Example of a network formulation. (Courtesy of Prof. John Vande Vate.)
The course uses a combination of lectures
, case discussions, selected readings
, an accompanying textbook, hands-on projects and optimization challenges
. It involves a group project that provides students with an opportunity to consider topics that might not otherwise be covered in the course and to tailor the course offerings for their own interests. It also provides an opportunity for them to dig deeper into their areas of interest.
Managers and engineers are constantly attempting to optimize, particularly in the design and operation of complex systems. This course is an application-oriented introduction to (systems) optimization. It seeks to:
Motivate the use of optimization models to support managers and engineers in a wide variety of decision making situations;
Show how several application domains (industries) use optimization;
Introduce optimization modeling and solution techniques (including linear, non-linear, integer, and network optimization, and heuristic methods);
Provide tools for interpreting and analyzing model-based solutions (sensitivity and post-optimality analysis, bounding techniques); and
Develop the skills required to identify the opportunity and manage the implementation of an optimization-based decision support tool.
Special software is required to use some of the files in this course: .mdb, .xls, .mod.