Lee Papayanopoulos, a mathematician, computer scientist and professor in the Department of Management Science and Information Systems at the Rutgers Business School, passed away on March 6, 2015 at Weill Cornell Medical Center, New York City. He was 75.
Services will be held at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, March 12, at St. George Greek Orthodox Church, 818 Valley Road, Clifton, New Jersey. Arrangements are by Shook’s Cedar Grove Funeral Home Inc.
Visitation Wednesday, March 11, 4 to 8 p.m. at Shook's Cedar Grove Funeral Home, 486 Pompton Ave., Cedar Grove, N.J. 07009
Papayanopoulos is survived by his son, John; his dear loving friend and mother of his son, Patricia Rotonda; his brother, Costas; his sister-in-law, Sherrie; and nieces Elli, Julia and Jennifer.
Papayanopoulos was born and raised in Istanbul, Turkey, and came to the United States in 1959. He studied engineering physics at Cornell University from where he graduated with a bachelor of science degree in 1964. His first job was at IBM’s New York GEM Office for Medical Systems and Large-Scale Scientific Applications, where he wrote operating systems for NASA. He completed a master’s degree in industrial engineering at New York University in 1965. In 1971, he became a project leader for mathematical programming systems at the IBM Yorktown Center, where he implemented information systems for the Federal Government, New York City hospitals and several universities.
In 1974, Papayanopoulos joined Rutgers Graduate School of Management (GSM) as an assistant professor and taught for more than 40 years. He was instrumental in the formation of the information technology and management science area. He developed new courses such as Design and Management of Computer Information Systems, the first systems analysis course at Rutgers and the precursor to Introduction to the Computer. In addition he started computing services of GSM and was a pioneer in the development of smart classrooms.
In 1994 Lee played a key role for Rutgers GSM in establishing the China Executive training program, which later led to the China EMBA program.
Papayanopoulos took several leaves from Rutgers during which he completed a doctorate of engineering science in operations research at Columbia University. His thesis research was on properties of weighted voting reapportionment.
Papayanopoulos did fundamental work in the area of reapportionment. His work in this area was one of the first applications of mathematical programming to political science. He was published in many journals including: the Annals of Dynamic Games, the Annals of Operations Research, Computers and Operations Research, Nonlinear Analysis, and the Proceedings of the Association of Computing Machinery.
Papayanopoulos also did extensive consulting in governance metrics and he attributed his success to his state-of-the-art algorithms and general computer methodologies. His consulting work included projects for the New York Supreme Court (over 30 cases in which he worked closely with judges to establish criteria and implement novel approaches for reapportioning the politically complex municipalities of the state), the United States Attorney General, the United States Agency for International Development, the State of New York, the City of New York, many municipal governments and many other institutions.
Papayanopoulos also served as director of information technology at the Columbia University Graduate School of Business (1984-1986) and held visiting appointments and taught at Columbia, IBM, City University of New York, Pratt Institute, and the Association for Computing Machinery.
Papayanopoulos received many honors and awards including: a City of New York Public Service Recognition (1971), a Fulbright fellowship, ACM National Lecturer, and IBM grants for his research. He was an invited speaker at many national and international conferences.
He was described by friends and colleagues as down to earth, kind, patient, very generous with his thoughts and ideas, modest and the first to promote and advertise the successes of others, a wonderful colleague, a good friend. His office door was always open. He showed tremendous understanding to students and he was a model educator. He was one of the few unwavering, support points of the MSIS department. The warmth of his smile and his optimism touched everyone and he continues to live in our memory.
He will be remembered as a great teacher and scholar, a man full of good spirit and optimism, and a man fully devoted to his family, his friends, and everyone around him, who loved him greatly and whom he had loved.
In lieu of flowers, we have set up a scholarship fund for John. If you would like to contribute, please send donations via www.paypal.com to FundForJohnPapayanopoulos@gmail.com .
If you don't already have one, you will need to set up a PayPal account to do so. If you would prefer to send a check, or have any questions about how to send funds via PayPal, please contact Lee's niece Jen at firstname.lastname@example.org or 516-467-9390.
Submitted by Rutgers Business School