Arthur F. Veinott, Jr.

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Short Bio:

Arthur F. Veinott, Jr (known to his friends and family as "Pete") contributed broadly to both the research and teaching of operations research, and also played a key role in creating the Department of Operations Research. His research had major impact in dynamic programming, lattice programming, and inventory theory, for which he was recognized with the INFORMS John von Neumann Theory Prize in 2007, was made an inaugural INFORMS Fellow in 2002, and was named to the National Academy of Engineering in 1986. He also played an important part in creating the INFORMS journal Mathematics of Operations Research, acting also as its founding Editor-in-Chief, and in creating the John von Neumann Theory Prize.

Further Information:

Long Bio (contributed by Professor Richard W. Cottle) (Note to you: hyperlink to lower level webpage; content found below)

Vita (hyperlink to pdf; sent to you on Jan 29)

Lecture Notes: Pete Veinott was widely known throughout the operations research community for his lecture notes in various subject areas. These notes often included unpublished research findings that were widely referenced later in the scholarly literature. In addition, these notes represent perspectives of Professor Veinott that widely influenced generations of Stanford students, and subsequently impacted the development of operations research as a discipline. The notes are made available under the terms of the Creative Commons (hyperlink to by the estate of Arthur F. Veinott, Jr.

Dynamic Programming (Includes homework problems and solutions (except for the last homework)) (hyperlink to pdf of notes; pdf to be sent separately)

Supply Chain Optimization (Includes homework problems and solutions) (hyperlink to pdf of notes; pdf to be sent separately)

Stanford School of Engineering obituary (link to pdf; can be found on Web)
Stanford News obituary (link to pdf; can be found on Web)
Lehigh University obituary (link to pdf; pdf attached below)
ORMS Today obituary (link to pdf; pdf attached below)

Remembrances of Pete Veinott (link to Ben's webpage)


Born in Boston, Arthur F. Veinott, Jr grew up in Newton, Massachusetts. From childhood he was called "Pete." He attended public schools in Newton and graduated from Lehigh University, where, in 1956, he earned the degrees of Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering and the Bachelor of Arts and Science. He was an outstanding student and was elected to Tau Beta Pi, Phi Beta Kappa, and Omicron Delta Kappa. Pete went on to Columbia University where in 1960 he earned a doctorate in Engineering Science specializing in operations research. He spent two years as an operations analyst in the Logistics Command of the United States Air Force. Completing this service with the rank of 1st Lieutenant, Pete joined the Stanford faculty as assistant professor in the Department of Industrial Engineering. He was promoted to associate professor in 1964 and full professor in 1967.

Along with Kenneth Arrow, Gerald Lieberman and others, Pete Veinott did much to build the doctoral program in operations research into the Department of Operations Research, which for many years enjoyed the reputation of the world's leading department of its kind. In the process, Pete augmented his already extensive knowledge of mathematics, statistics, economics, and computer science, the disciplines that play leading roles in the OR field. Pete was intensely inquisitive; when he dove into a topic, he followed it to the bottom and back again. For this characteristic, he was legendary. He was arguably a master of the entire OR field, not just its subspecialties. And yet Pete had several specialties within OR. These were inventory theory, dynamic programming, and lattice programming, all of which were deepened and broadened by his comprehensive scholarship.

Pete Veinott's profound contributions brought him many honors. He was:

  • a Fellow of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics,
  • a Guggenheim
  • Fellow, a member of the National Academy of Engineering,
  • an INFORMS Fellow, and a recipient of the John von Neumann Theory Prize from INFORMS.

Pete was also a very effective campaigner for the recognition of other researchers whose body of work he admired. When the honorees were departmental faculty, Pete would be sure to help the department celebrate the occasion by hosting a dinner party or a luncheon.

Pete's list of other professional activities is lengthy. It includes:
service on three professional editorial boards including that of MATHEMATICS OF OPERATIONS RESEARCH of which he was the founding (and later advisory) editor. He was an elected member of several councils of mathematical science organizations. For ten years (1975-1985) he served as Chairman of the Department of Operations Research. At around that time, he and several other faculty created the still popular Undergraduate Program in Mathematical and Computational Sciences.

In June, 2009, faced with a serious medical problem, Pete Veinott
joined the ranks of the faculty emeriti. With grace and composure, he continued his engagement with academic and scientific activities to the very end.

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