An optimization problem involves finding values of the variables that minimize or maximize an objective function while satisfying constraints.
For example, how might a meat packer running a supply chain minimize fuel use given the constraint of needing to get a ton of hamburger to 50 customer warehouses by 6 a.m. each day?
The Systems Optimization Laboratory conducts basic and applied research on large-scale mathematical programming, including algorithmic development, model formulation and software production. The field has a strong intersection with scientific computing, and the director of this research area in MS&E, Professor Walter Murray, was a former director of the Institute for Computational and Mathematical Engineering. Margot Gerritsen is the current director of ICME.