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NUS Math Module Review: MA3236 Nonlinear Programming

The first half of the module was lectured by Prof Lam, while the second half was by Prof Pang.

The first half was slightly similar to MA2101 and MA2108, so taking those modules would be useful.

Prof Pang tend to read from his slides, so attending his lecture felt like listening to an audiobook. It was extremely boring to watch, and coupled with the fact that the lecture was at 6pm, I would much rather have my dinner than attend his lecture. He also doesn’t really explain the motivation behind the theorems, so I found it hard to visualize and internalize the theorems.

The attendance rate for the tutorial was very low. Once, I went into the tutorial, and I was the only one there, which made it impossible for me to leave without feeling guilty, so I waited for someone else to come before leaving. I don’t know how the attendance was for the lectures, because I did not attend the lectures.

Since the lecture videos were boring and basically an audiobook, I felt more productive reading the lecture notes myself. During times when I couldn’t understand the theorems in the notes, I would attempt to find the webcast for that lecture. However, Prof Pang uploads his lectures as mp4 files in luminus, so I had to download them to watch, as opposed to streaming it on panopto. Moreover, he names all his uploaded webcast as zoom-1.mp4 or zoom-0.mp4, which made it very hard to find the video I was looking for. Hence, I gave up on watching the webcast and tried harder at reading the notes.

The thing I remembered most about the module is KKT (Karush–Kuhn–Tucker conditions), because there were so many examples of KKT and it was so tedious so compute. It felt like 90% of the second half of the module was KKT.

There was one assignment question that required Matlab code, but nothing else required it.

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