Philip S. Wolfe

Past Awards

John von Neumann Theory Prize: Winner(s)

Alan J. Hoffman and Philip Wolfe, friends and colleagues throughout a 25-year career in the Mathematical Sciences Department at IBM, were jointly honored as winners of the John von Neumann Theory Prize. The award was presented by George L. Nemhauser on behalf of ORSA and TIMS.

Nemhauser described Hoffman and Wolfe as the intellectual leaders of the mathematical programming group at IBM, the first industrial group in the field. Nemhauser cited Hoffman's work in combinatorics and integer programming, linear programming and his early work on the computational efficiency of the simplex method in the early 1950s.

Wolfe was cited for publishing more than 60 papers on the subject of mathematical programming and for anonymously developing what Nemhauser described as the most robust algorithm ever written, an algorithm for optimization published in Math Programming, 1972.

Wolfe was recovering from surgery and could not attend the award luncheon. His daughter, Sara, accepted the award on his behalf and read a statement from her father which read in part: I am particularly pleased to receive an award named for von Neumann, because his work was a major influence on my career. In 1951 I began a treasured association with Alan Hoffman which may have reached its zenith today.