Free course

Linear programming – the basic ideas

Linear programming – the basic ideas Copyright free Icon

This free course examines the formulation and solution of small linear programming problems. Section 1 deals with the formulation of linear programming models, describing how mathematical models of suitable real-world problems can be constructed. Section 2 looks at graphical representations of two-dimensional models, considers some theoretical implications and examines the graphical solution of such models. Section 3 introduces the simplex method for solving linear programming models and Section 4 uses matrix notation to formalize the simplex method.

Course learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • formulate a given simplified description of a suitable real-world problem as a linear programming model in general, standard and canonical forms
  • sketch a graphical representation of a two-dimensional linear programming model given in general, standard or canonical form
  • classify a two-dimensional linear programming model by the type of its solution
  • solve a two-dimensional linear programming problem graphically
  • use the simplex method to solve small linear programming models by hand, given a basic feasible point.

First Published: 12/03/2018

Updated: 11/07/2019

You can start this course right now without signing-up. Click on any of the course content sections below to start at any point in this course.
If you want to be able to track your progress, earn a free Statement of Participation, and access all course quizzes and activities, sign-up.

Course content

Skip Rate and Review

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371