Affiliations
  • RCA
  • Garber Associations
  • Merrill Lynch

Key Interests in OR/MS

Application Areas


INFORMS E-News Blog. In, Memoriam, Newton Garber. Published February 24, 2014. Accessed March 31, 2015. (link)

Legacy. Philly.com Notices: Dr. Newton Garber Condolences. Published February 10, 2014. Accessed March 31, 2015. (link)

Awards and Honors

INFORMS Prize (with The Merrill Lynch Private Client Group) 1997

George E. Kimball Medal 2001

Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences Fellow 2002

Selected Publications

Garber H. N. (1959) A Class of Queueing Problems. Interim Technical Report No.13. Fundamental Investigations in Methods of Operations Research. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Cambridge, MA.

Garber H. N. (1975) The Practice of Management Science. Interfaces, 6(1b): 1-3.