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August 14, 2019 marks three years since we lost Professor Christodoulos A. Floudas (1959–2016), one of the brightest stars of the field of global optimization, whose contributions will continue to impact the developments in the field for many years to come. Chris has touched many of us not only as a brilliant researcher, leader, and visionary, but also as a great friend and a wonderful human being. His sudden passing at age 56, while on vacation with his family in Greece, sent shock waves through the community. Numerous special sessions commemorating Professor Floudas have been organized in optimization conferences, and several memorial articles and a special issue of Journal of Global Optimization dedicated in his memory have been published [1, 2, 3].
Among many other professional activities, Chris had served as the second President of the International Society of Global Optimization, which organizes a biannual meeting, known as World Congress on Global Optimization (WCGO). One of the highlights of this meeting is the announcement of Constantin Carathéodory Prize of the International Society of Global Optimization awarded in recognition of lifetime contributions to the field of global optimization. Chris’s plans of organizing the 6th edition of the congress in 2017 were interrupted by his untimely passing. Instead, we ended up organizing the Global Optimization Conference (GOC-2017) dedicated in his memory on March 30–April 1, 2017, in the Annenberg Presidential Conference Center on the campus of Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas.
The conference featured 55 presentations scheduled in 14 sessions, including two talks in a special Carathéodory Prize Session, by Mauricio Resende and Antanas Žilinskas, who shared the prize. This special issue consists of selected papers from the meeting. All papers submitted to the special issue were handled using the regular peer review process, which resulted in acceptance of 15 papers appearing in this issue.
We would like to gratefully acknowledge the support Texas A&M Energy Institute and the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Texas A&M University provided in organizing a successful and memorable conference. We would also like to thank the authors of the papers, Associate Editors who helped with handling the submissions (Charles Audet, Adil Bagirov, Baski Balasundaram, Aris Daniilidis, Ding-Zhu Du, Pavlo Krokhmal, Oleg Prokopyev, Steffen Rebennack, Nikolaos Sahinidis, and Anatoly Zhigljavsky), the anonymous reviewers, as well as the staff of Springer Nature for making this special issue possible.