Just in time for the INFORMS Meeting in San Diego, the Microsoft Solver Foundation folks have announced Solver Foundation Version 2. I am particularly excited about this since I have promised (and have been negligent about) a new course this year entitled “Operations Research Implementations” aimed at our MBA students. The idea is to go beyond the 20 variable, 20 constraint models into some “real” models. We (I am doing this with Willem van Hoeve) are looking at a number of optimization systems on which to base this course. Our students are extremely comfortable with Excel, and the screen shot from the post is quite provocative. The students are generally not programmers, but maybe this is something they can navigate.
Lots of new additions to Solver Foundation 2, including automatic handling of uncertainty, better MIP performance through Gurobi 2.0 as the default solver, constraint programming improvements and much more. I wonder if our MBAs are ready for Second Order Conic Programming?