Using my A to Z Archives: Linear Programming


While talking about Leibniz, who isn’t the inventor of calculus — but is the person I’d credit most with showing us how calculus could be — I made some speculations unsupported by evidence about whether he looked into optimization problems. This because of the philosophical work that he’s famous for among lay audiences, the proposition that God’s will implies this must be the best possible universe. (I don’t know what he’s most famous for among professional philosophers.)

I don’t have an essay specifically on optimization theory, as mathematicians see it. Not exactly. But last year I did write about linear programming, which is a particular type of optimization problem. It’s a kind that’s often the best we can do in a complex circumstance. And it lets me introduce you to the word “simplex”, which is fun to say.

Author: Joseph Nebus

I was born 198 years to the day after Johnny Appleseed. The differences between us do not end there. He/him.

2 thoughts on “Using my A to Z Archives: Linear Programming”

  1. Leibniz’s biggest thing among professional philosophers is probably either “monads” (which I really don’t want to try to explain, not due to your deficiencies but due to mine) or “Leibniz’s Law” which is the idea that if two things have all the same properties, then they are in fact the same thing.

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    1. Thank you. I had thought that monads were Leibniz’s most-important-thing-to-philosophers, but that’s based on casual reading instead of something more substantial. So I backed off from saying something that could be definitely called right or wrong.

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