OSSINING, N.Y. – Philip Starr “Phil” Wolfe, an Ossining resident and groundbreaking mathematician, died Thursday, Dec. 29, after a brief illness. He was 89.
The California native earned his Ph.D. in Mathematics at the University of California at Berkeley and went on to become one of the founding fathers of the field of optimization, the mathematics that underlies modern operations research.
In the mid-1950s, Wolfe taught at Princeton. He later joined RAND Corporation, a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decision-making through research and analysis.
In the mid-1960s, he moved to IBM’s Thomas J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights.
He was the co-recipient of the John von Neumann Theory Prize in 1992.
Wolfe’s family said he was known for being kind to younger researchers and for giving clear and interesting lectures.
Wolfe is survived by his wife, Hallie (Flanagan); a daughter, Sarah of Whitehorse, Canada; and grandchildren Duncan and Sidney.
The Wolfes had lived in Ossining for nearly 50 years.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 7, at Holy Name of Mary Church’s Parish Meeting Room, 110 Grand St., Croton-on-Hudson.
Arrangements are being handled by the Dorsey Funeral Home in Ossining.