Person: Cooper, William Wager
Bill Cooper was an American operational researcher, known for his applications of linear programming to management science.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Despite Leon being five years younger than William, the boys were very close as they grew up.
- William became a good street fighter, something that was necessary in the area in which they lived.
- Cooper attended grammar schools in Chicago before entering Tuley High School in that city.
- William dropped out of high school and started to work to earn money.
- He had 63 bouts, winning all but five (3 losses and 2 draws) fighting under a number of names, usually Bill Williams.
- Kohler was amazed at Cooper's talents and suggested that Cooper apply for entry at the University of Chicago.
- Kohler tutored him over the next year and Cooper was financially supported by a fellowship and also by Kohler.
- Eric Kohler had moved from Arthur Andersen to become controller of the Tennessee Valley Authority in 1937 and, after the award of his B.A., Cooper was employed as his research assistant in Knoxville, Tennessee on an assignment dealing with cost allocation reporting to U.S. Congress and to develop new types of internal audits.
- By the middle of 1940 this work was complete and Cooper, who had won a fellowship to study for a Ph.D. at the in the Business School of Columbia University, left to begin his doctoral studies.
- Having successfully completed the course work for his doctorate, Cooper submitted his doctoral thesis to Columbia in 1942.
- Cooper later said that he "fought the committee to a draw." He left Columbia University without being awarded a Ph.D. By this time Kohler was undertaking war work for the U.S. Bureau of the Budget and Cooper joined him as Principal Economist.
- Perhaps more surprisingly, Leon went with William and Ruth Cooper on their honeymoon.
- William and Ruth settled in South Ellis Avenue, near the university, where Ruth studied for an A.B. while working for the Chicago Commission on Race Relations.
- In 1946 Cooper was appointed as an Assistant Professor at Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
- Well, this is not strictly correct since when Cooper was appointed the institution was called the Carnegie Institute of Technology and it only became Carnegie-Mellon University in 1967.
- Cooper taught at the Graduate School of Industrial Administration from its founding in 1949.
- It was a direction that suited Cooper who began a collaboration with Abraham Charnes, professor of mathematics at the Carnegie Institute, who was an expert in operations research.
- In many ways Cooper can be seen as the founder of the topic of Management Science as a branch of applied mathematics.
- Cooper and Charnes also founded a journal Management Science.
- At around this time Cooper began to publish mathematics papers.
- In the first part, Cooper and Henderson present the complete solution of a numerical example by the "simplex method" of G B Dantzig.
- Cooper and Charnes published the 860-page two-volume book Management models and industrial applications of linear programming in 1961.
- Professors Charnes and Cooper have published two books worthy of their past reputation.
- We have commented already on Cooper's remarkable publication record of over 500 items.
- Perhaps the most stunning statistic of all is that Cooper wrote 325 articles while at Texas.
- Cooper received many awards for his remarkable contributions to operations research.
- These include an honorary doctorate from Ohio State University (1970), honorary master of arts from Harvard University (1976), honorary doctorate from Carnegie-Mellon University (1982), the establishment by Carnegie-Mellon University of the William W Cooper Professorship (1982), joint recipient of the John von Neumann Theory Prize awarded jointly by The Institute of Management Sciences and Operations Research Society of America (1982), Award for Outstanding Research Contributions from the Graduate School of Business, The University of Texas at Austin (1984 and 1987), Professional Achievement Citation of the University of Chicago Alumni Association (1986), establishment by The University of Texas of William W Cooper Fellowships (1988), establishment by Carnegie Mellon University of William W Cooper Fellowships (1989), Carnegie Mellon University Graduate School of Industrial Administration names their Auditorium in honour of William W Cooper (1989), elected to Hall of Fame, Graduate School of Business, The University of Texas at Austin (1990), elected to Accounting Hall of Fame (1995), honorary doctorate from the University of Alicante, Spain (1995), elected to the Hall of Fame of the International Federation of Operational Research Societies (2006), and received The University of Texas Presidential Award (2009).
- This is the way I've spent my life, and it is the way I'd like to see the world continue." William W Cooper was a great, kind, and generous person.
Born 23 July 1914, Birmingham, Alabama, USA. Died 20 June 2012, Austin, Texas, USA.
View full biography at MacTutor
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Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive