Abraham Golub was born on 16 May 1921 in Brooklyn, New York. Graduating from Brooklyn College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics in 1941, he went to work as a Production Engineer in the Office of the Chief of Ordnance, Washington, D.C., in 1942. He computed the requirements for Ordnance materiel needed to equip 100 divisions, the number believed necessary to fight World War II. His estimates formed the basis for Ordnance production and acquisition to support Army ground forces. He entered the Army in 1943 and was stationed at Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG), Maryland where he continued his work in refining and adjusting estimates for required Ordnance materiel.
Golub left the Army in 1946, but stayed at APG as a Department of the Army civilian, working as a Mathematician in the Ballistics Team of the Ballistics Research Laboratories (BRL). He worked on methods for computing firing tables for artillery and other indirect fire weapons. He also studied at the University of Delaware, earning a Master of Arts in Mathematics in 1949.
In 1950, Golub was appointed Deputy Chief of the Surveillance Branch, Weapons Systems Laboratory, BRL. He applied his expertise in operations research, as he would repeatedly throughout his career, to the problems of inspecting and testing ammunition. He applied statistical sampling techniques that randomly identified a small but adequate number of rounds of ammunition for inspection and test firing to determine if the entire lot was serviceable. This technique, in most cases, greatly reduced the number of rounds needing inspection and test firing, thus reducing costs while speeding up the inspection process.
In 1955, Golub was selected Chief, Artillery Weapons Branch, Weapon Systems Laboratory, BRL. He developed principles and procedures for optimizing the effects of munitions fragmentation. His work led to the development of Improved Conventional Munitions with greatly enhanced coverage and lethality. In 1959, Golub became Chief of the Support Weapons Evaluation Branch of BRL. His branch studied families of weapons systems. Likely target arrays and expected battlefield conditions were analyzed to determine the best mix of munitions and accompanying target acquisition and command-and-control systems needed to defeat those targets.
The 1960's saw a surge in emphasis on operations research, and when the Army established the position of Deputy Special Assistant for Operations Research in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Financial Management) in 1965, Golub was selected. When the position of Deputy Under Secretary of the Army (Operations Research) was established in 1966, he was chosen as Assistant. In 1969, Golub was appointed Scientific Advisor to the Assistant Chief of Staff for Force Development, Department of the Army, a position that changed in 1974 due to the reorganization to Technical Advisor to the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans. In this series of high-level positions, he lent his expertise to studies that increased the effectiveness of battlefield systems while reducing costs.
Abraham Golub retired in 1976 after almost 35 years of distinguished Federal service. He died on 20 April 2000.