Photo Peter John Kolesar
408 Uris Hall
Graduate School of Business
Columbia University
New York, New York 10027
Phone: (212) 854-4105
Fax: (212) 316-9180
E-Mail: [email protected]

Complete Vita

Biographical Summary

Peter Kolesar holds a BA in Physics and Mathematics from Queens College (CUNY) and a Ph.D. in Operations Research from Columbia. He has been on the faculties of the Imperial College of Science & Technology (London), the Université de Montréal and the City University of New York. Professor Kolesar has also been a senior analyst with the RAND Corporation and a Visiting Researcher at Bell Laboratories. In addition to his position in the Columbia Business School, Professor Kolesar holds a joint appointment with Columbia's School of Engineering and Applied Science. He began his career as an engineer with Procter and Gamble on the team that designed P&G's innovative "Inventory Controlled Production Scheduling System" -- a statistically based production control system that is still in use after more than twenty-five years.

In the managerial domain, much of Professor Kolesar's work focuses on accelerating the effective implementation of modern quality and productivity management methods. He has worked closely with the senior management (frequently at the CEO/COO level) of International Paper, Alcoa, Xerox, Merck/Medco, Thyssen-Krupp USA, Church and Dwight, Allied Signal and American Express, among others, on a broad set of strategic program design and implementation issues in company-wide total quality management. He has also made extensive applications of specific TQM methods such as statistical process control, team problem solving, and experimental design for improving quality and productivity in industries ranging from timber harvesting, paper, plastics and metals manufacture, electronics and a wide variety of services. This work has taken him across the U.S. and to Japan, Australia, Brazil, Spain and the UK. He has twice been an examiner for the U.S. Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. Professor Kolesar's work on quality and productivity has been greatly influenced by the late Dr. W. Edwards Deming's association with Columbia, and he is the Research Director of the Deming Center for Quality Management at Columbia. He has written on a variety of quality management implementation issues. Professor Kolesar is currently engaged in a study sponsored by National Science Foundation of the effectiveness of statistical process control implementation in U. S. industry. On another front, he is working on technology's impact on service operations strategy and has advised Booz Allen's internal service operations strategy task force.

In the technical domain, Professor Kolesar's path-breaking development of mathematical models for the efficient location and dispatching of emergency vehicles contributed importantly to the design of the New York City's 911 system and to the Fire Department's computerized dispatching system. This work won him worldwide recognition including the 1975 Lanchester Prize and the 1976 NATO Systems Science Prize. The algorithms he co-designed are still employed daily in New York City. His research on the optimal allocation of police patrol cars has been widely implemented in cities across the U.S. A major aspect of Professor Kolesar's current research is the efficient staffing of service facilities such as telephone call centers that must handle random and cyclic patterns of customer demand. He has also done extensive research and consulting on improving the efficiency of other public services including garbage collection, street lamp maintenance, and public hospitals. In the private sector, he has been a consultant to many firms on issues of productivity, distribution, and quality. Working with a team of ophthalmologists from Mt. Sinai Hospital, Professor Kolesar formulated a novel optimization approach to testing for vision loss among glaucoma suspects. This method has been implemented in clinical systems. His list of operations management clients includes Olivetti, Citibank, Chemical Banking, TWA, Boise-Cascade, Ralston Purina, Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, Sanford C. Bernstein & Company, Johnson & Johnson, Thyssen Inc. NA and AT&T.

At Columbia, Professor Kolesar has taught a broad menu of elective and required courses in statistics, mathematical modeling and operations management. He currently offers an elective in quality management that incorporates extensive fieldwork by students with firms in the greater metropolitan area.

Peter Kolesar has been a member of the Council of the Operations Research Society of America and of the editorial boards of the journals Operations Research, Management Science, The Technology and Operations Review, Interfaces and the Quality Management Journal. He has served on several National Science Foundation advisory panels. His research has been honored by the Operations Research Society of America, the Institute of Management Sciences, and NATO and has been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Justice. He is the author of some 60 research papers. Peter Kolesar is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is a member of the Conference Board's Business Excellence Council.

Peter Kolesar is the Chairman of the Management Committee of the Montana Fly Company, LLC, Secretary of the Montgomery Lake Association and a member of the Advisory Board of the Prince Henry Group, LLC. As an undergraduate, Peter Kolesar captained the Queens College and Columbia University waterpolo teams and was All-Conference forward for three years. He is an avid guitar player, and a dedicated fly fisherman. Peter Kolesar is married and has three children. He lives in Manhattan.

A selection of Peter Kolesar's publications includes:
"Minimum Cost Replacement Under Markovian Deterioration", Management Science, May, 1966.
"A Branch and Bound Algorithm for the Knapsack Problem," Management Science, May, 1967
"Operating Characteristics of a Simple Shuttle Under Local Dispatching Rules," Operations Research, November, 1972 (with Edward Ignall)
" Square Root Laws for Fire Engine Travel Distances," Management Science, 1973 (with Edward Blum)
"Mathematical Optimization of Glaucoma Visual Field Screening Protocols," Documenta Opthalmologica, 1978 (with Sheldon Rabin, M.D.)
"The Feasibility of One-Officer Police Patrol in New York City", Management Science, 1983 (with Linda Green)
"Stalking the Endangered CAT: A Queuing Analysis of Congestion at Automatic Teller Machines," Interfaces, 1984
"A Robust Credit Screening Model Using Categorical Data," Management Science, 1985 (with Janet Showers)
"The Pointwise Stationary Approximation for Queues With Non-Stationary Arrivals, Management Science, 1991 (with Linda Green)
"Vision, Values and Milestones: Paul O'Neill Starts TQM at Alcoa," California Management Review, Spring, 1993
"What Deming Told the Japanese in 1950," Quality Management Journal, Fall ,1994
" On the Accuracy of the Simple Peak Hour Approximation for Markovian Queues," Management Science, 1995 (with Linda Green)
"Partial Quality Management: An Essay," Production and Operations Management Journal, 1995
"The Lagged PSA for Estimating Peak Congestion in Multi-server Markovian Queues with Periodic Arrival Rates," Management Science, January, 1997 (with Linda Green.)
"Creating Customer Value Through Industrialized Intimacy," Strategy and Business, 3rd Quarter 1998 (with Garrett van Ryzin)
"Insights on Service System Design from a Normal Approximation to Erlang's Delay Formula," Production and Operations Management, Fall 1998 (with Linda Green)


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