Menu Close
Directeur de recherche de classe exceptionnelle (emeritus) of the C.N.R.S., École polytechnique

Michel Balinski was an applied mathematician, mathematical economist and operations research analyst. American, educated in the United States, he lived and worked primarily in the United States and France. He was known for his work in optimization (combinatorial, linear, nonlinear), convex polyhedra, stable matching, and the theory and practice of electoral systems, jury decision, and social choice. He was author or co-author of over a hundred scientific articles in addition to three books. Founding Editor-in-Chief of the journal Mathematical Programming (in 1971), he was one of the founders of the Mathematical Optimization Society in 1970 and President of that society from1986 to 1989. An INFORMS Fellow, he was awarded INFORMS’s Lanchester Prize (1965) and John von Neumann Theory Prize (2013), the American Political Science Association’s George H. Hallett Award (2008), and the Mathematical Association of America’s Lester R. Ford Award (1975 and 2009).


  • 2000–2019
    Directeur de recherche de classe exceptionnelle (émérite), C.N.R.S. and Ecole Polytechnique
  • 1982–1999
    Directeur de recherche de classe exceptionnelle, C.N.R.S. and Ecole Polytechnique
  • 1982–1990
    Leading Professor of Applied Mathematics and Statistics, and of Economics, Stony Brook University
  • 1978–1980
    Professor of Organization and Management and of Administrative Sciences, Yale University
  • 1975–1977
    Chairman, System and Decision Sciences, I.I.A.S.A. - International Institute for Systems Analysis, Laxenburg, Austria
  • 1965–1977
    Professor of Mathematics, Graduate School and University Center, C.U.N.Y.
  • 1963–1965
    Associate Professor of Economics, University of Pennsylvania
  • 1960–1963
    Research Associate and Lecturer, Mathematics, Princeton University


  • 1959 
    Princeton University, Ph.D. Mathematics
  • 1956 
    M.I.T., M.S. Economics
  • 1954 
    Williams College, B.A. Mathematics


  • 2014
    Judge: Don't vote! (with Rida Laraki), Operations Research 62 483-511
  • 2014
    What should 'majority decision' mean? (with R. Laraki). In Jon Elster and Stéphanie Novak (eds.), Majority Decisions, Cambridge University Press
  • 2013
    How best to rank wines (with Rida Laraki) , In, Wine Economics: Quantitative Studies and Empirical Applications. London: Palgrave. 149-172.
  • 2013
    Jugement majoritaire versus vote majoritaire (via les présidentielles 2011-2012) (with Rida Laraki), Revue Française d'Economie XXXVII 11-44
  • 2012
    Ne votez pas, jugez! (with Rida Laraki), Pour la science avril 22-28
  • 2010
    Majority Judgment: Measuring, Ranking, and Electing (co-authored with Rida Laraki), M.I.T. Press
  • 2009
    Projets électoraux : le droit rencontre les mathématiques, Recueil Daloz No. 3 183-186
  • 2008
    Fair majority voting (or how to eliminate gerrymandering), American Mathematical Monthly 115 97-113
  • 2007
    A theory of measuring, electing and ranking (with R. Laraki), Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 104 8720-8725
  • 2005
    What is just ?, American Mathematical Monthly 112 502-511
  • 2004
    Le suffrage universel inachevé, Editions Belin
  • 2001
    Fair Representation: Meeting the Ideal of One Man, One Vote, 2nd edition (co-authored with H. Peyton Young), Brookings Institution Press
  • 1999
    Mexico's 1997 apportionment defies its electoral law (with V. Ramirez), Electoral Studies 18 117-124
  • 1983
    Apportioning the United States House of Representatives (with H. P. Young), Interfaces 13 35-43
  • 1982
    Fair Representation: Meeting the Ideal of One Man, One Vote (co-authored with H. Peyton Young), Yale University Press
  • 1980
    The Webster method of apportionment (with H. P. Young), Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 77 1-4


2013 John von Neumann Theory Prize awarded by INFORMS (Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences)