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For those who are leaving now -- have a safe journey!



From a source that wants to stay anonymous -- let's say it was "Martin the Bear" --, we got this conference Bingo. The last two sessions of the day make six rounds to play. Have fun!


Farewell Gathering

Today in the evening, right after the plenary lecture of Jorge Nocedal in H 0105 (17.00-17.50), there will be a Farewell-Gathering for all behind the main building of TU. Hope to see you there! See Map


Nice Image from the Opening Ceremony

Michael Joswig let his computer drudge this night and made it develop a wonderful raw image for us. He took the photo at the Opening Ceremony last Wednesday. Thanks, Michael!0009

Newsletter for Friday

For the last day of the ISMP 2012, we have very special content in our Friday issue of the newsletter. Here come the sweet desserts:

  • "I do exciting things" -- Bob Bixby talks about why it is exciting to make Gurobi, why Gurobi is more exciting as a non-open-source project and what the most exciting project of the next future might be
  • Lagrange in Berlin -- Only few know that Lagrange has been living in Berlin for a long time. And that he didn't come from France
  • "Raindrops keep fallin' on my head" -- Better run or walk when it's raining?
  • Let's Have a Look at the Statistics -- How many participants? Where did they come from?
  • A Hello From Releaux -- The first Rektor of the Technische Universität sends a hello (and a still unsolved question) to the modern optimizers

0010 Remember the nice conference dinner?


You Can Help Us!

Since today, there is a small online form to help the organizers to make ISMP better. They would like to know how you found the conference and if you have any remarks. Please help them by filling out the form! Of course, your opinion is treated anonymously. Thank you!

Fun at the ISMP

This picture says it all. You can see (from top and left): Bill Cook, Ted Ralphs, Pietro Belotti, Sven Leyffer, Jeff T. Linderoth, and Stefan Wild. No wonder that Bill Cook as the next MOS-President is on top! The Photo is from Thorsten Koch. Thanks Thorsten!


Session Moved

Please note that the whole sesssion Thu.2.H 2033 (Strong relaxations for stable set and lot sizing, chaired by Jeff Linderoth) has been moved to room H 0104, due to the great interest in particular for Laurence Wolsey's talk.

Newsletter for Thursday is Out!

This time, you can find in the newsletter the following topics:

  • In Memoriam Alberto Caprara -- We all miss him!
  • "We have 15 open positions at the moment" -- an interview with Heiko Schilling (TomTom)
  • "The opening ceremony was the hit" -- taking stock with Martin Skutella
  • Optimal Lunch Break -- wrong title, in fact an idea for tonight! We apologise and you should read it as "Optimal Evening Spare Time" and enjoy a nice evening next to Treptower Park in Kreuzberg and Treptow!



Jim Orlin's Talk Canceled

Many were looking forward to James Orlin's exciting results on the max flow problem. ("Max flows in O(nm) time and sometimes less", 15.15, H 3008). Unfortunately, his talk had to be canceled. But we have good news: Jim made it possible to watch it as a movie on the internet.

T-Shirts and Polo-Shirts Running Short

The orange colored T-shirts and the blue polo shirts are running short -- so if you like them, you should get one now! You can buy your shirt, coffee cups and "Martin the bear" next to the reception booth in the main building.


Bill Thurston is Dead

Sad news: We have just learned that Bill Thurston died on August 21 because of cancer. Thurston was a pioneer in low dimensional topology and in 1982 he was awarded with the Fields Medal. Recently he worked as a professor for mathematics and computer science at Cornell.

Small Train Accident

There has been a small train accident in the North of Berlin, on Tuesday at about 11.45 a.m.. A suburban train (S-Bahn) was on its way to the Northern outskirts of Berlin when it derailed; six persons where slightly injured. The cause of the accident was a switch behind Tegel that did not work correctly; it switched when the train was crossing. According to a speaker of the S-Bahn, the reason was possibly an electric problem caused by a thunderstorm before.

See you all in Pittsburgh!

At the MOS business meeting yesterday (which was shorter than some expected), it has been announced that the ISMP 2015 will be in Pittsburgh -- so, in three years, Egon Balas can come by walking instead of taking the plane. Both the University of Pittsburgh and the Carnegie Mellon University have a long tradition in optimization and host a large and internationally well-known optimization community. So save the date: July 26 - August 1st, 2015 -- to see all again in Pittsburgh in 2015!


(Photo: Wikipedia/Matthew Field, http://www.photography.mattfield.com)

Update: Conference Dinner

Problems with bus line 100

Today in the evening, we have the Conference Dinner at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt ("House of World Cultures") located in the Tiergarten park. Normally one gets there with the bus line 100 (which is, by the way, very popular among tourists since it passes all the main sightseeing points in Berlin). But: there is a building site in front of the Haus der Kulturen der Welt. So the bus does not stop there. So you have to get off at a temporary stop at Bellevueallee/Straße des 17. Juni between Großer Stern (the place with the large column and the golden angel on top) and Platz der Republik. See Map


Boat trips


During the whole evening, there will be the possibility to make a one-hour roundtrip by boat on the river Spree. The tour starts and ends directly in front of the Haus der Kulturen der Welt. To take part, you need a ticket (which is free for the participants of the ISMP). Those tickets are available at the registration desk in the main building of the TU --  but their number is limited!


Wednesday Issue of Newsletter Out Now!

The newsletter for Wednesday is out! You can get your copy as usual in the main building of the TU Berlin! From the content:

  • 60 Years of Turans Question
  • "Linear Programming was just the cherry on the cake": An Interview with Oliver Friedmann
  • The Haus der Kulturen der Welt: That's where the Conference Dinner will take place tonight
  • A proposal for a small excursion while lunch break

Have a successful congress Wednesday!


Deadline for TomTom Competition: Wednesday, 12.00

In the documents you received at the registration, there was a sheet of paper with a quiz from TomTom -- the TomTom Competition. Note that the deadline is on Wednesday at 12.00, so if you want to take part -- hurry up and bring the filled-out form to the large TomTom booth in the Lichthof in the TU main building. The quiz will be solved in the TomTom Session Wed.2 at H 0104 -- and there you can also learn what mathematics is inside your navigation system!

Egon's Birthday Party

As all of you know (for instance by reading the newsletter from Monday), Egon Balas turned 90 this year. At Tuesday, 12.00, there was a small birthday reception for him, and many friends came -- for instance Martin Grötschel, Manfred Padberg and Mike Jünger. Egon told them about his amazing and very special memoirs that just appeared in a German edition at Springer -- and how difficult it was to find a publisher. "I wrote many, many letters", he said. And if you've read the book, you know that this really means something: Egon is not someone who gives easily in. Happy Birthday!



Changed Room for Rekha Thomas' Semiplenary

Rekha Thomas' semiplenary talk (17:00 - 17:50 h) will be held in H 0105!

Tuesday Issue of Newsletter Out Now!

Similar look, new content: the newsletter for Tuesday is out now. Be sure to get your copy in the main building of the TU Berlin! From the content:


  • "Happy birthday, Simplex!": The Simplex algorithm becomes 65
  • The forgotten prize: on Saturday, the Rado Prize has been awarded
  • Warren Hirsch, his Conjecture and the ISMP
  • How to find out if you are standing in the East or in the West
  • Optimal Spare Time in Mitte: where to meet mathematics in the middle of Berlin


Have a great congress Tuesday!


An Overview over All the Winners

I've got an email request to post an overview of all the ISMP Prizes and Winners. Here it is -- and more information can be found in the printed newsletter (issue of Monday) which is distributed in the main TU building.


  • The Dantzig Prize goes to Laurence Wolsey from Catholic University of Louvain and Jorge Nocedal from Northwestern University. Jorge Nocedal has made fundamental contributions to the theory of nonlinear optimization methods.
  • The Lagrange Prize goes to Emmanuel Candes from Stanford University and Ben Recht from the University of Wisconsin for their paper Exact Matrix Completion via Convex Optimization (Foundations of Computational Mathematics (2009) 9:717--772).
  • The Fulkerson Prize is awarded for the following three papers.
    • Sanjeev Arora, Satish Rao, and Umesh Vazirani: Expander flows, geometric embeddings and graph partitioning (J. ACM, 56 (2009), pp.~1--37).
    • Anders Johansson, Jeff Kahn, and Van H. Vu: Factors in random graphs, (Random Structures and Algorithms 33 (2008), pp.~1--28).
    • László Lovász and Balázs Szegedy: Limits of dense graph sequences (Journal of Combinatorial Theory Series B 96 (2006), pp.~933--957).
  • The Beale-Orchard-Hays Prize goes to Michael Grant and Stephen Boyd from Stanford University, for their software CVX. Michael Grant is currently the chief technologist at Tune Energy, a small startup offering advanced analytics and optimization for electricity retail.
  • The Tucker Prize Finalists where Oliver Friedmann from Ludwigs-Maximilians-Universität in Munich, Amitabh Basu from Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, and Guanghui Lan from Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta. The first prize went to Oliver (see below).
  • The Tseng Memorial Lecturer will be Yinyu Ye from Stanford University. More on the lecture: see below.

And the Winner is...

There was one prize still due: The Tucker Prize. In these minutes, the first Prize has been awarded to Oliver Friedmann from LMU Munich -- 1000 Dollars, a medal and a certificate. Congratulations!


Danny Ralph is handing out the certificate to Oliver Friedmann; the prize committee is standing by.

Tseng Memorial Lecture

There has been some confusion about the Tseng Memorial Lecture. It now takes place on Tuesday in room H 0105 from 9.00 to 09.50 and it will be on "Recent Progresses in Linear Programming and the Simplex Method". The lecture thus replaces the plenary talk of Robin Thomas who unfortunately cannot attend the ISMP because of his health problems; he got a pneumonia and had to stay in hospital.

Yinyu Ye will prove that the classic policy-iteration method (Howard 1960), including the Simplex method (Dantzig 1947) with the most-negative-reduced-cost pivoting rule, is a strongly polynomial-time algorithm for solving the Markov decision process (MDP) with a constant discount factor. Furthermore, he shows that the computational complexity of the policy-iteration method (including the Simplex method) is superior to that of the only known strongly polynomial-time interior-point algorithm for solving this problem, which seems consistent with practical observation. Indeed a surprising result and surely not only interesting for our Tucker Prize Finalist Oliver Friedmann!

Drama over Newark

Robert J. Vanderbei tells us a story that normally only happens in novels and movies. Together with about other 30 participants of the ISMP he was on board of a Boeing 757 when he got the shock of his life: on their way from Newark to Berlin, they had to make an emergency landing back at Newark airport. An airline spokesman later said, the airplaine had "experienced a mechanical issue with the engine" after takeoff from Newark at 5:50 p.m. Saturday. The flight landed safely about 8:10 p.m.


An email of Vanderbei contains more details: "We had a tire blow out. Pieces of the tire flew into the engine. There was a tremendous banging and thumping. I and other passengers saw flame coming from the engine."


We hope they will make their trip to Berlin with the next plane -- and without any more emergencies!


Update: It finally worked. Robert Vanderbei and all the others have arrived safely in Berlin now!

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