Te Chiang Hu

November 1930 – October 2021

Brief Biography

Hu Fellow Portrait

Te Chiang Hu 胡德强 (known as TC by his friends and colleagues), was born in Beijing, China to parents from Zhejiang Province. He lived through the Second World War and the Japanese occupation. During the Chinese Civil War that followed, he fled to Taiwan where he met his wife-to-be, Jane Pu-chu Wu 吴浦初, when they were both students at National Taiwan University (TC in engineering and Jane a medical student).  TC received his bachelors in engineering from National Taiwan University. TC and Jane had a long-distance courtship, writing letters for several years when TC first came to the US but they eventually settled together in the U.S. where he received a Masters degree in engineering from University of Illinois.  He earned a PhD in Applied mathematics from Brown University, writing his dissertation on the optimum design for perfectly plastic structures. Hu’s first postdoctoral position was as a research mathematician at the IBM Research Center. During his IBM tenure, he was a visiting and adjunct professor at a number of universities and spent a summer consulting with the RAND Corporation. At RAND, he published a memorandum on an algorithm for solving minimum cost flow problems in networks where the shipping cost over an arc is a convex function of the number of units shipped along said arc.

As a computer scientist, Hu broke away from the common trend of establishing new theoretical models and instead focused on inventing new algorithms that can more efficiently solve well-known problems. His papers and journal articles have been incredibly important in bringing new concepts to computer science and presenting algorithms with which one can revisit existing problems and solve them in the best possible fashion. In 1961, Hu and Ralph Gomory published a paper on multi-terminal flows. The so-called Gomory-Hu tree of an undirected graph in combinatorial optimization is a weighted tree that represents the minimum s­-cuts for all s-pairs in the graph. Hu has additionally made contributions in parallel computing systems.

Hu left IBM in 1966 and joined the Computer Science faculty at the University of Wisconsin. He was made a full professor two years later and joined the Mathematics Research Center. In 1969, he published Integer Programming and Network Flows (translated into German, Russian and Japanese). The book was the first full publication to describe the relationships between linear programming, network analysis and integer programming.

In 1974, Hu moved to the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of California, San Diego. At UCSD he authored a book on combinatorial algorithms and co-edited the Institute of Electronics and Electrical Engineers-published VLSI Circuity Layout (1985). His paper on two-way partitioning was recognized as the best paper in 1997 by the IEEE Society of Circuits and Systems. In 2013, Hu was elected a Fellow of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences “for his fundamental research on the borders of operations research and computer science, including network flows, integer programming, shortest paths, binary trees, and for his authoritative books on these topics.”

Hu has served on the editorial board of a number of journals and publications, including Operations Research, IEEE Transactions on Computers, and the Journal of Applied Mathematics. He served four years as a consultant to the President’s Office of Emergency Preparedness. 

Outside work, he was an avid student and fan of Chinese literature and poetry, ballroom dance, Tai Chi, ice skating and table tennis  (His son could not beat him until after TC turned 80 years old). After surviving a stroke in 2016, a bout with COVID-19 in late 2020, and deteriorating health throughout 2021, TC passed away peacefully in the presence of his family in October 2021.  He is survived by his wife, Jane Pu-chu Wu, his three children (Dale, Rona, Alan), and his four grandchildren. 

Other Biographies

UCSD Computer Science and Engineering. T. C. Hu: Short Biography. Accessed April 20, 2015. (link

UCSD Computer Science and Engineering. T. C. Hu: Career Summary.  Accessed October 22, 2019 (link


National Taiwan University, BS 1953

University of Illinois, MS 1956

Brown University, PhD 1960 (Mathematics Genealogy)


Academic Affiliations
  • University of Wisconsin
  • Brown University
  • National Taiwan University
  • University of California, San Diego
  • University of Illinois
Non-Academic Affiliations

Key Interests in OR/MS


Memoirs and Autobiographies


UCSD Computer Science and Engineering. T. C. Hu: Career Summary. Accessed April 20, 2015. (link

Awards and Honors

IEEE Systems and Circuits Society Best Paper Award 1997

Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences Fellow 2013

Selected Publications

Hu T. C. (1969) Integer Programming and Network Flows. Addison-Wesley: New York.

Hu T. C. (1961) Parallel sequencing and assembly line problems. Operations Research, 9(6): 841-848.

Hu T. C. (1963) Multi-commodity network flows. Operations Research, 11(3): 344-360.

Hu T. C. & Robinson S. M., eds. (1963) Mathematical Programming. Academic Press: Boston.

Adolphson D. & Hu T. C. (1973) Optimal linear ordering. SIAM Journal on Applied Mathematics, 25(3): 403-423.

Hu T. C. (1974) Optimum communication spanning trees. SIAM Journal on Computing, 3(3): 188-195.

Hu T. C. (1982) Combinatorial Algorithms. Addison-Wesley: New York.

Hu T. C. & Kuh E. S., eds. (1985) VLSI Circuit Layout. IEEE Press: New York.

Hu T. C., Lee T. Y., Lee L. J., Lee J. X., Lin C. H. &  Ma C. W. (1999) U.S. Patent No. 5,933,368: Flash Memory Mass Storage Systems. U.S. Patent and Trademark Office: Washington, DC.