Interactive/Poster Presentations

Important Dates
Competition and Awards
Interactive Sessions FAQs
Presentation Guidelines & Instructions
Winners from Past Years

Interactive Sessions at the INFORMS Annual Meetings provide excellent visibility for posters, with prominent display in well-attended areas of the meeting. Interactive Session presenters benefit from the interactive critique, suggestions, and encouragement from colleagues working in similar areas.

Important Dates

  • Poster abstract submission deadline – July 15
  • Competition submission deadline – July 15 (you must have already submitted a poster abstract)
  • Poster presentations and competition – October 7 & 8, 12:00-2:30pm, at the Minneapolis meeting

Competition and Awards

INFORMS places special emphasis on high-quality poster submissions. As in the past years, an Interactive Sessions Competition will be held to recognize the best posters. If you would like to enter this competition, you are required to submit a soft copy of your poster (in pdf format) between the dates of June 15 and July 15. In order to enter the competition, you must have already submitted an abstract. Three winners will be selected each day (Monday and Tuesday), with awards given for first place ($350), second place ($250), and third place ($150). The winners will also receive a certificate and be recognized in INFORMS newsletters, ORMS Today and on the INFORMS web site.

How the Poster Competition Works

Participation in the poster competition is voluntary. That is, an author may elect to make a poster presentation without entering the competition. There are three rounds in the competition. In Round 1, participants will submit their posters prior to the conference for judges to review. The judges will select a set of semi-finalists to be evaluated in Round 2. Round 2 will involve judges evaluating the semifinalist presentations at the conference. Based on their evaluation the judges will select a list of finalists who will move to Round 3, the final round. In Round 3, the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners of each day of the competition will be identified and awarded. The recognition includes a certificate, an award check, and announcements on INFORMS web-site and in the INFORMS newsletters. The following elaborates on the process steps in more detail.

Before the Annual Conference

Step 1. Abstract Submission: Only one poster abstract submission will be permitted per presenting author. . Have the following information ready: contact information for yourself and any co-authors, the title and a 50-word abstract. CLICK HERE

Step 2. Poster Submission : Participants will be requested to submit their poster in .pdf form for review between June 15 and July 15, 2013, using the following submission procedure:

  • A complete entry consists of an electronic pdf file of your poster.
  • Please see the guidelines for poster formatting details at the end of this page.
  • You can make minor changes to the submitted poster before your presentation at the conference.
  • All entries must be submitted using "easychair" between June 15 and July 15.

Step 3. Poster Review for Competition (Round 1): Judges will select semi-finalist posters that will be later evaluated on-site at the conference center. Up to 50 posters will be selected for judging during this round. (Note that all posters are accepted for presentation, whether or not they are selected as semi-finalists for the poster competition).

At the Annual Meeting

Step 4. Poster Presentation & Judging (Round 2): Authors of the semi-finalist posters will give a 5-minute presentation to the judges. The time limit will be strictly enforced as the judges will need to listen to a number of presentations within the limited time slot. The presentation will be repeated for at least two judges.

Step 5. Finalists & Judging (Round 3): The top (5-6) finalists will be determined by the judges in each day of the competition. A second round of presentations and judging will reveal the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners.

Step 6. Awards Ceremony: Winners will be announced after the competition. The winners will be awarded certificates and checks. The check awards for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners are $350, $250, and $150, respectively.

After the Annual Conference

Step 7. Further Recognition: The winners of the poster competition will be announced on INFORMS web-site and in the OR/MS Today magazine.

Interactive Sessions FAQ

Question: What are the benefits of a poster presentation over an oral presentation?
Answer: Poster presentations are less formal, and allow presenters to discuss their research interactively with individuals or small groups, typically resulting in more feedback to a presenter than a typical oral presentation.

Question: How many posters can I submit?
Answer: Each author can submit only one poster to the Interactive Sessions.

Question: Can I submit the same abstract both as a poster and as a regular oral presentation?
Answer: No. You need to submit it either as a regular paper for an oral presentation or as a poster in Interactive Sessions.

Question: If I attend the general poster presentation, will my poster automatically enter the competition?
Answer: No. If you want to participate in the competition, you will need to submit the soft copy of the actual poster (in .pdf format) between the dates of June 15 and July 15, 2013. After an initial screening, you will be notified if your poster is selected for competition at the conference. The details about the competition can be found at the end of this page.

Question: How do I create my poster?
Answer: The exact format of the poster is flexible. Please see the INFORMS poster presentation guidelines below for specific requirements. High-quality posters can be developed easily using software such as Microsoft Powerpoint. Print shops (e.g. Kinkos) will print posters at a relatively low cost.

Question: When and where are general poster sessions held during the conference?
Answer: The general poster sessions are scheduled for Monday, Oct. 7, and Tuesday, Oct. 8, from 12:00-2:30pm. They will be held in an open area of the conference center, close to the plenary rooms, exhibits, session rooms, email center and other areas where attendees congregate. Please check the conference program for the specific location.

Question: When do I set up my poster at the display area?
Answer: Posters can be set up at the display area after 10am on the day of the poster presentation.

Question: Do I need to give an oral presentation with my poster?
Answer: If you participate in the competition, you will give a 5-minute oral presentation to the judges in the second and possibly the third rounds of the process. Otherwise, an oral presentation is by request from interested visitors. You are required to be present at your poster during the full length of the session from 12:00-2:30pm

Question: How will the posters be judged in the competition?
Answer: Given the interactive nature of the sessions, the presentations will be judged on the display design and presentation effectiveness, as well as on the ability of the participant to address the following questions:
1) What is the main research question that you have addressed?
2) What is the novelty of your research?
3) What is the contribution to the theory and/or practice of ORMS?
4) What insights have been gained through your research?


Poster Presentations Guidelines & Instructions

Minimal Requirements

  • Each presenter should bring either a poster display in the form of (1) a printed single large sheet of paper/plastic that can be mounted on a bulletin board (board will be provided by INFORMS), or (2) a three-panel display that you provide to stand on a table (table will be provided by INFORMS).
  • The bulletin board provided by INFORMS measures 8 feet wide by 4 feet high. Your overall poster must fit within that space.
  • The display table provided by INFORMS measures 6 feet wide by 18 inches deep. Your display must be constructed to stand alone on this table.
  • Each poster should include the poster title and full names of all contributors, their affiliations, addresses and an email and/or web link.
  • For the three-panel display, the title, names of authors and their contact information should be placed on the middle panel, with other information on the left and right panels.

Printing Your Poster

We strongly recommend that you have your poster printed locally or by an online site before you travel to the meeting, rather than attempt to have it printed onsite in Minneapolis. These online sites offer design and printing services:


Suggested Best Practices

For all posters, please follow these guidelines:

  • Maintain a good contrast between background and foreground text.
  • Avoid acronyms and extensive mathematical notation as much as possible.
  • Include one or more of the following: a short description of the problem, objectives of the work, the methodology utilized, conclusions, relevant diagrams, graphs and charts in order to present an overview for the application.
  • Organize your poster into sections, e.g., Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, Conclusions, and Literature Cited. (Avoid using too many citations.) You may wish to use numbers to help sequence sections of the poster.
  • Arrange the material into columns.
  • The title should be readable from 15 - 20 feet (approximately 4.5-6 meters) away
  • The text should be large enough to be read easily from at least 6 feet (approximately 2 meters) away.
  • The poster should not rely upon your verbal explanation to link together the various portions.
  • Avoid densely packed, high word-count posters. Posters with 800 words or less are ideal.
  • Self-explanatory graphics should dominate the poster.
  • Below are web pages that provide more guidelines and free poster templates:

Laptop Demo/Media Loop/3D Display

You are welcome to use a laptop or 3D display (in addition to your displayed poster) to enhance and supplement your presentation. INFORMS will provide a table (6 feet wide by 18 inches deep) where you can place your laptop. Electrical power will not be available, so be sure your laptop has battery power for about 2½ hours. Note: Projection (using a computer projector) is not possible due to space constraints.

Winners from Past Years

The following table provides a list of poster competition winners from previous years. You may click on the names to view a pdf version of the presentations, which may give additional ideas for creating high quality poster presentations.

Irem Sengul

Modeling for Equitable Allocation of Food Distribution in North Carolina under Capacity Constraints
North Carolina State University

Sara Shashaani

A Simulation Optimization Approach to Epidemic Forecasting
Virginia Tech

Apurva Samudra

Optimization-Based Design of Novel Molecules with Desired Properties
Carnegie Mellon

Nico M. Van Dijk

Blood Platelet Optimization for Blood Banks
University of Amsterdam

John Gunnar Carlsson

Map segmentation algorithms for
geographic resource allocation
University of Minnesota

Kelly Bartlett

Asset Allocation and Routing in a Recruiting Organization
Georgia Institute of Technology

Turgay Ayer

Operations Research for Early Diagnosis of Breast Cancer
University of Wisconsin

Durai Sundaramoorthi

A data-integrated simulation-based optimization of new patient assignments
Missouri Western State University

Burcu Aydin

Optimization over Tree Structured Objects