Carnegie Mellon News Online Edition: June 13, 2001: GSIA Bid Farewell to Kerr, Thompson
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GSIA Bids Farewell to Kerr, Thompson

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GSIA Bids Farewell to Kerr, Thompson

Kerr Carnegie Mellon's Graduate School of Industrial Administration (GSIA) celebrated the careers of two teaching legends at a recent retirement party for professors Gerald L. Thompson and Thomas M. Kerr.

President Jared L. Cohon praised both scholars for their dedicated service and outstanding teaching records.

"Between them, they have more than 70 years of involvement with this university," Cohon said. "We applaud their achievements."

Cohon said Kerr's introduction of ethics courses continues to shape the school's evolving curriculum. He lauded Thompson for pursuing research in mathematical programming and other areas endemic to Carnegie Mellon's reputation for leading-edge work.

Thompson Kerr, an associate professor of industrial administration and law at GSIA, has been a member of the Carnegie Mellon faculty since 1965. Before joining the university, he was a trial attorney in the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and a corporate attorney and assistant general counsel for Westinghouse Electric Corp.

He was president of the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania from 1964-84 and was a founding board member of the Neighborhood Legal Services Association of Pittsburgh. He was the recipient of GSIA's prestigious George Leland Bach Teaching Award in 1990.

Kerr is a member of the City of Pittsburgh's Personnel Appeals Board. He earned his law degree from George Washington University.

Thompson, the IBM professor of systems and operations research, has been a GSIA faculty member since 1959. His teaching and research interests include large-scale linear programming, mathematical economics and management science applications.

He has published more than 150 articles in academic journals and has consulted for IBM, Bethlehem Steel, PPG, Bain, Westinghouse and General Motors.

In 1976, Thompson received the Western Electric Award for Innovative Teaching from the American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business. The award was presented for the development of a self-managed learning method for teaching operations research.

Before joining Carnegie Mellon, Thompson taught at Princeton University, Dartmouth College and Ohio Wesleyan University. He earned his doctor's degree in mathematics from the University of Michigan.

Chriss Swaney

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