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Optimization and its Applications in Learning and Industry

Final Report Summary - OPTALI (Optimization and its Applications in Learning and Industry)

Mathematical programming is often considered as optimization without applications.
OptALI aims to motivate research activities in optimization by solving real-world problems and to make optimization models and techniques work in practice. Each of the participating sites recognized that such a transfer is an important goal for the mutual benefit of researchers and practitioners. Each site has found pathways to overcome obstacles and to make optimization work in practice within their own national environment in many examples of university-industry collaboration. In OptALI we join forces and learn from each other to jointly push the boundaries of optimization towards practice. In order to achieve this goal we share our knowledge, enhance the study program of our young researchers, establish an international research environment and raise the transfer of optimization methods to real-world applications by sharing our knowledge and experience within applied projects.

The main achievements of OptALI are:
* Postgraduate research: 35 young researchers had the opportunity to work on applied optimization abroad and in strong cooperation with other researchers for several months. Together with them we obtained new results on robust optimization, transportation, health care, evacuation, and scheduling which is reflected in numerous papers and conference talks.
* Teaching: The participating experienced researchers shared nearly 60 lectures to lay the fundamental knowledge in integer programming, multicriteria optimization and robustness.
We set up a study program and an excellent environment for performing international research which was in particular beneficial for young researchers and PhD students.
Two summer schools (on "Integer Programming" in Auckland, 2011 and on "Robust Optimization" in Göttingen, 2012) were organized and open also for other PhD students.
* Linkages to real-world applications: Working in applied optimization is enhanced by cooperation with industry. We shared experiences, contacts and identified new and interesting problems. Two industry days (in Auckland, 2015 and in Copenhagen, 2015) further established these cooperations.
Summarizing, OptALI established long-term and reliable cooperations in the field applied optimization.

Contact details: Prof. Anita Schöbel, University of Göttingen, Lotzestrasse 16-18, 37085 Göttingen

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