Optimization

What’s new in optimization?


fist bump

“Dudes, I won a Guggenheim!”

Discovery Fellow Jordan Ellenberg awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Galileo and Telescope

The Natural Order and Divine Law of Optimization

Michael Ferris and Stephen Wright, principal investigators in the WID Optimization Theme comment on New York Times Magazine article “A Sucker is Optimized Every Minute”.

Barrier on Michigan Beach

Going With the Flow: Optimizing Ecology

WID Optimization teams with local wildlife agencies to improve Great Lakes basin habitat.

Twitter graphic from iStockphoto

WID Alumna Launches Career at Twitter

When employees need hardware at the social media behemoth Twitter, Inc., they turn to WID alumna Sarah Rich. Learn how her work in optimization translates to industry.


brain spine nerves iStock photo

Neuroengineering workshop organized by Rebecca Willett and Rob Novak

Optimization faculty Rebecca Willett and Rob Novak organized a neuroenginnering workshop at the Pyle Center at the end of April.

More news…

Optimization: Purposes, Uses, and Importance


Optimization is an act, process or methodology of making something as fully perfect or effective as possible (dictionary definition). Almost everything can be improved, so optimization’s relevance spans to almost every business or process to make it operate more efficiently and effectively.

Recent projects and details about ongoing projects are available.

Optimization employs mathematical models to discover more efficient ways to control and manage systems, ranging from radiation treatments to data centers and power networks. Working at UW–Madison’s Optimization group, researchers solve systems-level problems in emerging science and engineering applications by using optimization technologies in an integrated, interdisciplinary and collaborative fashion. This includes finding solutions to problems that are the most cost-effective or achieve the highest performance under given constraints by maximizing desired elements and minimizing the undesired elements.

Optimization models promise better process planning that can be tied to and offered by social, economic and financial systems. Certain social and political constraints have caused optimization to go largely unexplored, as have methods for translating plans into policy. We hope to draw on collaborations with communications experts, political scientists, sociologists, economists, behavioral scientists and business professionals to further leverage optimization’s potential for boosting efficiencies and improving systems that reach into all corners of our lives.

This summer, 24 Optimizers, Friends of Optimizers, and Spawn of Optimizers attended the Brewers game at Miller Park.  Tailgating occurred and a good time was had by all.  Even the Brewers Optimized their play, winning over the Pittsburgh Pirates by the slimmest of margins 4-3.

This summer, 24 Optimizers, Friends of Optimizers, and Spawn of Optimizers attended the Brewers game at Miller Park. Tailgating occurred and a good time was had by all. Even the Brewers Optimized their play, winning over the Pittsburgh Pirates by the slimmest of margins 4-3.

Why optimization at WID?


Drawing from the talented faculty, scientists and students at the university, WID’s Optimization group operates as a fulcrum to the interdisciplinary enterprise, in that each of its successes carries direct benefits outside the computer sciences and mathematics disciplines from which our techniques have developed. Moreover, the lessons learned in our planned collaborations are likely to improve future partnerships whether the subject and variables are drawn from ecology, medicine, agriculture, engineering or genetics. While optimization techniques have wide applicability, we focus on four areas with domain experts:

  • Understand strengths and weaknesses of the application and/or model
  • Create core optimization methodologies needed to solve the problem(s)
  • Develop new algorithms and software, as needed
  • Implement new algorithms on appropriate computational platforms

 

Podcast: Optimization research at WID

Optimization Advisory Board


Oguzhan Alagoz, Guanghong Chen, Robert Jeraj, Christos Maravelias, Julie Mitchell, Jignesh Patel, Zhiguang (Peter) Qian, James RawlingsJennifer Reed, Stephen Robinson, Jude Shavlik, Grace Wahba