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{ Category Archives } Open Source

COIN-OR needs a new web site

A long, long time ago (1995 to be exact), INFORMS asked for volunteers to put together its website.  While I was hesitant (I was an untenured assistant professor), I decided to apply, and I became the editor of INFORMS Online.  There are few decisions that had such wide-ranging, and unforeseen, effects.  I met people (like […]

COIN-OR Cup, 2011 edition

COIN-OR is a project to spur open-source activities in operations research.  I am a big supporter of this activity, to the extent that I was part of its Strategic Leadership Board for a term until I did them an even bigger favor by stepping aside for people who could be even better at this than […]

The Sexiness of Integer Programming

Suresh Venkatasubramanian, of the excellent Geomblog, is at SODA and covered some preconference conferences. When covering a paper that used integer programming (via CPLEX), his comment was: It’s not the “sexiest” thing in the world to solve algorithms problems in practice by using large industrial strength packages. Oh, he didn’t say that, did he? I […]

More patent madness!

Gecode is one of the key development platforms in constraint programming.  On the gecode-user’s list, Christian Schulte announced the reason for a new release of the software: We have been informed by one of the patent holders that LDS (limited discrepancy search) is patented in the United States of America. While this does not pose […]

Exciting Times for the INFORMS Meeting

Lots of great things are being planned for the upcoming INFORMS Meeting. Let me highlight two. First, there is a wonderful series of panel discussions planned (if I say so myself:  I organized this particular track).  The idea is to explore issues of professional interest (rather than technical tracks, which are interesting in their own […]

Open source replacement for Solver in Excel

Andrew Mason, who I got to know very well during my year in Auckland, has put together an open source Excel add-in that extends Excel’s built-in Solver (a product from Frontline Systems) and replaces the underlying optimization engine with the optimization code CBC from COIN-OR.  OpenSolver allows the solving of models without limits to the […]

Open Source = Geek?

The parent of has decided to become Geeknet, Inc (how much did they have to pay for, I wonder). I have mixed feelings on this.  On one hand, I am trying to learn from Wil Wheaton and embrace my inner geek.  I have done this so well that my colleagues tell me my […]

Become Famous by Winning the COIN-OR Cup!

Do you use COIN-OR (open source software for operations research)?  According to the log files, lots and lots of people do!  If you are doing something interesting with COIN-OR and are planning to attend the San Diego INFORMS Meeting, I strongly encourage you to enter the COIN-OR Cup!  You could join John Forrest, Jonathan Eckstein+Bill […]

Google does Operations Research and Open Source

While Google is, of course, heavily active in analytics, the company has not been known for its operations research. The “ethos” of the company has been heavily computer science based. So, while I would count much of what they do as “operations research”, they probably would not use that label. The line between operations research […]

Perhaps some clarity in Open Source?

I sit on the “Strategic Leadership Board” of COIN-OR (COmputational INfrastructure for Operations Research). There is a lot of great code at COIN-OR, and I find it very useful in my research. Despite being on the SLB, I get very confused when it comes to open source. It seems that 90% of the discussions on […]