Skip to main content

Bill Pulleyblank

 

Biography

Bill Pulleyblank

Bill Pulleyblank is a widely published math scientist and expert in applying computers to simplify the complex. He has also appeared in several movies, from the well known (Silver Streak with Richard Pryor, Gene Wilder and Jill Clayburgh), to the obscure (Golden Rod with Donald Pleasance), to the one nearest to his heart (the unreleased Wolf Boy: where he met his wife).

In his day job, he is the Vice President, Center for Business Optimization, within IBM's Global Business Services unit. The Center is leading the development and deployment of high powered optimization and analytic capabilities to improve the business processes of IBM's clients and customers.

His job is to link the geniuses from IBM Research with IBM's clients to put mathematical algorithms to work solving critical business problems and tackling some of the toughest problems facing society.

The mathematicians magic potion is bottled up in complex algorithms -- essentially math recipes that help speed up and simplify complex tasks into everyday life -- such as determining the fastest route to deliver mail for the US Postal Service, detecting fraud in health insurance claims, automating complex risk decisions for international financial institutions, or scheduling supply chain and production at a manufacturing plant to maximize efficiency. Combine that with open standards and near limitless supercomputing power, and the possibilities are endless.

Pulleyblank's group of consultants and mathematicians work on seemingly unsolvable problems where the math is not understood or not solvable, where the data sets are massive OR there is limited availability to data and where massive computing power may be needed. In a nutshell, most difficult problems in the world.

Prior to this role, he was Director of Exploratory System Servers in IBM's Research Division and the Director of the IBM Deep Computing Institute. In this capacity he was responsible for leading IBM activity in applications of high end computing and in the creation of BlueGene, since 2004 ranked as the most powerful supercomputer in the world. He has also served as the Research relationship executive responsible for the Financial Services sector in IBM, the Utility and Energy Services industry, and for the Business Intelligence group. He was Director of Mathematical Sciences in IBM Research from 1995 to 2000.

Before joining IBM Research in 1990, Dr. Pulleyblank was the holder of the Canadian Pacific Rail/NSERC Chair of Optimization and Computer Applications at the University of Waterloo.

Dr. Pulleyblank's personal research interests are in Operations Research, Combinatorial Optimization and Applications of Optimization. In addition to writing a number of scientific papers and books, he has consulted for a range of companies including: Mobil Oil on helicopter routing, Marks and Spencer on depot management, Statistics Canada on survey validation and CP Rail on train scheduling. In 2006 he was selected by Consulting Magazine as one of America's top 25 consultants.

He has served on a variety of boards, including the Advisory Committee of the Division of Mathematics & Physical Sciences of the National Science Foundation, iCORE Board of Directors, the Science Advisory Board of the National Institute of Aerospace, and a member of the Scientific Advisory Panel of The Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences. In addition, he serves on the editorial boards of a number of journals.

Bill Pulleyblank

Pulleyblank in the
unreleased film Wolf Boy