Author: Dr. Garret (Gary) N. Vanderplaats

The purpose here is to offer a narrative of my experience in developing gradient based optimization algorithms. This is not intended to be a review of the technology in general but a review of my personal views, motives and experience. Thus, it is written in the first person.
The various algorithms I have developed, modified or used will be described and outlined. Perhaps more importantly, my rational for often raining havoc on theory will be given. Also, I will offer comments on what I’ve learned about problem formulation, critique of other algorithms and general musings. Since much of this is in my textbook, I’ve taken the liberty of copying from it where possible (plagiarizing myself). While the non-technical reader may find some useful philosophy here, I am assuming the reader is familiar with basic matrix theory.
The overall goal in offering this narrative is to encourage developers in engineering optimization to treat this technology as a tool for design and not a mathematical exercise. This requires a solid background in optimization theory as well as engineering design. It is concluded that optimization algorithms and software should mimic the thought process of a good designer while taking advantage of the immense power of today’s computers.

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