EIDMA mini-course

Algebraic Optimization and Semidefinite Programming

by Pablo Parrilo (MIT)

May 31 - June 4, 2010

Here and here are the group photos.

This minicourse will focus on theoretical and computational techniques for optimization problems with algebraic structure (in particular, those involving polynomial equations and inequalities), emphasizing the connections with techniques based on semidefinite programming (SDP). The course will develop in a parallel fashion several algebraic and numerical approaches to polynomial systems, with a view towards methods that simultaneously incorporate both elements. We will study both the complex and real cases, developing techniques of general applicability, and stressing convexity-based ideas, complexity results, and efficient implementations. We will use examples from several applied math and engineering areas, including systems and control, geometric theorem proving, and classical and quantum information theory. Among the topics covered we will have: semidefinite relaxations, sum of squares representations, hyperbolic polynomials, SDP representability of convex sets, complex and real Nullstellensatz, convex algebraic geometry, sparsity and rank minimization problems, etc.

Daily schedule
The morning program will start at 10h00 and the afternoon program might go up to 17h00.

Tentative schedule
From 9h30: Coffee/tea.
10h00 - 12h30: Lectures (including a coffee/tea break).
12h30 - 14h30: Lunch break.
14h30 - 17h00: Lectures/Exercises/Computer demos.

For the computer demos, please bring your laptop (with Matlab).

Some material:
- Lecture Notes: Algebraic Optimization and Semidefinite Optimization. File.
- A small example of an LP/SDP with YALMIP/Sedumi. File.

Get together dinner
A dinner will be organized on Thursday evening for all participants of the mini-course. Details about the restaurant will be posted later.


The mini-course is organized by the Euler Institute for Discrete Mathematics and its Applications ( EIDMA) and takes place at Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI) in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. For directions to CWI see here.

If you stay at the Eden Lancaster hotel, here is a google map showing the route from the hotel to CWI.
You can come walking (about 45-50 minutes walking distance); it is a bit shorter if at the end you enter the area at the car entrance located on the Carolina MacGillavrylaan (see the circle mark on the google map.)
You can also come with tram 9. Tram 9 rides along Plantage Middenlaan (there is a stop close by the hotel), then along Linnaeusstraat, and then along Middenweg. Get off at the stop Kruislaan (along Middenweg at the crossing with Kruislaan) and walk along Kruislaan toward Science Park (about 15-20 minutes walking distance).

Information about tickets for tram and bus in Amsterdam can be found at the GVB-site. You can buy tickets on the tram. Note that from June 3 the OV-chipkaart will be the only allowed ticket on buses and trams in Amsterdam. (Read more here.)

Access to CWI: When you arrive at CWI, you can get an access card to the building at the reception, as well as a card giving you access to the wireless internet CWI network.

Lecture room: L016 (ground floor of the new wing).


Details on how to register, about the admission fee, and on possible application to a DIAMANT grant for financial support can be found at the EIDMA webpage of the mini-course.

Deadline for applications: May 6, 2010.


Participants must arrange and pay themselves for their accomodation.
We however offer the following help: We have blocked 15 rooms between May 30 - June 5 at a cheaper fare for the participants of the mini-course at the Eden Lancaster hotel, which has easy access (with tram 9) to CWI.
Price: 90 Euros (+5% city tax), incl. breakfast, for single occupancy. In case of double occupancy the room fare is identical but with some extra fee for the second breakfast.
To reserve one of these rooms, please contact directly the Eden Lancaster hotel, before April 29, and mention 'CWI/EIDMA Summerschool' to benefit from the special tariff.
Contact for the hotel: Tel: +31 20 535 6888, Fax: +31 20 535 6889, Email: reservations.lancaster@edenhotelgroup.com


For questions about registration please contact the EIDMA staff (eidma at tue.nl, mrs. Rianne van Lieshout / mrs. Anita Klooster).

For questions related to the hotel reservation please contact Susanne van Dam (susanne at cwi.nl).

For questions about the mini-course you may contact Monique Laurent (monique at cwi.nl).