4th Multidisciplinary International Scheduling: Theory and Applications, Dublin Ireland
I am in Minneapolis, flying back to Pittsburgh after spending a couple days in Winnipeg for a memorial service for my Mom. My Mom’s passing has a number of effects, large and small. On the large side, my son Alexander has lost both his gradmothers in the past six months, which makes me sad: every kid needs plenty of grandparents to spoil them! Now my Dad will have to pick up all the slack.
On the small side, I had to cancel a trip I was looking forwad to: ILOG’s DIALOG conference in Orlando. First, it is Orlando, which looks pretty sweet for a Pittsburgher in February. Second, with all of the changes for ILOG in the past year, I was looking forward to meeting people and seeing how the optimization side of ILOG was making out. No chance to do that, unfortunately, but ILOG has significant blog coverage of the conference, which I recommend. Most of the guest bloggers are rules-oriented (my absence messes up the optimization covererage, I guess) but it was good to read that the plenary of Tom Rosamilia (head of WebSphere) sees how optimization fits in (from James Taylor’s blog entry):
Tom identified four essentials for survival:
- Adapt to embrace change
- Streamline processes to make them more dynamic and manageable
- Optimize to allocate resources efficiently
- Visualize to transform insight into action for faster decisions
This is not quite the way I see optimization (either it is much more than resource allocation, or resource allocation has a much broader definition than I usually give it!), but at least we hit the main points.
The current PhD (Piled Higher and Deeper) comic (a comic written around the lives of doctoral and postdoc students: I fear I see too much of Dr. Smith in me!) revolves around Constraint Programming as applied to wedding planning. Karin Petrie, a well known constraint programmer, had lunch with the author of PhD, and I expect this is not a coincidence.