Albert William Tucker, 1961-1962 MAA President
Born: November 28, 1905, Ontario, Canada
Died: January 25, 1995, Hightstown, New Jersey
Albert William Tucker was a mathematics professor at Princeton University, a pioneer of linear programming and game theory, and a leader in the mathematical community.
At the 1962 summer meeting, Tucker gave a talk on "The Problem of Staffing College Departments of Mathematics." E.E. Moise then made remarks to open a discussion on the problem.
Education and Career
After earning his Ph.D., Tucker spent a year as a National Research Fellow at Cambridge, Harvard, and the University of Chicago. He rejoined Princeton as an instructor in 1933. He had become a full professor by 1946.
Tucker spent 1949-50 on sabbatical at Stanford University. There, to explain game theory to psychology students, he reformulated the Dresher-Flood game as the Prisoner's Dilemma, now a well-known example of a non-zero-sum game.
At Princeton, Tucker advised eleven doctoral theses. One of them, completed by John Nash in 1950, later earned Nash a Nobel Prize in economics. Tucker chaired the department starting in 1953 and retired in 1974.
Tucker was the 1956-57 MAA's national visiting lecturer, vice president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a council member and trustee of the American Mathematical Society, chair of the Conference Board of the Mathematical Sciences, the initial mathematical consultant to the President's Council of Scientific Advisors, chair of the College Board Commission on School Mathematics, and a member of the Committee on the Undergraduate Program in Mathematics.
He won the MAA's Gung and Hu Distinguished Service to Mathematics Award in 1968. The citation praised his work as a teacher, researcher, leader in the mathematical community, and reformer of mathematics curriculum. The Mathematical Optimization Society (formerly the Mathematical Programming Society) awards the A.W. Tucker Prize for outstanding doctoral theses.
In 1938, Tucker married D.R. Curtiss' daughter Alice Judson Curtiss.
"Albert W. Tucker, 1905-1995," MAA FOCUS, Volume 15, Number 2, pages 1 and 3