MCEN 4228/5228: Optimal Design


Instructor: Prof. Shalom D. Ruben
Tu,Th 3:00-4:45pm
Office: ECME 128
Office Hours: TBA

(Image Credits: Figure 9.3 of Convex Optimization showing the geometry of optimization)

Textbook Resources

  1. Convex Optimization, Boyd and Vandenberghe, Cambridge Univ Press, 2004

  2. Linear and Nonlinear Programming by Leunberger and Ye, Springer, 2008

  3. Numerical Optimization, Nocedal and Wright, Springer, 2006

  4. Applied Numerical Computing Course Reader, Vandenberghe, 2011

  5. EE236A Excercises, Vandenberghe, 2012

Other Resources

  1. UCLA EE103

  2. UCLA EE236A

  3. UCLA EE236B or Stanford EE364A

Topics Covered

(not restricted to this order and may not cover all topics)

  1. Least-Squares

  2. Least-Norm

  3. General Form of Optimization Problems

  4. Formulation of Optimization Problems with Focus on Engineering Applications

    1. Mechanical

    2. Aerospace

    3. Electrical

    4. Control

    5. Statistics

    6. Energy

    7. Games

    8. Operations Research (Industrial)

  5. Geometry of Optimization Problems

  6. Linear Programming

  7. Numerical Methods

    1. Unconstrained Problems

    2. Equality Constrained Problems

    3. Inequality Constrained Problems

  8. Integer Programming

Grading Breakdowns

  1. Individual Work (100%)

    1. Homework (20$)

    2. Projects (60%)

    3. Midterm (20%)

Desire 2 Learn (D2L)

To access the following material, you must log in to D2L:

  1. Project Assignments

  2. Homework Assignments

  3. Homework Solutions



  1. Remember these are Individual Assignments

    1. Plagiarism Detection Software wll be used.

  2. More Project Policies TBA


  1. Assignments must be neat, organized and legible. In plain English: If we cannot read your assignment, you will not get credit for it. Typed assignments are welcome.

  2. At the start of each problem, write out a brief description of the problem including given information and what is to be found. Put a box around all final answers.

  3. Show your work enough to fully demonstrate your understating and your arrival at your answer.

  4. Write on only one side of the paper. Pages must stapled be in order (i.e. following the order in which the problems were assigned).

  5. You only have TWO WEEKS from the return date to question the grading.

In-Class Expectations

The following expectations will assist us with the creation of a learning community and a high quality of educational experience. The University of Colorado Classroom Behavior Policy will compliment these expectations:

  1. Turn off your cell phones/ don’t text

  2. No laptops during lectures

    1. Unless approved for taking notes

    2. Unless solving in-class problems

  3. Refrain from having disruptive conversations

Academic Integrity

You will be asked to complete group homework assignments in this course, but it is also expected that you will abide by The University of Colorado Honor Code at all times.

Late Work

No late work will be accepted