Penn State 2018

Ken Judd Penn State Numerical Methods course

Return to Ken Judd’s Home Page

Return to Ken Judd’s Penn State Numerical Methods Course Home Page


1: Dynamic Programming

The first files below are my lecture notes.

The 2014 Handbook paper is a general reference that I will follow in my presentations. 

The 2010, 2012, and 2013 papers focus on some basic issues related to stable value function iteration.

The 2015 paper is an application of a large-scale DP software suite.

2: Projection Methods

My projection methods lecture will begin with my 1992 paper. The 1997 paper looks at larger models. The 2011 paper outlines a simple iterative method that often works.

I include two lecture notes on two basic examples.

3: Solving Polynomial Systems

The papers below cover the mathematical background along with some economic examples.

My presentation will be light on the math and give examples of applications to economics. In particular, I will describe a general way to solve two-period dynamic games.


Location and Date

Hoover Institution, Stanford CA

July 30  — August 10

Speakers and Topics

  • Todd Munson (Argonne National Labs) Optimization, nonlinear complementarity problems
  • Ken Judd (Hoover) Approximation, quadrature, dynamic programming, games, projection methods
  • Simon Scheidegger (UZH) (tentative) Parallel computing
  • Yongyang Cai (Ohio State) NLCEQ method
  • TJ Canaan (U. Minnesota) Polynomial systems of equations
  • Carlos Rangel (Penn State) Multiobjective optimization
  • Ben Skrainka (tentative) Software engineering

Student Activities

Students will be required to write programs related to lecture topics. They can choose from a large list of posted problems, and can use any language they want. (By the way, Excel and Stata are NOT programming langages.) The list of possible tasks will include replication of published papers and evaluation of alternative software. Our goal is to give the students experience with serious programming challenges with help from the speakers.

The goal is to identify important basic computational tasks, write reliable code for or evaluate existing code for those tasks, and then post them for public use. Some projects will involve novel methods for solving economic problems, and may lead to publishable papers. The end result will hopefully be a collection of programs and results that the students will find useful in their research.

Student Presentations

In the first week, there will be a poster session where students can present research they are working on.

In the second week, there will be be opportunities for students to present their code.


I recommend Airbnb. I may have some dorm rooms for nICE participants but won’t know for a while. I will have past visitors tell you about the range of options for staying near Hoover.

There is a good bicycle rental place on campus that everyone uses.

Rumor has it that there are good places for hiking, surfing, wind surfing, lying on the beach, etc., nearby.