George Bernard Dantzig Mathematics

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George Bernard Dantzig was one of the big names in the math field. If you have heard about this man but you have no idea who, feel free to continue your reading in order to find out everything about him and his love for math.


  • Full name: George Bernard Dantzig
  • Place of birth: Portland, Oregon, United States
  • Date of birth: November 8, 1914
  • Died: May 13, 2005 (aged 90) in Stanford, California, United States
  • Citizenship: American
  • Education: University of Maryland (BS), University of Michigan (MS), University of California, Berkeley (PhD)
  • Institutions: U. S. Air Force Office of Statistical Control, RAND Corporation, University of California, Berkeley, Stanford University

George Bernard Dantzig Mathematics1

The American mathematical scientist with many contributions to industrial engineering, operations research, computer science, economics, and statistics named George Bernard Dantzig was born on November 8, 1914 in Portland, Oregon, United States to the Jewish parents named Tobias Dantzig and Anja Dantzig. His name was inspired by the Irish writer George Bernard Shaw. It is not surprising that he had an interest in math because his father was a mathematician and linguist. Just like his father, his mother was also a linguist of French-Jewish origin. His parents met for the first time when they studied at the University of Paris. At the time, his father studied mathematics under Henri Poincare. After spending time in France, the whole family decided to immigrate to the United States and settled in Portland, Oregon, United States. In the beginning of the 1920s, they moved from Baltimore to Washington, D.C. In the new city, his father worked as a math tutor at the University of Maryland, College Park while his mother worked as a linguist at the Library of Congress.

George Bernard Dantzig studied at the Powell Junior High School and Central High School along with a mathematician named Abraham Seindenberg. When he was in high school, he started to be interested in geometry. As a son of a mathematician, his interest was further supported by his father. His father was the one that loved to challenge him with the complicated problems, especially in projective geometry.

George Bernard Dantzig1

In 1936, George Bernard Dantzig received his Bachelor of Science from University of Maryland in mathematics and physics which is known to be part of the University of Maryland College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences. A year after that, he then obtained his master’s degree in mathematics from the University of Michigan. After spending time being a junior statistician at the Bureau of Labor Statistics for two years, he then decided to study in the doctoral program in mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley. At the time, he studied under Jerzy Neyman.

During the outbreak of World War II or WWII, George Bernard Dantzig made a big decision by leaving absence from the doctoral program at Berkeley and decided to work as a civilian for the United States Army Air Forces. For 5 years, he led the combat analysis branch of the Headquarters Statistical Control for the Army Air Forces. In 1946, he went back to Berkeley to continue his study and then he managed to get his Ph.D. in the same year. After graduating, he actually received an offer from Berkeley. However, he preferred to go back to the Air Force and became a mathematical advisor to the comptroller.

In 1952, George Bernard Dantzig took part in the mathematics division of the RAND Corporation. 8 years after that, he was chosen as a professor in the Department of Industrial Engineering at UC Berkeley, the same place where he founded and directed the Operations Research Center. 6 years after becoming a professor, he then joined the Stanford faculty as Professor of Operations Research and of Computer Science. In 1967, the Program in Operations Research turned into a full fledged department. 6 years later, the Systems Optimization Laboratory or SOL was founded by him. In his rest time, he spent his time managing the Methodology Group at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis or IIASA in Laxenburg, Austria. After that, he became the C. A. Criley Professor of Transportation Sciences at Stanford University.

George Bernard Dantzig was listed as one of the members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 1974, the man received the first John von Neumann Theory Prize. In the next year, he got the National Medal of Science. A year after that, he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Maryland, College Park. Not only that, he was also honored by the Mathematical Programming Society and was rewarded with the George B. Dantzig Prize. Talking about the George B. Dantzig Prize, this one is apparently bestowed every three years starting from 1982 on one or two of those who have made a big impact in the field of mathematical programming. In addition, he was included to the 2002 class of Fellows of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences.

Aside from known as a mathematician, George Bernard Dantzig was also known as an author of several books, including:

  • 1953: Notes on linear programming
  • 1956: Linear inequalities and related systems
  • 1963: Linear programming and extensions
  • 1966: On the continuity of the minimum set of a continuous function
  • 1968: Mathematics of the decision sciences
  • 1969: Lectures in differential equations
  • 1970: Natural gas transmission system optimization
  • 1973: Compact city; a plan for a liveable urban environment
  • 1974: Studies in optimization
  • 1985: Mathematical programming ; essays in honor of George B. DAntzig
  • 1997: Linear programming 1 : Introduction
  • 2003: Linear programming 2 : Theory and Extensions
  • 2003: The Basic George B. Dantzig

On May 13, 2005, George Bernard Dantzig left the world forever in his home in Stanford, California, United States at the age of 90 years old due to complications from diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Even though he is no longer around, his legacy is still in everyone’s heart, especially his contributions to the math field.

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