Herman F. Karreman

June 21, 1913 – January 9, 1999

Brief Biography

Born in the Netherlands, Herman F. Karreman was a Frederick W. Lanchester Prize recipient. As a child, he spent some time in Indonesia, returning there to work for the Dutch Royal Packaging Company as a young adult. At the start of the Second World War, Karreman served in the Dutch Armed Forces but was soon made a prisoner of war by the Japanese, forced to build railroads and bridges for his captors. He was poorly treated and nearly escaped death a number of times, one time being stranded in the ocean for three days after his prisoner ship was torpedoed. Karreman returned to Holland at the war’s end and, after a period of recovery, went back to school to receive his doctorate in econometrics from the University of Rotterdam. His supervisor was Nobel-laureate Nikolaas Tinbergen.

Karreman and his family eventually immigrated to the United States where he began his US academic career at Princeton University in 1954. Nine years later, he joined the Mathematics Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, eventually earning tenure in the university’s School of Business and Department of Industrial Engineering. He remained at Wisconsin until his retirement in 1988.

In 1960, Karreman published in article in Naval Research Logistics Quarterly on programming the supply of a strategic material using a nonstochastic model. The paper was awarded that year’s Frederick W. Lanchester Prize for best publication in operations research and was lauded for its considerable originality and insight as a “careful translation of an original situation into precise mathematical form.” The following year, he authored a report with the National Bureau of Economic Research in Washington on methods for improving world transportation. Karreman continued his work in stochastic optimization and programming through his career, helping the University of Wisconsin become a leading institution on the topic.

After his retirement, Karreman continued to lead an active lifestyle, hiking and studying nature. His sizable collection of books related to operations research was donated to the School of Business after he passed away at eighty-five years old.


Academic Affiliations
Non-Academic Affiliations
  • Dutch Armed Forces
  • National Bureau of Economic Research

Key Interests in OR/MS

Application Areas


Hickman J. & Morris J. (2002) Memorial Resolution of the Faculty of the University of Wisconsin-Madison on the Death of Emeritus Professor Herman F. Karreman. Faculty Document 1679. University of Wisconsin: Madison, WI. (link)

Awards and Honors

Frederick W. Lanchester Prize 1960

Selected Publications

Karreman H. F. (1960) Programming the supply of strategic material - part I, a nonstochastic model. Naval Research Logistics Quartlery, 7(2): 261-279. 

Karreman H. F. (1961) Methods for Improving World Transportation Accounts, Applied to 1950-1953. National Bureau of Economic Research: Washington, DC. 

Karreman H. F. (1963) Computer Programs for Spectral Analysis of Economic Time Series. National Bureau of Economic Research: Washington, DC. 

Godfrey M. D. & Karreman H. F. (1964) A Spectrum Analysis of Seasonal Adjustment. Princeton University Pres: Princeton, NJ.  

Harris B., Karreman H. F., & Rosser J. B. (1967) The probability of survival of a subterranean target under mtensive attack. Naval Research Logistics Quarterly, 14(4): 435-451. 

Karreman H. F., ed. (1968) Stochastic Optimization and Control; Conference Proceedings. University of Wisconsin: Madison, WI. 

Karreman H. F. (1980) Duality in stochastic programming applied to the design and operation of reservoirs. Kall D. & Prekopa A., eds. in Recent Results in Stochastic Programming, 163-178. Springer: Berlin.