It all started back in 2018, when I, Davi, was looking for an idea
for my undergraduate thesis. In a conversation with my advisor, Ricardo,
I asked what kind of tool he thought would be helpful for him as an
operations research teacher. We talked for a while about a few ideas, one of
which was something similar to Overleaf
but for mathematical programming. Something that would enable him to work
in optimization problems along with students and colleagues using the browser.
Having struggled myself in trying to collaborate with classmates in
group assignments of operations research classes, I liked the idea.
So as my undergraduate thesis we delivered a prototype of the tool we have today.
PIFOP (Programming Interface For Optimization Problems)
has evolved a great deal since then. The prototype we had back then was not much more than a
client interface for NEOS
with a very
iffy collaborative editing feature. Today our users enjoy a much richer
mathematical programming environment, featuring different solver execution
options with a stable real-time collaborative system. We are always
working on improving our current solutions and providing more conveniences
with new ones. As the years go by, more and more students, researchers
and modeling practitioners have been adopting PIFOP as their
primary tool for mathematical programming, which we find very encouraging!