Les Trotter

Leslie Earl Trotter

Operations Research and Information Engineering
282 Frank H.T. Rhodes Hall


Leslie Trotter received an A.B. (Mathematics) from Princeton University in 1965, an M.S. (Industrial and Systems Engineering) from Georgia Institute of Technology in 1971, and a Ph.D. (Operations Research) from Cornell University in 1973. He had a postdoctoral appointment at the University of Wisconsin and was then on the faculty of Yale University before joining the Cornell faculty in 1975. He has held visiting appointments at Bonn University, Germany (2 years); E.P.F. -- Lausanne, Switzerland (3 years); Augsburg University, Germany (1 year); E.C. - Paris, France (1 year). His research is in the area of discrete optimization and he has published numerous research papers in this area. Professor Trotter was recipient of a Senior U.S. Scientist Award from the Humboldt Foundation and has been cited for the past 15 years in Who's Who in America. At Cornell he has received 7 awards for teaching excellence and has directed the dissertation research of over 25 Ph.D. students; his research program has sponsored 10 postdoctoral students.

Research Interests

Within the broad area of discrete and combinatorial optimization, Professor Trotter's research has focused on the following topics: structural and algorithmic properties of the stability number for simple undirected graphs, abstract duality models, computational implementation of and experimentation with parallel computing methods for integer programming, development and analysis of orthogonal projection algorithms for linear programming, and integer programming models for certain classical problems in number theory.

Research Group Members

Teaching Interests

Professor Trotter's teaching treats topics in the general field of optimization, primarily discrete and combinatorial optimization. His instruction emphasizes the fundamental interplay of operations research, mathematics, and computer science in the context of strategic decision-making: development of models (operations research) motivated by real-world applications, of basic methodology (mathematics) designed for analysis of the models, and of algorithmic tools (computer science) whose implementation produces results required in the decision analysis.

Service Interests

Professor Trotter currently serves as the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs, College of Engineering; in the past he has served numerous times in the positions of Director, Associate Director (Undergraduate Studies), and Director of Graduate Studies in the School of OR&IE. His service contributions for the College of Engineering in recent years include chairing the International Programs Committee and serving on the Budget Advisory Task Force convened in response to the current economic crisis; he is currently Chair of the Common Curriculum Governing Board for Engineering. At the University level, he served (and chaired) frequently on the Financial Policies Committee; it is noteworthy that his efforts on this committee (over the years) had significant impact on the University in the areas of faculty salary improvement and teaching responsibility.


Cornell University 1973

Research Group Members

Graduate Students

  • Jiayang Gao
    Operations Research and Information Engineering

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