Bill Cook (PhD 1983, Combinatorics and Optimization) was awarded a Faculty of Mathematics Alumni Achievement Medal for fundamental contributions to combinatorial optimization and, in particular, the travelling salesman problem.
Bill Cook is the Chandler Family Chair in the School of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Georgia Tech. He received his PhD in Combinatorics and Optimization from the University of Waterloo in 1983. Cook spent two years as an Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellow at the University of Bonn, and he has held positions at Cornell, Columbia, Bellcore, Rice, and Princeton. Cook was elected a Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) Fellow in 2009, an Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences Fellow in 2010, and a member of the National Academy of Engineering in 2011.
Together with David Applegate, Robert Bixby, and Vasek Chvatal, he was awarded the 2007 Lanchester Prize by INFORMS for the book The Traveling Salesman Problem: A Computational Study. Cook has delivered numerous invited and plenary lectures, including an invited lecture at the International Congress of Mathematicians in 1998, the I. E. Block community lecture at the SIAM annual meeting in 2003, and the SIAM invited lecture at the Joint Mathematics meetings in 2011. He is a former editor-in-chief of Mathematical Programming (Series A and Series B), and he is the current editor-in-chief of the new journal Mathematical Programming Computation.