MATH 317
Introduction to Operations Research Fall 2019
Division III Quantative/Formal Reasoning

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In the first N math classes of your career, you can be misled as to what the world is truly like. How? You’re given exact problems and told to find exact solutions.The real world is sadly far more complicated. Frequently we cannot exactly solve problems; moreover, the problems we try to solve are themselves merely approximations to the world! We are forced to develop techniques to approximate not just solutions, but even the statement of the problem. Additionally, we often need the solutions quickly. Operations Research, which was born as a discipline during the tumultuous events of World War II, deals with efficiently finding optimal solutions. In this course we build analytic and programming techniques to efficiently tackle many problems. We will review many algorithms from earlier in your mathematical or CS career, with special attention now given to analyzing their run-time and seeing how they can be improved. The culmination of the course is a development of linear programming and an exploration of what it can do and what are its limitations. For those wishing to take this as a Stats course, the final project must have a substantial stats component approved by the instructor. Prerequisites: Linear Algebra (MATH 250) and one other 200-level or higher CSCI, MATH or STATS course.
The Class: Type: lecture
Limit: 40
Expected: 25
Class#: 1573
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: homework, exams, projects
Prerequisites: MATH 150, MATH 250 and one other 200-level or higher CSCI, MATH or STATS course
Enrollment Preferences: Computer Science, Mathematics and Statistics majors
Unit Notes: http://web.williams.edu/Mathematics/sjmiller/public_html/317/
Distributions: Division III Quantative/Formal Reasoning

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