Dr. Brian Borchers

by Shawna Carter

SOCORRO, N.M., Jan. 27, 2006 — New Mexico Tech mathematics professor Brian Borchers recently received an IBM Faculty Award for $20,000 in recognition of his extensive research in Semi Definite Programming (SDP) and the development of a software package called CSDP that solves SDP problems.

SDP, an extension of the linear programming developed in the 1990s, has practical applications in several modern research fields including engineering design and electronics. Most problems solved using SDP involve the modification or design of systems to give optimal performance for a given situation.

Since 1997, Borchers has been developing a program called CSDP that uses the computer language “C” to solve SDP problems. New computer technology has made it possible for Borchers and his research team to apply CSDP to more and more realistic problems with tens of thousands of constraints and millions of variables.

“Although SDP is still very much a new research area, I believe that it is an emerging technology that is poised to move from research to industry over the next ten to 20 years. I’m pleased IBM has chosen to recognize my work on CSDP with an IBM Faculty Award,” Borchers remarked.

Part of the award money will help support a graduate student research assistant who will help Borchers improve CSDP. In addition, Borchers plans to publish the software through Computational Infrastructure for Operations Research, a software repository focused on the development of open-source software for the operations research community.