George Dantzig

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U.S. Air Force Office of Statistical Control
RAND Corporation

John von Neumann Theory Prize [1974]

George Bernard Dantzig (November 8, 1914 – May 13, 2005) was an American mathematical scientist who made important contributions to operations research, computer science, economics, and statistics.

Dantzig is known for his development of the simplex algorithm, an algorithm for solving linear programming problems[1], and his work with linear programming, some years after it was invented by the Soviet mathematician & economist Leonid Kantorovich.[2] In statistics, Dantzig solved two open problems in statistical theory, which he had mistaken for homework after arriving late to a lecture of Jerzy Neyman.

Dantzig was the Professor Emeritus of Transportation Sciences and Professor of Operations Research and of Computer Science at Stanford.



Born in Portland, Oregon, George Bernard Dantzig was named after George Bernard Shaw, a British writer.[2] His father, Tobias Dantzig, was a Baltic German mathematician and linguist, and his mother, Anja Dantzig (née Ourisson), was a French linguist . Dantzig's parents met during their study at the Sorbonne University in Paris, where Tobias studied mathematics under Henri Poincaré. The Dantzigs immigrated to the United States, where they settled in Portland, Oregon.

Early in the 1920s the Dantzig family moved from Baltimore to Washington. His mother became a linguist at the Library of Congress, and his father became a math tutor at the University of Maryland, College Park, George attended Powell Junior High School and Central High School. By the time he reached high school he was already fascinated by geometry, and this interest was further nurtured by his father, challenging him with complicated problems, particularly in projective geometry.[1]

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