Math 484: Linear Programming and Related Problems (Section 001, Fall 2014)

Course Details

Instructor: Christopher Griffin
Office: 5 McAllister Building
Office Hours: M-3:00P-4:30P or by appointment
Class Meeting Times: TR 09:45 - 11:00, 316 HHD East

Book: A book is not required. Online Class Notes are available for you to use.
Optional Book: For those of you who would like a book, Linear Programming and Network Flows (4ed) by Bazaraa, Jarvis and Sherali is a fairly good one.

Prerequisites: Math 140, 141, 220, 230/231, or permission of the instructor.

Web Site:: We will also use Angel.

Nota Bene: You should not attend Section 002 or Section 003 of Math 484 to make up for missing a class. It is taught by a different instructor and we may not stay in sync with these sections.

Approximate Course Outline

Below is an approximate outline of what we will cover and when major assignments are due.
  1. Introduction to Mathematical Optimization
  2. Graphical Solution to Linear Programming Problems
  3. Review of Matrix Operations and Theory
  4. Polyhedral Theory
  5. The Simplex Method
  6. MIDTERM (Handed Out October 9, 2014, Due October 16, 2014)
  7. Simplex Initialization
  8. Degeneracy and Proof of Convergence
  9. Revised Simplex Algorithm and Optimality Conditions
  10. Duality Theory
  11. PROJECT (Due No Later Than December 12, 2014)
  12. FINAL (Due December 16, 2014)


Grading will be based on a combination of homework assignments, midterm or project and a final exam.
  1. Homework: 50%
  2. Mid Term or Project: 25%
  3. Final: 25%
Grading formula: \(\text{Grade} = \text{Homework} + \text{Final} + \max\left\{ \text{Mid Term}, \text{Project} \right\}\)

Everything is take home. You may use any resources to do the exams, homeworks and projects (book, notes etc.) but you must hand in your own work (don't just copy from some other source). If you do the project in a group, there will be a group evaluation form that each group member must provide. Details on projects will be provided as we move further into the semester.

Nominal Curve

The following nomial curve will be employed.

Planned and Unplanned Absences

If you are ill, please do not come to class. If this impacts your ability to turn in your homework, exam or project, allowances will be made. We will work on the honor system, if you say you are sick and cannot turn something in, I will believe you. If this becomes habitual, I may change this policy.

You are free to skip class (you are adults, after all), but I strongly encourage you to attend. You will probably learn more by sitting in class and listening, following along in the notes and making your own annotations. You can and should ask questions in class and you will see problems worked out on the board. This will help make homework easier.

Academic Integrity

Academic Integrity: You are of course expected to abide by Penn State's academic integrity policy, which is fully stated at:

Academic integrity is the pursuit of scholarly activity in an open, honest and responsible manner.

Evaluation (Reverse Grading)

Feedback can help us tailor the course to the class' intersests and learning style. Just as feedback on homework will tell you whether you are mastering the material, your feedback to me can tell me whether my presentation is effective and whether you are getting something good out of the class. As per usual, a teaching evaluation will be provided near the end of the semester. I strongly encourage you to fill it out. In addition, you may consider using the professor rating web site It is anonymous and will provide valuable feedback to other students. I will make an attempt to survey the class after about 5 weeks to see how people are feeling.

Unfortunately, end of semester evaluations often come too late to make a difference to you. You are always welcome to come to office hours or send me an e-mail. If you feel uncomfortable telling me who you are, you may send anonymous feedback by e-mail using this link.

Statement on Disabilities

Penn State welcomes students with disabilities into the University's educational programs. If you have a disability-related need for reasonable academic adjustments in this course, contact the Office for Disability Services (ODS) at 814-863-1807 (V/TTY). For further information regarding ODS, please visit the Office for Disability Services Web site at

In order to receive consideration for course accommodations, you must contact ODS and provide documentation (see the documentation guidelines at If the documentation supports the need for academic adjustments, ODS will provide a letter identifying appropriate academic adjustments. Please share this letter and discuss the adjustments with your instructor as early in the course as possible. You must contact ODS and request academic adjustment letters at the beginning of each semester.