INFORMS President's Award
The 2014 INFORMS President’s Award is awarded to Dr. András Prékopa for his significant and longstanding contributions to operations research in both basic theory and effective applications. He was one of the initiators of the very important area of optimization under uncertainty, and his work has provided foundations for the creation of its mathematical tools as well as for its practical use in problem solving.
Dr. Prékopa is a professor at Rutgers University, and professor emeritus at the Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest. His contributions have resulted in many books and more than 160 published papers from 1950 to the present, and he has supervised 56 doctoral students. These achievements have been recognized by his selection as a full member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences as well as several other honorary posts. He has received many awards, including the very prestigious Széchenyi Prize for outstanding scientific achievements, given by the Hungarian Government in 1996, and the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary, awarded by the president of Hungary in 2005.
His mathematical contributions include a number of fundamental results in probability theory, including work in random measures and random set functions. Some of his best-known results are in stochastic programming, including the general formulation of chance-constrained programming permitting stochastic dependence. He introduced the concept of logarithmic concavity, which has been extremely important because for a wide class of chance-constrained problems it leads to convexity properties that make the problems computationally accessible. He has contributed to a number of other probabilistic research areas, as well as to the history of optimization.
His work, however, was not confined to the advancement of theory. In 1962, he developed with M. Ziermann an inventory-control model to determine safety-stock levels, which was widely used in Hungary and was credited for significant savings. During his service as head of a department in the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in the 1970s and 1980s, he and several of his colleagues developed a model for daily power generation in the Hungarian power grid that combined unit commitment and distribution decisions. This model was implemented and in regular use by the Hungarian Government at a time when such optimization-based planning was a revolutionary advance over methods in use elsewhere.
The purpose of the INFORMS President's Award is to recognize important contributions to the welfare of society. András Prékopa’s work has significantly impacted both the mathematical foundations of operations research and its implementation for the effective management of important societal resources. It is an honor to present the 2014 INFORMS President's Award to András Prékopa.
Purpose of the Award
The purpose of this award is to recognize, and thereby encourage, important contributions to the welfare of society by members of our profession at the local, national, or global level. Achievements suitable for this recognition may be in technical or scientific education or in paid or voluntary consulting or management (commercial, academic, governmental, or nonprofit). The accomplishments honored need not have been documented by personal execution of formal or informal OR/MS studies but could have been reflected in support or promotion of OR/MS efforts. The award is given each year at the National meeting if there is a suitable recipient. The award is a framed certificate with a brief citation.