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SE 413 Spring 2022 Course Information
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This page summarizes information for students enrolled in, or who are considering taking, SE 413 (Engineering Design Optimization) at UIUC during Spring 2022. This semester, SE 413 will be conducted in a hybrid (flipped) format. A detailed syllabus will be provided to students enrolled in SE 413.

Instructor: Prof. James T. Allison,, 

TA: Elena Fernandez (

Classroom Location: 106B8 Engineering Hall

Catalog Description: Application of optimization techniques to engineering design problems. Emphasis on problem formulation, including applications in structural, mechanical, and other design domains. Important theoretical results and numerical optimization methods. Matlab programming assignments to develop software for solving nonlinear mathematical programming problems. 3 or 4 undergraduate hours. 3 or 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite: MATH 241 and MATH 415.

Course Format:

  1. Standard Project: (For students registered for 3 credit hours) Group project that focuses on iterative definition, solution, and refinement of an engineering design optimization problem. Topic is to be defined by the student group. Standard projects are intended to be relatively simple (minimal modeling requirements) while providing sufficient richness for learning EDO.
  2. Intensive Project: (For students registered for 4 credit hours) Group or individual project that provides an opportunity for ambitious students to take a deeper dive into EDO. Such projects often require a significantly higher modeling effort, and it is recommended that students opting for an intensive project already have some experience in the modeling/simulation of an engineering application that is appropriate for EDO. Often this project is related to the research topics that graduate students are working on. While this option is geared toward graduate students, it is available to undergraduate students with appropriate background. Please speak with the instructor if you have any questions about choosing between a standard or an intensive project.

Online Course Resources:


Schedule Summary:

Week 1 (L1): Introduction to EDO, Design Automation, and Algorithmic Thinking

Week 2 (L2): Optimization Solver Introduction and Mathematical Preliminaries

Week 3 (L3): Numerical Foundations for Optimization

Week 4 (L4): EDO Problem Formulation and Analysis

Week 5 (L5): Putting EDO Into Practice

Week 6 (L6): EDO Examples/Exam 1 Review

Week 7: Exam 1

Week 8 (L7): Unconstrained Optimization Part A

Week 9 (L8): Unconstrained Optimization Part B

Week 10 (L9): Constrained Optimization Part A

Week 11 (L10): Constrained Optimization Part B

Week 12 (L11): Constrained Optimization Part C

Week 13 (L12): EDO Implementation

Week 14: Exam Review and Project Work Week

Week 15: Exam 2

Week 16: Final Project Deliverables