Discrete Optimization aims to make good decisions when we have many possibilities to choose from. Its applications are ubiquitous throughout our society. Its applications range from solving Sudoku puzzles to arranging seating in a wedding banquet. The same technology can schedule planes and their crews, coordinate the production of steel, and organize the transportation of iron ore from the mines to the ports. Good decisions on the use of scarce or expensive resources such as staffing and material resources also allow corporations to improve their profit by millions of dollars. Similar problems also underpin much of our daily lives and are part of determining daily delivery routes for packages, making school timetables, and delivering power to our homes. Despite their fundamental importance, these problems are a nightmare to solve using traditional undergraduate computer science methods.
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