INFORMS News: In Memoriam — Paul A. Jensen (1936-2011)

Paul A. Jensen

Paul Jensen

Paul Jensen, professor emeritus at the University of Texas-Austin and an active member of INFORMS and its predecessors for many years, died April 4.

Professor Jensen served on the UT faculty for 35 years, from 1967 to 2003. He supervised 21 Ph.D. students and more than 40 master’s degree students. Among his publications are three full-length books. Along with dozens of university committee assignments, he was the graduate advisor and associate chair of the Mechanical Engineering Department.

An INFORMS fellow, Dr. Jensen was a significant contributor to the profession of operations research in many ways, including service as the INFORMS vice president for meetings. He was the general chairman of the fall 1997 meeting of INFORMS. In 1991, he received the Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award from the UT University Graduate School, the Book of the Year Award from the Institute of Industrial Engineers and the first prize for the 2006 UT Innovative Instructional Technology Awards Program. In 2007, he was awarded the 2007 INFORMS Prize for the Teaching of ORMS Practice.

Dr. Jensen developed the Web site,, originally created to support the text of “Operations Research Models and Methods.” The site describes models for an enormous variety of O.R. problems. It provides more than 30 add-ins for Microsoft Excel that implement O.R. methods. The Web site remains open to the public and its contents are free.

Dr. Jensen was born in Chicago to Allen and Eleanor Jensen on Aug. 27, 1936. After obtaining his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering, Dr. Jensen worked for several years with Westinghouse Electric Corporation. He was a leader in early efforts to use component redundancy to increase the reliability of electrical circuits. After obtaining his Ph.D. in operations research in industrial engineering at Johns Hopkins University in 1967, he joined the University of Texas to help establish the operations research program in mechanical engineering.

Dr. Jensen’s first major book co-authored with J. Wesley Barnes, “Network Flow Programming,” received the 1980 Book of the Year Award from the Institute of Industrial Engineers. It is recognized as a classic in the field of network optimization. In 1983 and 1985, he authored a pioneer package of operations research programs for microcomputers, M/croso/ve/Operat/ons Research. His book “Operations Research Models and Methods,” co-authored with Jon Bard, won a Robert W. Hamilton Award runner-up) in 2004 from the University Co-op Society of the University of Texas.

Source: University of Texas-Austin