John J. H. Forrest

John J. H. Forrest has been at the forefront of computational mathematical programming for four decades. He was a developer of Alligator, Umpire, Sciconic, MPSX370, OSL and recently some of the key components of COIN-OR. This long list chronicles the evolution of computational linear and integer programming, from proprietary consulting tools, to commercial solvers, to commercial libraries, to flexible extensible open-source libraries. This trend has been driven, to a large extent, by the usefulness of the MILP model in applications, by advances in MILP theory and practice, and indeed by the unique contributions of John J. H. Forrest.

John's achievements in regard to COIN-OR are:

  • Author of the COIN-OR Linear Program (CLP) solver, the COIN-OR Branch-&-Cut (CBC) solver and components of the COIN-OR Cut Generation Library (CGL), including active maintenance and continued development;
  • Design contributions to the original suite of COIN-OR components (including the Open Solver Interface (OCI) and CGL);
  • Business impact on applied projects leveraged by the capability to solve large-scale MILPs;
  • Founding Benevolent Dictator of COIN-OR.

John's software contributions to COIN-OR comprise a suite of world-class open-source tools for the solution of difficult large-scale LPs and MILPs. CBC is a library for creating branch-&-cut algorithms, which together with CLP and the CGL forms a stand-alone MILP solver. The official release of CBC version 1.0 has just occurred. This achievement alone makes John eminently worthy of the inaugural COIN-OR INFORMS Cup. But particularly notable is John's ability to close the loop --- using difficult real-world problems to drive the development of software tools that have wide applicability and availability as high-quality open-source libraries, while still having the focus and timeliness to have substantial impact on the original problems.

It is with great pleasure that we award the COIN-OR INFORMS 2005 Cup to John J. H. Forrest.