Profiles in Operations Research

Volume 147 of the series International Series in Operations Research & Management Science pp 123-141


George E. Kimball

  • John F. MageeAffiliated withArthur D. Little, Inc.

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The first group ofU.S. World War II (WWII) operations research (OR) analysts came from many organizations, especially universities. After the war, most analysts returned to their previous home bases and continued to work in their principal disciplines. A few, however, recognized that this new science of OR could be of value beyond its military applications; they were the first wave to introduce OR to industry and management. Chief among these OR pioneers was George E. Kimball, a chemist from Columbia University. He was a key player in the first industrial OR consulting firm and in the founding of the Operations Research Society of America (ORSA); he was president of ORSA in 1964. In recognition of his influential contributions, ORSA established in 1974 the George E. Kimball Medal awarded to society members for distinguished service to the society and the profession.