**George Dantzig** was an American mathematical scientist who worked in operations research, computer science, economics and statistics. He is best known for inventing the simplex algorithm for linear programming.

- Tobias was working on his most famous work Number: the language of science in the late 1920s and George helped him.
- In 1937 Dantzig was awarded an M.A. in mathematics, having studied under T H Hildebrandt, R L Wilder and G Y Rainer.
- Unhappy with abstract mathematics, the only courses he enjoyed being on statistics, Dantzig decided to give up his graduate studies.
- Having read statistics papers by Neyman, Dantzig wrote to him in 1939 asking if there was any possibility he could obtain a teaching assistantship at Berkeley so that he could complete his doctoral studies under Neyman's supervision.
- It took Neyman a little while to arrange the teaching assistantship but he managed to do so and Dantzig began for a second time to undertake graduate studies.
- In 1946, after a break of five years, Dantzig returned to Berkeley for one semester, receiving his doctorate in mathematics from the University of California.
- In 1947 Dantzig made the contribution to mathematics for which he is most famous, the simplex method of optimisation.
- Dantzig mechanised the planning process by introducing "programming in a linear structure", where "programming" has the military meaning explained above.
- The term "linear programming" was proposed by T J Koopmans during a visit Dantzig made to the RAND corporation in 1948 to discuss his ideas.
- Having discovered his algorithm, Dantzig made an early application to the problem of eating adequately at minimum cost.
- The particular problem solved was one which had been studied earlier by George Stigler (who later became a Nobel Laureate) who proposed a solution based on the substitution of certain foods by others which gave more nutrition per dollar.
- He then goes on to say that Kantorovich received the Nobel Prize for his contribution and expresses "outrage" that Dantzig did not.
- Dantzig became a research mathematician with the RAND Corporation in 1952 and during this period led the work on implementing linear programming on computers.
- Dantzig has received many honours including the Von Neumann Theory Prize in Operational Research in 1975; The National Medal of Science presented by the president of the United States in 1976; the National Academy of Sciences Award in Applied Mathematics and Numerical Analysis in 1977; the Harvey Prize in Science and Technology from Technion, Israel, in 1985; the Silver Medal from the Operational Research Society of Britain in 1986; the Adolph Coors American Ingenuity Award Certificate of Recognition from the State of Virginia in 1989; and the Special Recognition Award from the Mathematical Programming Society in 1994.

Born 8 November 1914, Portland, Oregon, USA. Died 13 May 2005, Palo Alto, California, USA.

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Origin Usa, Statistics

**Oâ€™Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F**: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive