A memorial service in honor of Herbert Scarf was held in the calendar.yale.edu/cal/opa/day/20160123/All/CALemail@example.com/">Battell Chapel, on Saturday, January 23, 2016 to pay homage to the esteemed economist [Program]. Opening remarks were given by Arthur M. Okun Professor Emeritus of Economics, William Brainard, followed by a handful of colleagues from the Economics Department, his surviving daughters, Susan Scarf Merrell and Martha Scarf Samuelson, and grandchildren Maggie Merrell and Charlie Samuelson. Former Yale President and Frederick William Beinecke Professor Emeritus of Economics, Richard Levin, commemorated by saying, “Herb had a great gift. He conveyed the most complex ideas in the simplest and clearest terms. For Herb, breaking down a problem and finding a solution was a work of art, as well as intellect. Answers had not only to be right, but there expression had also to be beautiful.” The full recording can be viewed below.
Professor Scarf’s research interests were in mathematical economics, cooperative game theory, applied general equilibrium analysis, and indivisibilities in production. Professor Scarf began his career at the Rand Corporation in Santa Monica, California, and was on the faculty of Stanford University before coming to Yale. He was president of the Econometric Society in 1983. Professor Scarf has served as director of the Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, and director of the Division of Social Sciences at Yale. He was a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a member of the American Philosophical Society, and a distinguished fellow of the American Economic Association.
Scarf was one of a handful of mathematicians who completed the transformation of economics from a field not much more mathematical than social sciences like sociology and psychology into a discipline with the same mathematical rigor as physics and the other hard sciences.