Darwin D. Klingman Endowed Scholarship

Jun 6, 1991 | Scholarships

Darwin Dee Klingman was born on February 5, 1944, in Dickinson, North Dakota to Virgil Wayne and Ethel Luella Foster Klingman. His father named him Darwin because he thought a child with an unusual name would be called on more frequently by his teachers and thus learn more. He was right.

Darwin grew up in Enumclaw, Washington and graduated from high school in 1962. He was class president, a member of the honor society, and class speaker. He received the Bausch-Lomb Science Award and the Lela Postler Dramatics Award. At Washington State University he received the outstanding freshman mathematics award and, in his junior year, a National Science Foundation summer research award.

While still in college, Darwin researched 17th- and 18th-century mathematicians and discovered some overlooked theories that led to his first publication and resulted in his appointment to jointly teach a semester-long graduate research seminar during his senior year.

Darwin graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1966 with a bachelor of arts degree in mathematics and minors in computer science and business administration. In 1967 he received a master’s degree in mathematics with a minor in econometrics from Washington State University. He did graduate work at Northwestern University and earned an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in business administration, computer science, and mathematics from The University of Texas at Austin in 1969. Dr. Klingman’s dissertation work led to seven scholarly publications.

That same year Dr. Klingman joined UT’s faculty as an assistant professor, teaching courses in mathematics, computer sciences, and business administration. He was promoted to associate professor with tenure in 1972. In 1977, the University promoted him to professor of management science and information systems in the College and Graduate School of Business Administration, and professor of computer science in the College of Natural Sciences.

At the time of his death in 1989 Dr. Klingman held the Hugh Roy Cullen Centennial Chair in Business Administration and directed the Center for Business Decision Analysis and the MBA Information Systems Management program. Dr. Klingman published more than 200 scholarly journal articles, books, chapters of books, and research reports , and earned a reputation as one of the world’s leading experts in the design and implementation of network optimization-based decision support systems. In 1974 Germany awarded him the Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung Fellowship for outstanding work across the fields of business, computer science, and mathematics. During the following year he lived in Germany, where he gave over 50 research presentations and wrote 11 research articles.

In Dr. Klingman’s lifetime he gave more than 250 national and international presentations and served on funding and research policy committees of federal agencies. He was a member of numerous professional societies and served in editorial positions for many professional journals, including Discrete Applied Mathematics, Naval Research Logistics Quarterly, Operations Research, and Management Science. He was vice president at large of the Institute of Management Science from 1981 to 1983.

In recognition of his prolific contributions Dr. Klingman received numerous research awards including the NATO Division of Scientific Affairs Award (1982), Golden Key National Honor Society Outstanding Research Award (1983), The Institute of Management Sciences Franz Edelman Award for Management Science Achievement (1986), Graduate School of Business Award for Outstanding Research Contributions (1986), College of Business Administration Advisory Council Award for Distinguished Scholastic Contributions (1986), and College of Business Administration Foundation Award for Research Excellence (1989). Johns Hopkins University recognized his research achievements by sponsoring a conference in his honor in 1981.

Dr. Klingman’s research was not confined to scholarly journals and conferences, however. An internationally recognized authority in the application of mathematical models and computer technology in policy and decision making, he pioneered the development and commercialization of computer programs that were adopted by more than 100 government agencies and companies, including the Department of Transportation, Department of Energy, Department of the Army, Office of Naval Research, IBM, General Mills, General Motors, Exxon, Standard Oil, and The Southland Corporation.

Darwin D. Klingman

For this work, he co-developed the first efficient methods of solving very large network optimization problems, by which tens of thousands of equations and millions of variables could be handled by external computer storage devices. These innovations expanded by an order of magnitude the size of problems that could be solved and were adopted by the US Department of the Treasury and the US military. In his work for the government he also co-developed refinements of network optimization computer codes and data structures that improved the efficiency of national gas regulatory distribution policy, and evaluation of the fiscal impact of policy on taxation, welfare and social security, and human resource planning.

His work also contributed to practical applications in energy, production, inventory planning, transportation, telecommunications, financial planning, commodity distribution, and resource management. His consulting company, Analysis Research and Computation (ARC), employed current and former students and gave them invaluable experience in formulating  mathematical models of real problems.

The National Science Foundation selected Dr. Klingman in 1977 and again in 1978 to train pure mathematicians on real-world applications of mathematics. A professor at Clemson University, Dr. Dearing, wrote, “The NSF sponsored speakers have all made a strong impact on our program in the mathematical sciences. Dr. Klingman’s presentation was the highlight among these.” At this Clemson course, Darwin met a graduate student named Nancy Phillips, who became his wife.

Dr. Klingman’s students praised him for his teaching excellence and ability to transmit his unbridled enthusiasm for developing mathematical models of business problems and efficient computer programs to solve them. The College of Business Administration honored him, over time, with all of its faculty awards for research and teaching. In 1983 UT Austin recognized him with the university-wide Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award. In the mid-1980s he designed “Classroom 2000,”  funded by a grant from IBM, that incorporated personal computers for each student and multimedia teaching equipment. Innovative and futuristic at the time, that classroom design has become standard in universities. He also developed an MBA information systems management program, that utilized the classroom to train managers who could then bridge the gaps between data processing departments and senior management. This program was named eighth best in the nation by Computerworld magazine in 1989.

A perfectionist and a renaissance man, Dr. Klingman ran full speed all of the time and was never without a yellow legal pad, on which he kept his list of things to do and research ideas. In 1981 he, with help from his parents, designed and built his own home on Lake Travis in Austin where he loved to boat, water ski, play tennis, shoot pool, and entertain his friends. He enjoyed traveling, eating fine food, dancing, watching movies, snow skiing, and driving fast. After his cancer was diagnosed, he said that when he got well he was going to buy a red Ferrari. Outgoing and friendly, he was always in the middle of the excitement, wherever he was. He worked, taught, and had fun, all with reckless abandon.

Darwin Dee Klingman died on October 27, 1989, at the age of 45 after a year-long battle with lung cancer. He is survived by his wife, Dr. Nancy V. Phillips, who also taught in the business school, and his son, Loren Phillips Klingman.

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