Lehigh industrial engineer leads effort in comprehensive new book

Tamás Terlaky, chair of Lehigh University's Industrial and Systems Engineering department, along with fellow editors Miguel F. Anjos of Polytechnique Montréal and Shabbir Ahmed of Georgia Institute of Technology, has released a new textbook to "provide a solid foundation for engineers and mathematical optimizers alike who want to understand the importance of optimization methods to engineering, and the capabilities of these methods."

Advances and Trends in Optimization with Engineering Applications, as published by the Mathematical Optimization Society (MOS) and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) is volume 24 of a prestigious MOS-SIAM series on optimization. This series, published jointly by the two organizations, includes research monographs, textbooks at all levels, books on applications, and tutorials. Topics covered by the series explore the theory and practice of optimization, discussing theory, algorithms, software, computational practice, applications, and the links among these subjects.

Advances reviews 10 major areas of optimization and related engineering applications, providing a broad summary of state-of-the-art optimization techniques that are of crucial importance to engineering practice. "In recent years," reads the book's description, "the theory and methodology of optimization have seen revolutionary improvement. Moreover, the exponential growth in computational power, along with the availability of multicore computing with virtually unlimited memory and storage capacity, has fundamentally changed what engineers can do to optimize their designs."

"From idea to product this was a 4-year-long project," Tamás explains. "The book includes 40 chapters, and covers all major areas of optimization and includes applications of modern optimization methodology in virtually all areas of engineering. Just designing its scope, content and structure took more than a year. Then, recruiting its 70 authors, among the most renowned experts in their respective fields, and working to unify terminology and notation across the content, was itself a major operation."

Terlaky's research interests include high-performance optimization methods, optimization models, algorithms and software, and solving optimization problems in engineering sciences. Through his work, he harnesses algorithms to optimize the core refueling process of nuclear reactors, the radiation effectiveness of cancer treatment, the maintenance of oil refineries, the management of correctional facilities, and more.

Over the course of his academic career, Terlaky has published 4 books and more than 160 scholarly papers. The topics of his publications include the theoretical and algorithmic foundations of Operations Research, and numerous engineering applications. He is founding editor-in-chief of the journal Optimization and Engineering and has served as associate editor of seven journals. He is a Fellow of the Toronto-based Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences, and has received the Canada's Mitacs Mentorship Award for his distinguished graduate student supervisory record.

The book is available via SIAM's online bookstore, and will soon be available as an eBook in the SIAM digital library package for Universities and other venues.

-Abby Barlok is a Communications Specialist with Lehigh Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering department.

Advances and Trends in Optimization with Engineering Applications

The cover of 'Advances and Trends in Optimization with Engineering Applications,' published in April 2017 by the Mathematical Optimization Society and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. (Cover image courtesy MOS-SIAM)