Remembering Alan J. Goldman

Fall 2010

alan_goldmanAlan J. Goldman, a faculty member in the Whiting School’s Department of Applied Mathematics and Statistics for more than 30 years, died on February 13, 2010.

Goldman’s primary academic focus was operations research: the use of mathematics to improve decisions on the design and operation of complex systems. Over the course of his career he authored more than 100 papers and received several important honors, most notably a U.S. Department of Commerce Gold Medal in 1976, and election in 1989 to the National Academy of Engineering. A passionate teacher, he remained active at the school after his retirement, mentoring graduate students and teaching through the fall of 2009.

In 1999, upon Goldman’s transition from full-time professor to emeritus, his department paid tribute to him in a celebration called the “Goldmanfest”—a tradition that is carried on today through the department’s annual Goldman Lecture in operations research.

“All who came into contact with him were exposed to a man with tremendous intellectual energy and enthusiasm for ideas,” says Dan Naiman, professor and chair of Applied Mathematics and Statistics. “In any context he could be counted on to ask the most penetrating questions. Mention any idea to Alan, and he could be relied upon to have reflected on it already. Still, we will remember him for his wonderfully warm, gentle, and compassionate manner.”