Intensive Computation for Design and Optimization (CDO) has become an essential activity in such diverse areas as telecommunications, imaging, guidance/control, the Internet, aerospace design, micromachined devices, distribution networks, traffic management, air transport, web-based retailing, the electric power grid, and manufacturing scheduling. Effective computation produces shorter design cycle times, higher-quality products, and improved functionality.

The MIT CDO program offers a unified treatment of the computational aspects of complex engineered systems. Through hands-on projects and a master's thesis, students develop and apply advanced computational methods to a diverse range of applications, from aerospace to nanotechnology, from Internet protocols to telecommunications system design. Career opportunities for CDO graduates include companies and research centers where systems modeling, numerical simulation, design and optimization play a critical role.

The MIT CDO program educates students in the formulation, analysis, implementation, and application of computational approaches to designing and operating engineered systems, emphasizing:

  • Breadth through introductory courses in numerical analysis and simulation, optimization, and applied probability
  • Depth in optimization methods and numerical methods for partial differential equations
  • Multidisciplinary aspects of computation
  • Hands-on experience through projects, assignments, and a master's thesis
For more information, please visit the CDO web site,

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  • Physics-based machine learning and data-driven reduced-order modeling 

    Swischuk, Renee C.(Renee Copland) (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2019)
    This thesis considers the task of learning efficient low-dimensional models for dynamical systems. To be effective in an engineering setting, these models must be predictive -- that is, they must yield reliable predictions ...
  • Incentive design for quality investment by smallholder producers 

    Yang, Yilin,S.M.Massachusetts Institute of Technology. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2019)
    The food safety problem has been challenging the traditional operating model of Chinese agricultural supply chain. In the recent decades, more and more agribusinesses and cooperatives in China have adopted contract farming ...
  • Learning symmetry-preserving interatomic force fields for atomistic simulations 

    Batzner, Simon Lutz. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2019)
    Machine-Learning Interatomic Force-Fields have shown great promise in increasing time- and length-scales in atomistic simulations while retaining the high accuracy of the reference calculations that they are trained on. ...

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