Leon S. Lasdon

January 29, 1939

Brief Biography

Leon Lasdon

Leon Lasdon is a INFORMS Impact Prize recipient who has published three books and more than one hundred and twenty five papers on optimization, scheduling, and nonlinear programming. Lasdon received a bachelors of science in electrical engineering prior to pursuing graduate study at Case Institute of Technology. At Case, Lasdon wrote his dissertation on a multi-level technique for optimization and earned a PhD in operations research under James Schoeffler in 1964. He remained at his alma mater, accepting a professorial position in the university’s Operations Research Department.

Lasdon spent the 1968-1969 academic year on leave at Technion – Israeli Institute of Technology’s Department of Industrial and Management Engineering as a UNESCO Technical Expert in Computer Science. The following year, he published his first book, Optimization Theory for Large Systems, examining the most significant algorithms for optimizing large systems and clarifying relations between various optimization procedures.  The book was given an honorable mention by the Frederick W. Lanchester Prize Committee for best OR publication. In the 1970s, Lasdon also became an Associate Editor for both Management Science (1972 to present) and Operations Research (1971-1980).

In 1977, Lasdon left Case for the University of Texas at Austin to accept a joint position as a Professor in McCombs School of Business’s Department of Information, Risk, and Operations Management and with the Cockrell School’s Department of Mechanical Engineering. At Texas, he has taught courses on decision support modeling, financial modeling and optimization, large-scale systems optimization, management science for the Executive MBA Program, and nonlinear programming. Lasdon has developed a number of optimization software programs including FORTRAN solvers for successive quadratic and linear programming algorithms and C solvers for global optimization of smooth constrained problems. He has had a significant influence on the professional optimization community, having chaired the INFORMS Optimization Section from 1995 to 1997.

Lasdon is an elected Fellow of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS). In 2010, he was part of a team to receive the INFORMS Impact Prize along with Fred W. Glover for the development of Solver, a software program developed by Frontline Systems that uses Lasdon’s GRG2 code 

Other Biographies

University of Texas at Austin McComb School of Business, Faculty/Staff Directory. Leon S. Lasdon. Accessed July 7, 2017. (link)


Case Institute of Technology, BS 1960

Case Institute of Technology, MS 1962 

Case Institute of Technology, PhD 1964 (Mathematics Genealogy)


Academic Affiliations
Non-Academic Affiliations
  • United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

Key Interests in OR/MS

  • Multiple Criteria Decision Making
Application Areas

Memoirs and Autobiographies


Awards and Honors

Frederick W. Lanchester Prize Honorable Mention 1970

Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences Fellow 2005

INFORMS Impact Prize 2010

Professional Service

INFORMS Optimization Section, Chair 1995-1997

Selected Publications

Lasdon L. S. (1968) Duality and decomposition in mathematical programming. IEEE Transactions on Systems Science and Cybernetics, 4(2): 86-100.

Lasdon L. S. (1970) Optimization Theory for Large Systems. Macmillan Company: New York.

Lasdon L. S. & Terjung R. C. (1971) An efficient algorithm for multi-item scheduling. Operations Research, 19(4): 949-969.

Fox R. L., Lasdon L. S., & Ratner M. W. (1973) Nonlinear Optimization Using the Generalized Reduced Gradient Method. Case Western Reserve University Department of Operations Research: Cleveland, OH.

Lasdon L. S. & Waren A. D. (1977) Generalized Reduced Gradient Software for Linearly and Nonlinearly Constrained Problems. University of Texas at Austin Graduate School of Business: Austin, TX.

Baker T. E. & Lasdon L S. (1985) Successive linear programming at Exxon. Management Science, 31(3): 264-274.

Ladson L. S., Liebman J., Schrage L. E., & Waren A. D. (1986) Modeling and Optimization with GINO. Scientific Press: New York.

Edgar T. F., Lasdon L. S., & Liebman M. J. (1992) Efficient data reconciliation and estimation for dynamic processes using nonlinear programming techniques. Computers & Chemical Engineering, 16(10): 963-986.

Lasdon L. S., McKinney D. C., Ximing C. (2001) Solving nonlinear water management models using a combined genetic algorithm and linear programming approach. Advances in Water Resources, 24(6): 667-676.

Lasdon L. S., McKinney D. C., Ximing C. (2002) A framework for sustainability analysis in water resource management and application to the Syr Darya Basin. Water Resources Research, 38(6): 21-1 – 21-14.