Ralph Gomory

Ralph E. Gomory is a mathematician and has written on the nature of technology development, research in industry, and industrial competitiveness, and on models of international trade involving changing technologies and economies of scale. He is the author, with Professor William Baumol, of the book Global Trade and Conflicting National Interests (MIT Press 2001).


Gomory served as Chairman of IBM Research’s Mathematical Sciences Department from 1965-67 and 1968-70 during an important period of its growth and evolution. Gomory became Director of Research for IBM in 1970, with line responsibility for IBM’s Research Division. During his 18 years as Director of Research the Research Division made a wide range of contributions to IBM’s products, to the computer industry, and to science.

Gomory, who had become the IBM Senior Vice President for Science and Technology retired from IBM in 1989 and became President of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. During his tenure as President he led the foundation into a long list of fields relevant to major national issues. In December 2007, after 18 years as President, Gomory became President Emeritus.

Gomory has served in many capacities in academic, industrial and governmental organizations. He was a Trustee of Hampshire College from 1977-1986 and of Princeton University from 1985-1989. He served on the Presidents Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) from 1984 to 1992, and again from 2001 to the present. He served for a number of terms on the National Academies Committee on Science, Engineering and Public Policy (COSEPUP). He has recently joined STEP, the Board on Science Technology and Economic Policy of the National Academies.

Gomory has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the American Philosophical Society. He was subsequently elected to the Councils of all three societies. President of Sloan Foundation. He has been awarded eight honorary degrees and many prizes including the Lanchester Prize in 1963, the Harry Goode Memorial Award of the American Federation of Information Processing Societies in 1984, the John von Neumann Theory Prize in 1984, the Medal of the Industrial Research Society in 1985, the IEEE Engineering Leadership Recognition Award in 1988, the National Medal of Science awarded by the President in 1988, the Arthur M. Bueche Award of the National Academy of Engineering in 1993, the Heinz Award for Technology, the Economy and Employment in 1998, the Madison Medal Award of Princeton University in 1999, the Sheffield Fellowship Award of the Yale University Faculty of Engineering in 2000, the International Federation of Operational Research Societies Hall of Fame in 2005, and the Harold Larnder Prize of the Canadian Operational Research Society in 2006.