Prof Emer. Aharon Ben-Tal

Operations Research and Optimization


Aharon Ben-Tal is a Professor of Operations Research and Head of the Optimization Laboratory (formerly the MINERVA Optimization Center at the Faculty of Industrial Engineering and Management at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology). He is the holder of the Dresner Chair.  He received his Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics from Northwestern University in 1973. He has been a Visiting Professor at the University of Michigan, University of Copenhagen, Delft University of Technology, MIT and CWI Amsterdam, Tilburg University, Columbia and NYU.  His interests are in Continuous Optimization, particularly nonsmooth and large-scale problems, conic and robust optimization, as well as convex and nonsmooth analysis. Recently the focus of his research has been on optimization problems affected by uncertainty. In the last 15 years, he has devoted much effort to engineering applications of optimization methodology and computational schemes. Some of the algorithms developed in the MINERVA Optimization Center are in use by Industry (Medical Imaging, Aerospace). He has published more than 120 papers in professional journals and co-authored three books:  Optimality in Nonlinear Programming:  A Feasible Direction Approach (Wiley-Interscience, 1981), Lectures on Modern Convex Optimization:  Analysis, Algorithms and Engineering Applications (SIAM-MPS series on optimization, 2001) and Robust Optimization  (Princeton University Press, 2009). Prof. Ben-Tal was Dean of the Faculty of Industrial Engineering and Management at the Technion (1989–1992 and 2012–2014). He served as a council member of the Mathematical Programming Society (1994–1997).  He was Area Editor (Continuous Optimization) of Math. of  Operations Research (1993–1999), member of the Editorial Board of SIAM J. Optimization, J. Convex Analysis, OR Letters, Mathematical Programming, Management Science, Math. Modeling and Numerical Analysis, European J. of Operations Research and Computational Management Science.  Since January 2012, he is Area Editor (Optimization) for Operations Research.

He gave numerous plenary and keynote lectures in international conferences.

In 2007 Professor Ben-Tal was awarded the EURO Gold Medal - the highest distinction of Operations Research within Europe.
In 2009 he was named Fellow of INFORMS.
In 2010 he was awarded the status of Distinguished Scientist by CWI (Center for Mathematics and Computer Science, The Netherlands).
In 2011 he received the IBM Faculty Award.

As of August 2014 his citation count (google scholar) is over 12,500. 

Selected Publications

Ben-Israel, A., Ben-Tal, A. and Zlobec, S. (1981), Optimality in Nonlinear Programming: A Feasible Directions Approach, Wiley-Interscience, New York.

Ben-Tal, A. and Nemirovski, A. (2001), Lectures on Modern Convex Optimization: Analysis, Algorithms; Engineering Applications. SIAM-MPS Series in Optimization.

Ben-Tal, A. and Zowe, J. (1981), A unified approach of optimality conditions for extremum problems in topological vector spaces, Mathematical Programming Studies19, 39--76.

Ben-Tal, A. (1985), The entropic penalty approach to stochastic programming, Mathematics of Operations Research10, 263--279.

Ben-Tal, A. and Bendsoe, M.P. (1993), A new method for optimal truss topology design, SIAM J. Optimization13 (2).

Ben-Tal, A., Kocvara, M., Nemirovski, A. and Zowe, J. (1999), Free material design via semidefinite programming, the multi-load case with contact conditions, SIAM J. Optimization , 9, 813-832.

Ben-Tal, A., "Second Order and Related Extremality Conditions in Nonlinear Programming", Journal of Optimization Theory and Applications3l (2), June 1980,143–169.

Ben-Tal, A. and Teboulle, M., "Penalty Functions and Duality in Stochastic Programming via f-Divergence Functionals", Math. of Operations Research12, 1987, 224–240.

Ben-Tal, A. and Teboulle, M., "An Old-New Concept of Convex Risk Measures: The Optimized Certainty Equivalent", Math. Finance17, 2007, 449–476.

Ben-Tal, A. and Zibulevsky, M., "Penalty/Barrier Multiplier Methods for Convex Programming Problems", SIAM J. on Optimization7, 1997, 347–366.


Continuous Optimization, particularly nonsmooth and large-scale problems, conic and robust optimization, as well as convex and nonsmooth analysis
Optimization Laboratory

Contact Info

Room 505 Bloomfield Building