Dr. Sheldon Ross named mathematics Outstanding Alumnus


Dr. Sheldon M. Ross

We are proud to announce that Dr. Sheldon M. Ross, the Epstein Chair Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the University of Southern California is the 2016 Outstanding Alumnus in mathematics.

On Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016 at 4:30 pm in MATH 175, Prof. Ross will present a talk entitled "Friendship Paradoxes and a Friendship Model."  His talk will be preceded by refreshments at 4 pm in the MATH Library Lounge on the third floor of the MATH building.

Prof. Ross received his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Brooklyn College in 1963 and his master’s degree in mathematics from Purdue University in 1964.  In 1968 he earned his Ph.D. in statistics from Stanford University.

He was a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, from 1968 until becoming the Epstein Chair Professor at University of Southern California in 2004.

A prolific author, he received the Saul Gass Expository Writing Award in 2006 from the Institute of Operations Research and the Management Science for his many textbooks on probability, stochastic processes, and their applications, that are influential in the teaching of these subjects and act as foundational texts and essential references.

In 1978, Prof. Ross proposed the so-called “Ross’s Conjecture” of queuing theory. He conjectured that customers arriving independently but at an average rate that varies over time will experience higher average waiting times than customers in a comparable queue for which the average arrival rate remains unchanged over time, and provided a lower bound for their average waiting time.  It was solved three years later by Tomasz Rolski at Poland’s Wroclaw University.