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« Reconnect 2022: Optimization

Reconnect 2022: Optimization

June 12, 2022 - June 17, 2022


Chauncey Hotel & Conference Center


660 Rosedale Road

Princeton, NJ 08541


Tamra Carpenter, DIMACS

Margaret (Midge) Cozzens, DIMACS

Kristin Hicks, Northeastern University


Isha Deen-Cole
CoRE Building
96 Frelinghuysen Road
Piscataway, NJ 08854
E: ishadc@dimacs.rutgers.edu
V: 848-445-4521

Update on scheduling: This event had originally been planned as Reconnect 2020 for June 21-26, 2020, but it was cancelled because of COVID-19. It will now be held as Reconnect 2022.

Reconnect workshops expose faculty teaching undergraduates to current applications of the mathematical and computational sciences and provide an opportunity to learn about recent research in related areas. The topic is presented over the course of 4.5 days in series of lectures and activities, and participants are involved in activities that they and their students can continue with after the workshop.

The featured topic for Reconnect changes each year. This year's topic is Optimization.

The notion of optimization is ubiquitous in everyday life—nearly every decision, at its core, is an optimization problem. The broad field of “optimization” emerged to provide the language and tools to surmount complex problems in real applications, and optimization tools and algorithms have since transformed fields ranging from biology to finance. Optimization capabilities touch our everyday lives through more efficient supply chains, better traffic management, and more secure power grids. In the short history of the field of mathematical optimization, advances in underlying theory, practical implementation, and computing power have brought us from solving linear programs (LPs) with a few hundred variables to those with more than a million, and widely available general-purpose solvers make sophisticated tools for linear, integer, and nonlinear programming broadly accessible.

Reconnect 2022 will review classic methods for linear and integer programming with an eye toward introducing software tools and activities that are engaging and accessible for use with undergraduate students. The workshop will also explore a variety of real-world applications that make use of optimization methods. Several researchers affiliated with the newly established DHS Center of Excellence, SENTRY, will provide an overview of SENTRY’s research mission and offer examples of how they will use optimization methods in the center’s research. These include allocating resources for disaster management, deploying “virtual sentries” to protect civilian spaces—so-called “soft targets”—around the country, and several others.

Reconnect's primary speakers are Robert Bosch of Oberlin College and Robert Vanderbei of Princeton University. Additional speakers include Carl Crawford (CSUPTWO LLC), Rusty Lee (University of Delaware), and Jun Zhuang (University at Buffalo).

View Reconnect Agenda

Primary Speakers:

Robert Vanderbei is Professor of Operations Research & Financial Engineering at Princeton University. Vanderbei is a fellow of AMS, SIAM, and INFORMS and the 2017 recipient of the Khachiyan Prize for his contributions to the field of optimization. He delivered the Omega Rho Distinguished Lecture at the INFORMS Annual meeting in 2019. He is author of the textbook Linear Programming: Foundations and Extensions, which provides a thorough treatment of linear optimization at the advanced undergraduate or beginning graduate level, as well as coauthor of Real and Convex Analysis. An avid astro-photographer, Vanderbei is also coauthor of the book Sizing up the Universe.

Robert Bosch is the James F. Clark Professor of Mathematics at Oberlin College and an award-winning writer and artist. His 2019 book, Opt Art, takes readers on an engaging tour of linear optimization and its applications—including the legendary Traveling Salesman Problem—and shows how to adapt them to make compelling visual art. Bosch received the Mathematical Association of America Trevor Evans Award in 2007, American Mathematical Society Mathematical Art Exhibition Prize in 2010, and awards for excellence in teaching at Oberlin College. Bosch's work is featured in a 2017 article, Solving a Math Problem to Create Art, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.


Anyone may apply to attend Reconnect. Preference will be given to faculty whose primary job is undergraduate teaching. Two-year college faculty are welcome to apply. Participants from groups not well represented in computer science and mathematics are especially encouraged to apply.


Accepted participants from US academic institutions receive lodging in a single room and meals at no charge. Limited funds are expected to be available to provide partial support for travel or for international participants. Such support can be requested when you apply.


The deadline to apply is March 15, 2022 or until all slots are filled. Applications will be reviewed as they are received. If you applied to attend Reconnect 2020, your application is on file, and we will contact you early in 2022 about whether you would like us to consider it for Reconnect 2022.


Applicants who are selected to attend are expected to stay for the entire duration of the program. To apply to attend, complete and submit the online Reconnect 2022 application.


Go to Reconnect Application.

Download the Reconnect flyer.