Background material for the class is provided in the appendices of the book and
in this update.

The philosophy behind the course is the following:

To cover optimization well one would need several courses. For example, the book
author Steve Wright at UW teaches regularly four classes. In these still only 
deterministic continuous optimization is covered from both a theoretical and an
algorithmic point of view. The book thus covers way too much material for one
semester. We are making a compromise in this class. We cover parts of the book
and some additional material, especially from discrete optimization which is
very important in applications. 

The book is dated but not outdated. It serves as a reference but will be
augmented by newer material (mostly also by Steve Wright). This material
will be made available during the semester. In addition lecture notes will be
posted which will serve as a compact summary of the book.

There will be an emphasis on the practical solution of problems and the tools
availabe for that purpose.

Regarding theory and partly practice the book has extensive exercises after each
chapter. Solutions of most of these are available on the web and linked to on
the class webpage. Thus only few such problems will be assigned as homework
and students are expected to go through some of these exercises and solutions.
A written in-class test will be given late in the semester where students can
show their acquired problem-solving skills.