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Born in Portland (OR), I was the son of a Baltic German mathematician father and a French linguist mother...who gave me my middle name "Bernard" in honor of George Bernard Shaw.

After earning a B.A. in mathematics/physics from the University of Maryland and M.S. in mathematics from the University of Michigan, I got a Ph.D. in mathematics at the University of California-Berkeley.

My experience in a statistics class with professor Jerzy Neyman is the inspiration for the movie Good Will Hunting...arriving late to the first class, I saw two problems written on the board and assumed they were a homework assignment...I copied them, solved them, and handed them in a few days later...only to learn that they were examples of (formerly) unproven difficult statistical theorems.

Historians consider me to be one of the three co-founders of linear programming, along with John von Neumann and Leonid Kantorovich.

As a leader in the area of operations research at the Rand Corporation, UC-Berkeley, and Stanford, I developed the idea of the simplex algorithm, an algorithm for solving linear programming problems.

Answer: George Bernard Dantzig (1914 2005)