INFORMS NEWS: Conforti, Cornuéjols, Zambelli share Lanchester Prize

Committee Chair David Shmoys (far left) and INFORMS President Robin Keller (far right) flank Lanchester Prize winners Michele Conforti and Giacomo Zambelli.

Committee Chair David Shmoys (far left) and INFORMS President Robin Keller (far right) flank Lanchester Prize winners Michele Conforti and Giacomo Zambelli.

The 2015 Lanchester Prize was awarded to Michele Conforti, Gérard Cornuéjols and Giacomo Zambelli for their book “Integer Programming,” Springer, Switzerland, 2014. Committee Chair David Shmoys presented the award at the 2015 INFORMS Annual Meeting in Philadelphia.

The Lanchester Prize is awarded by INFORMS for the best contribution to operations research and the management sciences published in English in the past three years. The prize includes a commemorative medallion and a $5,000 cash award.

The award citation read in part:

Advances in the theory of integer programming have gone hand in hand with advances in solving integer programs in practice. This textbook presents the fundamentals of the area, highlighting the mathematical elegance of the foundations of the field, as well as bringing the reader to the edge of the research frontier. The writing blends clarity of exposition with a dedication to infusing the reader with the needed geometric intuition.

Several well-known results especially benefit from this fresh presentation, including the theory of split inequalities and the explicit description of the convex hull of a finite union of polyhedra. Even the most recent theoretical gems are included, such as the exponential lower bound on the size of extended formulations of the matching polytope, as well as the power of hierarchies of relaxations based on semidefinite programming. This advanced theory is complemented by a thorough development of the algorithmic and modeling aspects of the area, making this a truly complete survey of integer programming, which will serve the next generation of researchers to further advance the field in the years ahead.