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In Memory of Prof. Michael Grigoriadis


Professor Michael D. Grigoriadis graduated from Robert College in Istanbul in 1958 with a degree in Civil Engineering. He emigrated to US in 1958 to study at Lehigh University, PA. He was awarded a fellowship from IBM to study for his Ph.D  in Computer Science, which he completed in 1970 at University of Wisconsin, Madison. His thesis was on structured nonlinear programming, written under the supervision of Professor J.B. Rosen, who was well-known for his work on gradient projection method.  

Professor Grigoriadis's research interests were optimization algorithms, especially on structured and network problems. He joined Rutgers University's Computer Science Department in 1980 as a Professor II. Prior to Rutgers, he worked at the IBM Corporation, Data Processing Division in White Plains, New York. At Rutgers, he introduced two courses on optimization theory that became standard courses: linear programming,  and network and combinatorial optimization algorithms.  He was influential in expanding the optimization group at the Computer Science department of Rutgers University. He interacted with RUTCOR and DIMACS when these centers were being formed at Rutgers and continued his interactions throughout.  He recruited Bahman Kalantari, who was also a student of J.B. Rosen to the Rutgers CS department with whom they wrote several  articles on approximation algorithms. Grigoriadis also wrote several articles on the maximum flow problem with co-authors, who included Robert Tarjan, a Turing Award winner.  

In 1990, Professor Grigoriadis was influential in attracting Leonid Khachiyan to Rutgers, a world renowned mathematician and computer scientist, who was the recipient of the Fulkerson Prize by the American Mathematical Society and Mathematical Programming Society for his work on linear programming.  Grigoriadis and Khachiyan wrote several joint articles, including on fast approximation algorithms for multicommodity flows, matrix games, and block angular convex programming problems. He retired from Rutgers in the Summer of 2015.

Profesor Grigoriadis is remembered as a very kind person by his colleagues and students. He is survived by his wife Mary, an artist;  his daughter Vanessa, a journalist; and two grandchildren, Olympia and Apollo.