David Schmeidler 1939-2022

February 17, 2023

David Schmeidler 1939-2022

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Professor David Schmeidler
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David Schmeidler was a faculty member of the Economics Department from 1986 until 2011, after which he received emeritus status. He passed away on March 17th, 2022. David has made many important contributions in several areas of microeconomic theory, including decision making under uncertainty, cooperative and noncooperative game theory, general equilibrium, and mechanism design. His pioneering work inspired hundreds of researchers and continues to impact the development of these fields to this day. David was a fellow of the Econometric Society, president of the Game Theory Society, and member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities.  

Links to information about David and tributes in other websites:

Obituary on the Game Theory Society webpage (including description of David’s main contributions and some personal memories of colleagues) 

https://gametheorysociety.org/david-schmeidler-1939-2022/

Tel Aviv University 

https://sites.google.com/site/gamesresearchgrouptau/david-schmeidler-1939-2022

Wikipedia 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Schmeidler

American Academy of Arts and Sciences 

https://www.amacad.org/person/david-schmeidler

A video of a conference in honor of David organized by the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities 

https://www.academy.ac.il/Index/Entry.aspx?nodeId=936&entryId=22632 

The above description of David’s accomplishments and the conferences in David’s honor tell the story of David’s many fundamental contributions to decision theory and microeconomic theory in several areas. Additionally, David influenced the lives and careers of many OSU faculty colleagues. 

David was responsible for bringing Jim Peck to OSU in 1992. Jim will always be grateful for David’s support and his friendship. 

Yaron Azrieli overlapped with David at OSU for only a few years, but fondly remembers lunch and coffee breaks with him. David’s unique sense of humor showed up in any conversation and Yaron is grateful for the opportunity to get to know the person behind the researcher.

Hajime Miyazaki:  When we met in Columbus around 1985, David asked for my paper, on which he remarked, “We do different things but we are alike”.  Thus began our days, to walk, talk and eat out together 3-4 times a week, all the while debating everything from the Talmud to Zen of soba and sushi.  We also took field trips around Central and Eastern Ohio.  When we drove overnight to Mississippi, David uttered, “A great trip, but you drive harder than the Israeli army”.  Anywhere we happened to be, in the U.S., Japan, or Israel, David never failed to scout out the best local place for espresso.  My last email exchange with David was in early January 2022, about the (ir)relevance of quantum theory to social science.  As I go about my day in town, I can hear David’s refrain in the wind, “This is somewhat interesting.”

David taught Dan Levin several graduate courses in 1973-75 before Dan came to the US for his Ph.D. Those were small classes, so Dan got to know David very well. They kept in touch over the years and in 1995 Dan joined the Economics Department at OSU and became David’s colleague and friend. Dan and his wife, Irit, enjoyed many dinners with David and his wife, Dalia. David was a very good friend, brutally honest, loyal and caring. He was well read, knowledgeable and a deep thinker. His sudden passing left a large empty hole in many of us.  Rest in peace dear man.