Profiles in Operations Research

Volume 147 of the series International Series in Operations Research & Management Science pp 171-200


C. West Churchman

  • Arjang A. AssadAffiliated withSchool of Management, University at Buffalo, State University of New York Email author 

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C. WestChurchman made pioneering and important contributions to operations research (OR), management science (MS), and systems theory. Over the course of six decades, he investigated and contributed to a wide range of topics—statistics, accounting, city planning, space exploration, education, mental health, and peace and conflict studies. Influenced by his practical work on statistical quality control during World War II (WWII), West came to OR after a successful career in philosophy. As a pioneer, he helped define OR and its relation to systems thinking in the early 1950s. With his friend and colleague, Russell Ackoff, he established the path-breaking Operations Research Group at Case Institute of Technology. Along with E. Leonard Arnoff, they coauthored the first integrated text in OR, Introduction to Operations Research, published in 1957.