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Mike Intriligator

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Mike Intriligator Obituary
Michael Intriligator, UCLA economist with wide-ranging impact, dies at 76 Economist Michael D. Intriligator died in Los Angeles on June 23, aged 76. He was an internationally renowned expert in econometrics, health care reform, strategy and arms control, peace and security, and transitioning economic and political systems. Intriligator had been hospitalized for much of the past three years, fighting numerous medical conditions related to chronic lymphocytic leukemia. A professor in three UCLA departments (economics, political science, and public policy), Intriligator was first known for his work in the fields of economic theory and mathematical economics. His influential 1971 book, Mathematical Optimization and Economic Theory, brought previously inaccessible mathematical techniques into the mainstream of the field. "More than forty years later it is still one of the very best introductions to dynamic optimization," writes UCLA Professor John G. Riley. "After the book was published, a generation of economists with standard calculus skills were able to both appreciate and apply these techniques." Later in his career, Intriligator broadened his focus, applying econometric techniques to health care, strategy and arms control, nuclear proliferation, economic reform, warfare, and terrorism. A prolific writer and editor, Intriligator wrote or edited more than 300 published research papers, journal articles, and books. Together with Nobel laureate Kenneth J. Arrow, he edited the 28-volume Handbook of Economics book series. Intriligator also co-authored, with physicist David Goodstein, the 2013 book Climate Change and the Energy Problem. In addition to his academic impact, Intriligator could also convey his analyses in non-technical language, to reach policy-makers and the general public. Dynamic and eloquent, he was an internationally sought-after speaker, and he served as the "go to" person on several topics for many news sources. Intriligator was regularly interviewed on TV and radio, and quoted in newspapers. He contributed articles and op-ed pieces to the New York Times, Huffington Post, Truth-Dig, and other news, commentary, and analysis outlets. Michael D. Intriligator was born in Freeport, New York, February 5, 1938. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in economics from MIT in 1959, a Master's degree in economics from Yale in 1960, and a Ph.D. in economics from MIT in 1963. Intriligator joined the UCLA faculty as an assistant professor of economics in 1963. He remained at UCLA through his career, rising to full professor of economics, with joint appointments in political science and policy studies. He was an effective and devoted professor and received several teaching awards. Intriligator served as the director, from 1982-1992, of the UCLA Center for International and Strategic Affairs (predecessor of the Burkle Center for International Relations), and director of the Burkle Center from 2000-2002. He was director of the UCLA Jacob Marschak Interdisciplinary Colloquium on Mathematics in the Behavioral Sciences from 1977-1999, and co-director from 1999-2013. Among his many academic honors, Intriligator was elected as a Foreign Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the only American economist with that distinction. He was a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Science, and a fellow of the Econometric Society. Intriligator was a founding member of the Pacific Council on International Policy, since 1995; vice chair of the Economists Allied for Arms Reduction (ECAAR), 1998-2005; vice chair and trustee of Economists for Peace and Security (EPS) USA, 2005-2014; a senior fellow of the Gorbachev Foundation of North America since 1998; a member of the International Advisory Board to the Russian Science Foundation from 1994; a senior fellow of the Milken Institute, since 1999. He was elected president of the Western Economic Association International from 2008-2009 (and Vice-President, 2006-2007). Since 1976, Intriligator testified in over 100 legal cases as an expert witness on health economic issues. To all who knew him personally, Michael Intriligator will be remembered as a gentle soul. His warm smile and genuine interest in others made him a pleasure to be with. Compassionate and philanthropic, he gave generously to worthy causes. Mike enjoyed a lifelong passion for classical music, which he shared with others, via enthusiastic chats and gifts of audiocassettes. Mike was outgoing and social, with a contagious joie de vivre. He maintained an immense range of friends, from many walks of life, and in many parts of the world. A committed father, Mike lovingly raised four sons, taking great interest and pride in their endeavors and those of his grandchildren. Michael D. Intriligator is survived by his beloved wife of more than 50 years, Devrie, an internationally recognized space physicist at Carmel Research Center in Santa Monica; their sons Kenneth (Gina), a professor of Physics at UCSD; James (Susanne), a professor of Psychology and Innovation at Bangor University in the UK; William (Lisa), a symphony orchestra conductor and director in Dubuque IA and Cheyenne WY; Robert, a Los Angeles composer of music; and nine grandchildren. He is also survived by his brother, Marc Intriligator (Roxann), a New York real estate lawyer. Intriligator will be missed, remembered, and loved, greatly and by many. A memorial service will be held Thursday, July 3, 2014, at 11:00 am in the main sanctuary of the Wilshire Boulevard Temple, 3663 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90010. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Michael D Intriligator Memorial Fund of Economists for Peace and Security, a society he helped to found and supported extensively (http://www.epsusa.org), or to the (www.cancer.org/donate).
Published in the Los Angeles Times from July 2 to July 3, 2014
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