Robert F. Rinehart

May 31, 1907 – March 13, 1985

Brief Biography

2 Robert F. Rinehart

Robert Rinehart was the second President of ORSA. A pioneer in military operations research, Dr. Rinehart received the Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award, from the Army. During World War II, he worked in undersea warfare operations research with the Navy’s Operations Research Group in Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and Hawaii. The Navy awarded him the Medal for Merit, the Navy Ordnance Development Award, and the Asiatic Pacific Campaign Ribbon.

Dr. Rinehart began his career as head of the Mathematics and Engineering Drawing Department at Ashland College, Ashland, Ohio (1934-1937). From 1937 to 1965, he taught mathematics at Case Institute of Technology in Cleveland, but took several leaves of absence to work on other projects. From 1948 to 1950, he served as executive secretary of the Research and Development Board for the Department of Defense in Washington.

In 1958, Dr. Rinehart accepted a two-year appointment as director of special research and operations research for Duke University. From 1962 to 1964, he was director of the Weapons Systems Evaluation Division at the Institute for Defense Analyses  in Washington, after which he returned to Case Institute to resume teaching mathematics. From 1965 to 1970, Dr. Rinehart was Academic Dean of the Naval Postgraduate School. He published about 25 papers in mathematics and operations research. He also served as a translator for the Russian Translations Project of the American Mathematical Society, as a reviewer for mathematical reviews, and as contributing editor covering Eastern Europe for International Abstracts in Operations Research.

In addition to working with ORSA, Dr. Rinehart served as the president of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics and was a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He received an honorary doctorate in science from Wittenberg College in 1960, and was listed in Who’s Who in America. During his retirement, Dr. Rinehart continued to be a Russian translator for several professional scientific organizations.


Wittenberg College AB 1930

The Ohio State University MA 

The Ohio State University PhD 1935 (Mathematics Genealogy


Academic Affiliations
Non-Academic Affiliations


Weiss, AB (1985) Obituary of Robert F. Rinehart. OR/ MS Today. 12, No. 3, p. 5.  

Awards and Honors

US Army Medal of Freedom

Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences 

Professional Service

President, Operations Research Society of America, 1953

President, Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, 1961-62