William Cook, Traveling Salesman Problem expert, to speak in November in Baylor Undergraduate Lecture Series in Mathematics

July 31, 2018
William Cook

Professor William Cook, from the University of Waterloo and Johns Hopkins University, will be the eleventh speaker in the annual Baylor Undergraduate Lecture Series in Mathematics when he visits our campus from November 14-17. Dr. Cook will deliver two lectures, a public lecture and a colloquium talk, both suitable to a wide and varied audience. Professor Cook is recognized as the world's leading expert on the Traveling Salesman Problem (TSP). This problem is easy to state: given a list of cities and the distances between each pair of cities, what is the shortest possible route that visits each city and returns to the origin city? It is an example of what is called an NP-hard problem in combinatorial optimization and is important in operations research and theoretical computer science. The TSP is the subject of Dr. Cook's public lecture on November 15 (at 4:00 pm in MMSCI 101). Professor Cook graduated in 1979 from Rutgers University with his Bachelor's degree in mathematics. After earning his Master's degree from Stanford University in 1980, Bill moved to the University of Waterloo and obtained his Ph.D. in combinatorics and optimization in 1983. He has held academic positions at the University of Bonn (Germany), Cornell University, Columbia University, University of Pittsburgh, the University of Waterloo and Johns Hopkins University. He also spent several years on the research faculty of Bell Communications Research. Dr. Cook was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2011. He became a fellow of SIAM in 2009 and the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) in 2010. In 2012, he became a fellow of the American Mathematical Society. Dr. Cook's book The Traveling Salesman Problem: A Computational Study won the Frederick W. Lanchester Prize from INFORMS in 2007. For further information on Dr. Cook and his lectures, please visit the Baylor Undergraduate Lecture Series in Mathematics web site.

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