U-M Industrial and Operations Engineering (IOE) recently hosted the 20th Conference on Integer Programming and Combinatorial Optimization (IPCO XX) in Ann Arbor. U-M IOE’s Jon Lee, G. Lawton and Louise G. Johnson Professor of Engineering, and Assistant Professor Viswanath Nagarajan served as co-chairs of the IPCO XX organizing committee.
“This is the first time that U-M has hosted IPCO. Ann Arbor is a great venue for the size of the conference and the proximity of lecture rooms, hotels and restaurants in downtown is ideal. It was great to attend high-quality lectures and talk with attendees casually about the exciting developments in the field,” said Nagarajan.
IPCO is an international, peer-reviewed conference on integer programming and combinatorial optimization. Combinatorial optimization involves finding the “best” solution from a finite number of possibilities. Integer programming is a widely-used method to solve combinatorial optimization problems, which involves formulating the problem using integer-valued decision variables and linear constraints.
IPCO XX was attended by over 100 leading researchers from several countries and involved a range of events from May 20-24. Over 30 papers were accepted and presented with the aim of sharing recent developments in theory, computation, and applications of integer programming and combinatorial optimization
Although the range of backgrounds and disciplines represented varied greatly, Lee sees participants as being connected by a shared experience and a shared language.
“IPCO participants are typically researchers who as young children were very good at mathematics; for most of us, it started as a game that we were good at and enjoyed,” said Lee. “Some of us tilt toward the more fundamental mathematics and algorithmic theory, while others lean toward computational methodology, and still others are more driven by high-impact engineering applications. Yet we all speak a common language, share a common mathematical culture, and believe in the fruitful exchange of ideas across the different orientations that we have. It is an amazing community.”
IPCO XX involved a separate summer school event which preceded the conference itself. The conference included a welcome poster reception and an evening banquet featuring a live music performance.
IPCO XX was sponsored by U-M IOE, the Mathematical Optimization Society, the National Science Foundation, the Office of Naval Research, IBM, FICO, Gurobi, Microsoft, LLamasoft, Mosek, The Optimization Firm, Springer, and the Michigan Center for Applied and Interdisciplinary Mathematics (MCAIM) at the University of Michigan.
In 2020, the 21st Conference on Integer Programming and Combinatorial Optimization (IPCO XXI) will take place from June 8-10 at the London School of Economics, in the U.K.