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Computation for Design and Optimization (CDO)

Research and Teaching Output of the MIT Community

Computation for Design and Optimization (CDO)


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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Recent Submissions

  • Talnikar, Chaitanya Anil (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2015)
    Design optimization with high-fidelity turbulent flow simulations can be challenging due to noisy and expensive objective function evaluations. The noise decays slowly as computation cost increases, therefore is significant ...
  • Foo, Ming Qing (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2015)
    This thesis examines two problems concerning the secure and reliable operation of the electric power grid. The first part studies the distributed operation of the electric power grid using the power flow problem, which is ...
  • Tseranidis, Stavros (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2015)
    This thesis explores the use of approximation algorithms, sometimes called surrogate modelling, in the early-stage design of structures. The use of approximation models to evaluate design performance scores rapidly could ...
  • Liu, Jeffrey, S.M. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2015)
    We consider the problem of estimating individual and social value of information in routing games. We propose a Bayesian congestion game that accounts for the heterogeneity in the commuters' access to information about ...
  • Li, Rongsha (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2015)
    Today, organizations are generating large volumes of data. However, the challenge of extracting valuable information from the data has been a large and long-standing problem. Here, we address the problem of quantifying ...