Ralph Gomory

Ralph Gomory

Research Professor at the Stern School of Business of New York University (NYU) and President Emeritus of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

Ralph Gomory is a Research Professor at the Stern School of Business of New York University (NYU) and President Emeritus of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

Gomory received his B.A. from Williams College in 1950, studied at Cambridge University and received his Ph.D. in mathematics from Princeton University in 1954. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1954 to 1957.

After his service in the Navy, he became Higgins Lecturer and Assistant Professor at Princeton University. There he invented the first integer programming algorithm which started a field that remains active today. He joined the newly formed Research Division of IBM in 1959, was named IBM Fellow in 1964 and in 1970 became Director of Research with line responsibility for the Research Division. His division made major contributions to the computer industry, such as the invention of the Relational data base, and in addition won two Nobel Prizes. Dr. Gomory was named an IBM Vice President in 1973 and IBM Senior Vice President in 1985. In 1986 he became IBM Senior Vice President for Science and Technology.

In 1989 he retired from IBM and became President of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Under his leadership the foundation was a major pioneer in on-line education and also supported significant scientific efforts such as the Sloan Sky Survey and the Census of Marine life. In December 2007 he became President Emeritus, and joined New York University as a Research Professor.

Gomory has been awarded eight honorary degrees and many prizes. These include the Lanchester prize of the Operations Research Society, and also its John von Neumann Theory Prize. In 1988 he received the National Medal of Science. He has also won the IEEE Engineering Leadership Recognition Award, the Arthur M. Bueche Award of the National Academy of Engineering, the Heinz Award for Technology, the Economy and Employment, the Madison Medal of Princeton University, and the Sheffield Fellowship Award of the Yale University Faculty of Engineering.

He has also been a director of a number of Fortune 500 companies including the Washington Post Company and the Bank of New York (now Bank of New York-Mellon). He was named one of America’s ten best directors by Director’s Alert magazine in 2000.

He has also served in many academic and governmental organizations. He is a member of the National Academy of Science and the National Academy of Engineering He has been a Trustee of Princeton University. He served for many years on the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) and for many years on the National Academies’ Committee on Science, Engineering and Public Policy (COSEPUP) and is presently a member of the National Academies Board on Science Technology and Economic Policy (STEP).

Throughout his career Gomory continued his mathematical research and has also written on a variety of other topics such as, technological change, industrial competitiveness and, more recently, on economic models of international trade. He is the author of a 2001 MIT Press book (with William J. Baumol)”Global Trade and Conflicting National Interests”.