OR/MS Today — INFORMS News

Posted: 4/21/04

In Memoriam:
C. West Churchman

C. West Churchman, a founding father of The Institute of Management Sciences who served as president of TIMS in 1962, died March 28 at a rest home in Bolinas, Calif. He was 90.

Professor Churchman, an influential philosopher and teacher and widely considered the "conscience" of the OR profession, was a longtime professor at U.C. Berkeley. The one-time Nobel Prize nominee dedicated his life to the application of philosophy and ethical values to daily life, including the corporate world.

Born in Philadelphia, Professor Churchman received a bachelor's degree in philosophy, a master's degree and a doctorate in symbolic logic, all from the University of Pennsylvania during the 1930s.

Professor Churchman served as a mathematical statistician for the U.S. Army during World War II, working on experimental methods of testing small-arms ammunition.

Professor Churchman was hired in 1958 as a professor at U.C. Berkeley's graduate school of business and also served in the school's Space Sciences Laboratory. From 1983 until his retirement in 1996, he was a professor of peace and conflict studies.

He authored a dozen books, including "Challenge to Reason," "The Design of Inquiring Systems" and "The Systems Approach,'' all of which promote ethical philosophies of systems operation.

A more comprehensive tribute to Professor Churchman, one of the giants in the history of OR/MS, will appear in a forthcoming issue of OR/MS Today.

Sources: S.F. Chronicle
and U.C. Berkeley

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