**Audience**

### The book is written at a level that can be read by anyone with a good background in statistics and probability. Some parts of the book benefit from an understanding of linear programming. The notation is at a level that can be read by an advanced undergraduate, but the material requires considerable maturity that makes it better suited for people with at least some advanced training. It is also well suited to practitioners with a serious interest in a class of applications.

### The body of every chapter focuses
on models and algorithms with a minimum of the mathematical formalism that so
often makes presentations of dynamic programs inaccessible to a broader audience.
Using numerous examples, each chapter emphasizes the presentation of algorithms
that can be directly applied to a variety of applications. The book contains
dozens of algorithms that are intended to serve as a starting point in the design
of practical solutions for real problems.

### The book can also be used quite effectively in a Ph.D. course.
Several chapters include ``Why does it work'' sections at the end which present
proofs at an advanced level. This material can be easily integrated into the
teaching of the material within the chapter.