Many practical optimization problems require integer solutions. For example, it doesnâ€™t make sense to give 8.4 dimes in change, to assign 1.3 workers to a shift, or to produce 6.71 chairs. In this talk, we will explore a recently discovered method for attacking this type of optimization problem that uses tools originally developed to understand collections of polynomials. Along the way, we will see why our usual methods for solving optimization problems do not work when integer solutions are required, exchange coins with computational algebra, and explore connections between polynomials and geometry.

Refreshments will be served in the graduate lounge on the 6th floor of Bahen before the talk, at 4:30pm!