What exactly is "Engineering Optimization" I have the opportunity to take a grad class entitled "Engineering Design Optimization" this fall and I am curious about the subject. I have never taken an optimization class before and to be honest I don't quite understand why optimization is sub-discipline of engineering. In every engineering problem there is always the issue of design. More specifically, what is the best design? And upon further inquiry: what is 'best'? I would guess then the "optimization" discipline is the study of ways to achieve certain engineering objectives. What, then, do professors and those in industry do whom study optimization? What is to be expected out of the standard optimization class?