Services for Saul Gass will be held on Temple
Chevy Chase, Md., at 10 a.m. on Thursday, March 21.
Donations can be made to the American Cancer
Passings: Saul Gass, Pioneer in Operations
Professor Emeritus Saul Irving Gass passed away on March 17, 2013.
Gass, a pioneering researcher in the field of operations research, came to
the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business as professor and
chair of the department of management science and statistics in 1975. In
addition to his towering achievements as a researcher, Gass was also an
extraordinary teacher. He was honored by the university as a Distinguished
Scholar-Teacher and was the Dean's Lifetime Achievement Professor for the Smith
“Saul Gass has been enormously influential in his field, but also in the
Smith School and the University of Maryland. He embodied what it means to be a
teacher, researcher, colleague and friend,” said Dean G. “Anand” Anandalingam.
Former Dean Rudy Lamone said, “One of the happiest days during my tenure as
dean took place when Saul accepted my offer to come to the business school. In
many ways Saul was a transformative leader, not only in developing an
extraordinary OR faculty, but also as a personal mentor to me in my effort to
build a first rank b-school.”
Gass began his career as a mathematician for the Aberdeen Bombing Mission, U.
S. Air Force, and then transferred to Air Force headquarters. There he began to
explore operations research with the Directorate of Management Analysis, the
organization in which linear programming was first developed.
Gass’s many publications include the seminal text Linear Programming
(fifth edition); Decision Making, Models and Algorithms, and the book
An Illustrated Guide to Linear Programming. He was co-author of An
Annotated Timeline of Operations Research: An Informal History. Together
with Carl Harris, he edited the Encyclopedia of Operations Research and
Management Science, which was published in 1996 (a third edition will be
published shortly). He remained active late into his life as, with Arjang Assad,
he edited, and wrote several contributions for Profiles in Operations
Research, which was published in 2011.
Gass’ work made an impact in industry and on policy-makers as well as in the
classroom. Throughout his career he worked with IBM as an Applied Science
Representative, manager of the Project Mercury Man-in-Space Program, and manager
of IBM's Federal Civil Programs; served as a member of the Science and
Technology Task Force of the President's Commission on Law Enforcement; and was
director of operations research for CEIR, senior vice-president of World Systems
Laboratories, and vice-president of Mathematica. Gass served as a consultant to
the U. S. General Accounting Office, Congressional Budget Office, the National
Institute of Standards and Technology, and other operations research and systems
Gass remained active in leadership in his field through involvement in
professional organizations. He was past president the Operations Research
Society of America (ORSA) and Omega Rho, the international operations research
honor society. He served as vice-president for international activities of the
Institute of Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS), and
vice-president of the International Federation of Operational Research Societies
(IFORS). He received ORSA's Kimball Medal for distinguished service to the
society and the profession, INFORMS's Expository Writing Award for publications
in operations research that have set an exemplary standard of exposition, and
the Military Operations Research Society's Jacinto Steinhardt Memorial Award for
outstanding contributions to military operations research.
His expertise was respected around the world. Gass was a Fulbright Research
Scholar at the Computer and Automation Research Institution, Hungarian Academy
of Sciences, and a Fulbright Senior Specialist who taught in Taiwan, New
Zealand, Chile, Spain, and Japan.
Gass is survived by his wife, Trudy, his son, Ron, his daughter, Joyce, and
his granddaughter, Arianna. Services will be held on Temple Shalom in Chevy
Chase, Md., at 10 a.m. on Thursday, March 21. Donations can be made to the
American Cancer Society.
About the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business
The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader
in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the
University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate,
full-time and part-time MBA, executive MBA, MS in business, PhD and executive
education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The
school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning
locations in North America and Asia.