15 February 2006
Charles Bartlett "Bart" McGuire, an emeritus professor of public policy known for his work on the first mathematical framework to predict travel and route choices in urban transportation systems, died Jan. 23 at age 80 at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Richmond. He had been suffering from cancer.
Colleagues described McGuire as a creative, inquisitive, and brilliant mathematician and economic theorist who was keenly interested in research with potential practical applications to national defense, the environment, criminal justice, and energy. He made wide-reaching contributions in such fields as economic organization, price theory, decision analysis, and regulation.
A native of Minneapolis, McGuire earned a bachelor's degree in political science and economics at the University of Minnesota in 1949 and a master's degree in economics at the University of Chicago three years later.
McGuire started working for RAND in 1954, joining the Berkeley School of Business Administration in 1961 at the urging of the business school's Thomas Marschak and Roy Radner, an economist and statistician he had worked with at the University of Chicago and at RAND before Radner joined Berkeley's business school.
At RAND, McGuire and Radner had developed a "command and control" computer-simulation model to help develop communication policies and rules to minimize the risks of accidental nuclear war, Radner recalled.
In 1968, McGuire received a Guggenheim Fellowship and studied at the London School of Economics for a year. In 1971 he joined the faculty of the newly formed Graduate School of Public Policy at Berkeley, now the Goldman School of Public Policy. His decision to join the then-fledgling school "said an enormous amount about the academic value of this kind of work," said Lee Friedman, a professor at the Goldman School.
In 1975, McGuire was a visiting economist at the U.S. Department of the Interior. He helped develop a bidding system for the government to assess which firms should be allowed to prospect for coal on federal lands. The system is used by the government today to determine which companies should search for oil on government property, Friedman said.
From 1978 to 1983, McGuire served as chair of Berkeley's Energy and Resources Group. He retired from the campus in 1992, but returned from 1993 to 1994 as acting director of the UC Energy Institute, publishing several reports on decentralized power grids.
He is survived by his widow, Sally; son, Patrick McGuire of El Cerrito; stepchildren Clare Tipple Golec of Arcata and Nicole Tipple of Westhaven, Calif.; and brother, Mike McGuire of Stillwater, Minn. His first wife, Catherine, died in 1985.
No memorial services are planned, at McGuire's request.