Over the holiday weekend, my family and I traveled to the Raleigh-Durham area. While walking around the UNC Chapel Hill campus, I discovered a small stack of OR and programming books that someone had discarded and left just outside one of the buildings (for shame! But their loss is my gain.). The best of the bunch was Optimization in Operations Research by Ron Rardin. I have only used this particular textbook before. I was excited to find it, since it has a reputation for offering an intuitive and clear intro to OR methods in optimization (reading this book has been on my to do list for some time). After perusing Rardin’s book a bit on the way home, I can see that it will be extremely useful for teaching.
It was nice to unexpectedly encounter operations research on a family excursion. I particularly enjoyed finding a book about optimization, since there really isn’t anything optimal or efficient about a family trip. That’s part of the fun, of course.