David Gale

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David Gale
David Gale.jpg
Born(1921-12-13)December 13, 1921
DiedMarch 7, 2008(2008-03-07) (aged 86)
Alma materPrinceton University
University of Michigan
Swarthmore College
Known for Gale transform
linear programming
convex analysis
Gale–Shapley algorithm
Ramsey problem
Awards John von Neumann Theory Prize (1980)
Golden Goose Award (2013)
Pirelli Internetional Award
Scientific career
Fields Mathematics, economics
Institutions University of California, Berkeley, 1966–2008
Brown University, 1950–65
Rand Corporation, 1957–58
Princeton University 1949–50
Doctoral advisor Albert W. Tucker
Doctoral students William A. Brock
Hal Varian

David Gale (December 13, 1921 – March 7, 2008) was an American mathematician and economist. He was a professor emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley, affiliated with the departments of mathematics, economics, and industrial engineering and operations research. He has contributed to the fields of mathematical economics, game theory, and convex analysis.


Gale earned his B.A. from Swarthmore College, obtained an M.A. from the University of Michigan in 1947, and earned his Ph.D. in Mathematics at Princeton University in 1949. He taught at Brown University from 1950 to 1965 and then joined the faculty at the University of California, Berkeley.

Gale lived in Berkeley, California, and Paris, France with his partner Sandra Gilbert, feminist literary scholar and poet. He has three daughters and two grandsons.


Gale's contributions to mathematical economics include an early proof of the existence of competitive equilibrium, his solution of the n-dimensional Ramsey problem, in the theory of optimal economic growth.

Gale and F. M. Stewart initiated the study of infinite games with perfect information. This work led to fundamental contributions to mathematical logic.

Gale is the inventor of the game of Bridg-It (also known as "Game of Gale") and Chomp.

Gale played a fundamental role in the development of the theory of linear programming and linear inequalities. His classic 1960 book The Theory of Linear Economic Models continues to be a standard reference for this area.

The Gale transform is an involution on sets of points in projective space. The concept is important in optimization, coding theory, and algebraic geometry.

Gale's 1962 paper with Lloyd Shapley on the stable marriage problem provides the first formal statement and proof of a problem that has far-reaching implications in many matching markets. The resulting Gale–Shapley algorithm is currently being applied in New York and Boston public school systems in assigning students to schools. In 2012 The Nobel Prize in Economics was awarded to Shapley for this work. [1]

Gale wrote a Mathematical Entertainments column for The Mathematical Intelligencer from 1991 through 1997. The book Tracking the Automatic Ant collects these columns.

In 2004 Gale developed MathSite, a pedagogic website that uses interactive exhibits to illustrate important mathematical ideas. MathSite won the 2007 Pirelli Internetional Award for Science Communication in Mathematics.

Awards and honors

Selected publications

See also


  1. Roth, Alvin E. (March, 2008), "Deferred Acceptance Algorithms: History, Theory, Practice, and Open Questions Archived 2008-05-12 at the Wayback Machine ", International Journal of Game Theory, Special Issue in Honor of David Gale on his 85th birthday, 36: 537-569; doi : 10.1007/s00182-008-0117-6.
  2. Fellows: Alphabetical List, Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences , retrieved 2019-10-09
  3. "Market Design". The Golden Goose Award. Retrieved 2015-05-27.

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