Ralph E. Gomory

Ralph E. Gomory

Past Awards

INFORMS Elected Fellows: Awardee(s)

John von Neumann Theory Prize: Winner(s)

Ralph Edward Gomory, Vice President and Director of Research at IBM, has been awarded the 1984 John von Neumann Theory Prize. The citation reads as follows:

The 1984 von Neumann Theory Prize for contributions to the theory of operations research and management science is awarded by the Operations Research Society of America and The Institute of Management Sciences to Ralph Edward Gomory for his striking original work, not only in creating a general theory of Integer Programming, but also in attacking particular problems of discrete optimization.

In his student years (Williams, Cambridge, Princeton) Gomory began research on nonlinear differential equations, but voluntary active service in the Navy (1954-57) turned his attention to the applied mathematics of operations research. Back at Princeton he soon linked classical Diophantine analysis with the new linear programming to obtain "cutting-plane" and "all-integer" algorithms which established integer programming as a rigorous and vital theory.

At the IBM Research Center in the early '60s Gomory published imaginative papers with Paul Gilmore on knapsack, traveling salesman, and cutting-stock problems (the last of which won the Lanchester Prize in 1963) and with T.C. Hu on flows on multiterminal networks and continua. In the late '60s he developed the asymptotic theory of integer programming and introduced the "corner polyhedra" perhaps his best work. In the early '70s he collaborated with Ellis Johnson in investigating subadditive functions related to group problems that has played a role in "cutting planes" and "corner polyhedra.

Final mention must be made of the strong sense of duty Gomory feels towards colleagues and country. This has been amply demonstrated through his teamwork in research and his statesmanship in national science policy. It is indeed fitting that our Societies award Ralph Gomory the Theory Prize that bears the illustrious name of John von Neumann!

Frederick W. Lanchester Prize: Winner(s)

The 1963 Lanchester Prize was awarded to P. C. Gilmore and R. E. Gomory, "A Linear Programming Approach to the Cutting Stock Problem—Part II," Operations Research, November-December 1963, pp 863-888.