STAT 377
Operations Research Fall 2016 Division III; Writing-Intensive; Quantative/Formal Reasoning; Cross-listed as MATH377 / STAT377
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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; students will be implementing many of these algorithms on computer systems of their choice. 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 implementation computation (respectively, statistics) component approved by the instructor.
The Class: Type: lecture
Limit: 40
Expected: 25
Class#: 1973
Requirements/Evaluation: evaluation will be based primarily on homework, classwork, projects, presentations and exams; at least 20 pages of writing
Prerequisites: MATH 350 or 351 and permission of instructor
Enrollment Preference: Computer Science, Mathematics and Statistics majors
Department Notes: http://web.williams.edu/Mathematics/sjmiller/public_html/317/
Distributions: Division III; Writing-Intensive; Quantative/Formal Reasoning;

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