8.1 Welcome to Unit 8

8.1 Welcome to Unit 8

Installing LibreOffice or OpenOffice

In Weeks 8 and 9 of this course, we’ll be using a spreadsheet software to solve optimization problems. There are three different programs you can use: LibreOffice Calc, OpenOffice Calc, or Microsoft Excel. LibreOffice and OpenOffice are both open sourced softwares, and we have provided instructions below on how to download them, as well as recommendations for different operating systems. If you have access to Microsoft Excel, we recommend using that (regardless of your operating system) since it has a more powerful optimization solver. However, we will be using LibreOffice in all of the lectures and recitations, and you can follow along and complete all of the assignments in whichever software you choose. LibreOffice and OpenOffice are very similar in design, and so you will see very few differences between the videos and your software if you choose to use one of these. Excel has a few differences, so be sure to visit the Discussion Forum if you have questions.

(You might be wondering why we are not using R to solve optimization problems. We feel that solving optimization problems in a spreadsheet software is more intuitive and more widely used in the business world. However, if you are curious about how optimization problems can be solved in R, we provide a script file at the bottom of Video 7 in the Airline Revenue Management lecture of this unit.)

Installing LibreOffice

We recommend using LibreOffice (or Microsoft Excel) if you have a Windows machine. To install LibreOffice, please visit the LibreOffice website, and follow the instructions. It should recommend a version for your operating system, but if not, then go ahead and select the latest version for your operating system.

Installing OpenOffice

We recommend using OpenOffice (or Microsoft Excel) if you have a Mac. To install OpenOffice, please visit the OpenOffice website, and follow the instructions. It should recommend a version for your operating system, but if not, then go ahead and select the latest version for your operating system. We recommend NOT using a beta version.

Once you have installed LibreOffice or OpenOffice (or you are planning to just use Microsoft Excel), you are ready to start the first Lecture Sequence this week. If you have any questions or if you ran into any problems, please search in the Dicussion Forum for people with similar problems, or create a new post below.

Course Info

Learning Resource Types

theaters Lecture Videos
notes Lecture Notes
assignment_turned_in Problem Sets with Solutions