This self-contained textbook is an informal introduction to
optimization through the use of numerous illustrations and
applications. The focus is on analytically solving optimization
problems with a finite number of continuous variables. In addition,
the authors provide introductions to classical and modern numerical
methods of optimization and to dynamic optimization.
The book's overarching point is that most problems may be solved
by the direct application of the theorems of Fermat, Lagrange, and
Weierstrass. The authors show how the intuition for each of the
theoretical results can be supported by simple geometric figures.
They include numerous applications through the use of varied
classical and practical problems. Even experts may find some of
these applications truly surprising.
A basic mathematical knowledge is sufficient to understand the
topics covered in this book. More advanced readers, even experts,
will be surprised to see how all main results can be grounded on
the Fermat-Lagrange theorem. The book can be used for courses on
continuous optimization, from introductory to advanced, for any
field for which optimization is relevant.
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