INMAS 2021: Modeling and Optimization

This is the webpage for the Modeling and Optimization portion of Inmas 2021. All material for the course will be posted here.

Instructor: Alex Estes
email: este0100@umn.edu

TAs:
Nik Wojtalewicz
email: npw2@illinois.edu

Vaibhav Karve
email: vkarve2@illinois.edu

Overview

This workshop introduces optimization models and methods for solving decision-making problems in areas such as engineering, business, economy, manufacturing, finance and healthcare. The ultimate goal is to teach students how to solve large-scale optimization problems from the real world. The course will introduce the following topics:

Pre-workshop Preparations

Please do the following prior to the workshop:

  1. Install Python (see https://www.python.org). We will be using the Python interface to Gurobi in order to solve optimization models discussed in class, so you will need a copy. The examples that I give will use Python 3, so I recommend using Python 3. Otherwise, you might have to make some modifications to get the examples to work. A popular distribution is Anaconda. It is easier to configure Gurobi to work with your Python environment when you are using Anaconda, but you do not have to use Anaconda.
  2. Set up Gurobi on your computer, and make sure it is working with your Python environment. Quickstart reference guides are available on the Gurobi webpage (https://www.gurobi.com/documentation/quickstart.html). Follow the quickstart guide for your operating system. The first step of the quickstart guide will direct you to a obtain a Gurobi license; follow the directions for the free academic license. Later in the process, you will have to associate the license with your computer. This will require an active internet connection. In this step, Gurobi checks that your IP address is registered with an academic institution. If you are not on a university network, you may have to connect to a university network via VPN to carry out this step.
  3. In order to confirm that you have set up Gurobi correctly, run one of the example scripts provided by Gurobi (examples can be found in <installdir>/examples/python).
  4. (Optional, but recommended) Read the introduction to mathematical programming available on the Gurobi website (http://www.gurobi.com/resources/getting-started/modeling-basics).

If you run into any problems in any of these steps, feel free to reach out to Alex Estes.

Workshop Schedule

All following times are in Central time.
Session 1: Friday, April 23rd, 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Session 2: Saturday, April 24th, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Session 3: Saturday, April 24th, 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Session 4: Sunday, April 25th, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Zoom information and course materials will be posted here prior to the workshop.

Further reading:

Some good resources on optimization: