The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Dantzig, George B. (1914–2005)

  • Richard W. Cottle
  • B. Curtis Eaves
  • Mukund N. Thapa
Reference work entry


George Dantzig is known as ‘father of linear programming’ and ‘inventor of the simplex method’. This biographical sketch traces the high points of George Dantzig’s professional life and scholarly achievements. The discussion covers his graduate student years, his wartime service at the US Air Force’s Statistical Control Division, his post-war creativity while serving as a mathematical advisor at the US Air Force Comptroller’s Office and as a research mathematician at the RAND Corporation, his distinguished career in academia – at UC Berkeley and later at Stanford University – and finally as an emeritus professor of operations research.


Complementarity Computational complexity Convex programming Convexity Dantzig, G. B Decomposition principle Degeneracy Distributed computation Hurwicz, L Integer programming Interior point methods Kantorovich, L.V Koopmans, T.C Lagrangian function Leontief, W. W Linear programming Logarithmic barrier method Mathematical programming Neyman, J Nonlinear programming Operations research Simplex method for solving linear programs Stochastic programming with recourse von Neumann, J Wood, M.K 

JEL Classification

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Acknowledgments The authors are grateful to David Dantzig, Jessica Dantzig Klass, and many of Dantzig’s friends and colleagues who have contributed to this bio- graphical article. These include A.J. Hoffman, G. Infanger, E. Klotz, J.C. Stone, M.J. Todd, J.A. Tomlin and M.H. Wright. This article has also benefited from other writings on G.B. Dantzig’s life, namely: Albers and Reid (1986), Albers, Alexanderson and Reid (1990), Cottle (2003, 2005, 2006), Cottle and Wright (2006), Dantzig (1982, 1991), Dorfman (1984), Gill et al. (2007), Kersey (1989), Lustig (2001), Gass (1989, 2002, 2005).


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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard W. Cottle
    • 1
  • B. Curtis Eaves
    • 1
  • Mukund N. Thapa
    • 1
  1. 1.