Skip to main content

more options

David B. Shmoys
Laibe/Acheson Professor
 of Business Management & Leadership Studies
School of Operations Research and Information Engineering
Department of Computer Science

David B. Shmoys pic

  • Director, School of Operations Research
    and Information Engineering

  • Co-Chair, Cornell NYC Tech,
    Academic Planning Committee

  • Associate Director, Institute for
    Computational Sustainability
  • david.shmoys "at"

    214 Rhodes Hall
    136 Hoy Road
    Cornell University
    Ithaca, NY 14853


    The primary focus of my research is on the design and analysis of efficient algorithms for discrete optimization problems, and in particular, on approximation algorithms for NP-hard and other computationally intractable problems. Linear programming relaxations have played a fundamental role in obtaining good solutions to hard optimization problems, and we continue to study their application to a range of problems in clustering, sequencing and scheduling, and inventory problems, in both deterministic and stochastic optimization settings. In addition to studying these problems with a theoretical lens, we have been involved in the practical application of these techniques in settings ranging from genomics to medical aircraft scheduling to the long-term planning for the preservation of the red-cockaded woodpecker.

    Research Areas

    Brief Bio

    David Shmoys obtained his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of California at Berkeley in 1984, and held postdoctoral positions at MSRI in Berkeley and Harvard University, and a faculty position at MIT before joining the Cornell faculty. He is Co-Chair of the Academic Planning Committee for Cornell NYC Tech and Associate Director of the Institute of Computational Sustainability at Cornell University.

    He is a Fellow of the ACM, INFORMS, and of SIAM, was an NSF Presidential Young Investigator, and has served on numerous editorial boards, including Mathematics of Operations Research (for which he is currently an Associate Editor), Operations Research, ORSA Journal on Computing, Mathematical Programming, and the SIAM Journals of both Computing and Discrete Mathematics, where for the latter he also served as Editor-in-Chief. He has been the advisor for 21 graduated PhD students, and his former students are currently on the faculties of many leading universities and research labs, including MIT, Waterloo, Brown, Maryland, Georgetown, and D-Wave.

    Shmoys' research has focused on the design and analysis of efficient algorithms for discrete optimization problems, with applications including scheduling, inventory theory, computational biology, and most recently, comptuational sustainability. His work has highlighted the central role that linear programming plays in the design of approximation algorithms for NP-hard problems; his recent book, co-authored with David Williamson), The Design of Approximation Algorithms, was awarded the 2013 Lanchester Prize by INFORMS.

    Contact Information

    David B. Shmoys
    Cornell University
    214 Rhodes Hall
    136 Hoy Road
    Ithaca, NY 14853

    (607) 255-9146 - phone
    (607) 255-9129 - fax