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From: "John  Smith" <johnps@gmail.com>
Newsgroups: comp.soft-sys.matlab
Subject: General Problem-solving practices
Date: Mon, 27 Jun 2011 22:23:04 +0000 (UTC)
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Hello,

As some of you may know by now, I'm new to MATLAB. I am in my first engineering internship and I'm noticing a disagreement among the engineers so I was curious as to what approach others would take. And let me premise that it is possible my question will sound rather stupid as many of the people on this Newsreader seem to be pretty advanced mathematicians. 

The problem I am working on involves a multivariable function with constraints. After spending a while trying to figure out a way to use numerical methods (maybe Newton-Raphson) for this problem or built-in MATLAB functions, my boss suggested that I just use a brute-force method-- simply calculate all the possibilities using "for" loops and select the solutions that meet certain criteria. 

Another engineer in my department thinks the boss's idea is ridiculous because it's going to take several days to run the program probably. He thinks we should find an algorithm to do this quickly. I personally am happy to do it the brute-force method because I do not consider myself a mathematics genius and this allows me to at least produce something worthwhile. 

Any thoughts?