Phoenix, AZ October 14-17

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Interactive/ Focused Topic Sessions

General Poster Session & Competition

Focused Topics

Healthcare Applications Society
Energy, Natural Resources & the Environment Section
Transportation Science & Logistics

Focused Topic/Interactive Schedules

Energy, Natural Resources & the Environment Section
Healthcare Applications Society
Interactive Sessions: Monday, Tuesday
Transportation Science & Logistics


Interactive Sessions/Focused Topic Poster


The 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. Starting with 2011 Annual Meeting, in addition to the General Interactive Sessions, there are Focus-Area Interactive Sessions. In the 2012 Annual Meeting, we will continue these well attended Focus-Area Interactive Sessions in addition to the General Interactive Session. For this year’s meeting, focus area sessions are being sponsored by the Computing Society, the Health Applications Society, the Military Applications Society, the Simulation Society, the Data Mining Section, the CPMS: The Practice Section, the Quality, Statistics, and Reliability Section, Transportation Science & Logistics and the Energy, Natural Resources & the Environment Section.

Important Dates

Competition Submission Deadline - Submit between August 3 and September 3, 2012
(For participants who have already submitted an abstract to the General or Focused Topic Posters Sessions)
Poster Presentations & Competition - October -15-16, 2012, Mon-Tues


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 August 3 and September 3. Participants who already submitted an abstract to either the general or one of the focus-areas are eligible for the competition. 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.


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 the 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 submission will be permitted per presenting author to this conference. You will make your submission either under the general or focus-area categories. Have the following information ready: contact information for yourself and any co-authors, the title and a 50-word abstract.

Step 2. Poster Submission : The participants will be requested to submit their poster in .pdf form for review between August 3 and September 3, 2012. Below is a list that details the submission procedure for the 2012 competition:

  • All entrants must register for an "easychair" account through:
  • Once registered, entrants should use the submission page: Sessions
  • 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 August 3 and September 3.

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 for the interactive session. The presentation will be repeated for at least two judges. If you have a focus-area submission and your poster is a semi-finalist, besides your focus-area presentation, you will need to set up your poster again in the general competition area for competition purposes.

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.


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: What is the difference between a focus-area and a general submission?
Answer: Focus-area submissions are sponsored by INFORMS societies and sections, and will be scheduled as part of those organizations' regular tracks. For the Phoenix meeting, Interactive focus-areas are:

  • Computing Society
  • Healthcare Applications Society
  • Military Applications Society
  • Simulation Society
  • Data Mining Section
  • CPMS: The Practice Section
  • Quality, Statistics, and Reliability Section
  • Energy, Natural Resources & the Environment Section
  • Transportation Science & Logistics

The time and venue for focus-area poster presentations is different from those for the general poster presentations. Please see the conference program for the exact location and time for the focus-area poster sessions. Focus-area posters will be eligible for the general poster competition in addition to any rewards the sponsoring society or section may have for their focused poster presentations.

Question: How many posters can I submit?
Answer: Each author can submit only one poster to the Interactive Sessions, which includes both the focus areas and the general group.

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 August 3 and September 3, 2012. 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. 15, and Tuesday, Oct. 16, 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 and where are focus-area poster sessions held during the conference?
Answer: Focus-area sessions will be scheduled as part of the sponsored track, and will be held in an area close to the track room. Please check the conference program for exact location and time. Note that the focus-area presentation venues are different than those of the general poster sessions.

Question: When do I set up my poster at the display area?
Answer: General posters can be set up at the display area after 10am on the day of the poster presentation. Focus-area posters will need to be set up in their announced locations right before the corresponding focus-area session starts.

Question: What is the process for a focus-area poster to be included in the poster competition?
Answer: The process is the same as the general area poster submissions except for the following: If your poster is selected for the competition, then in addition to the focus-area presentation, you will need to give a second presentation of your poster in the general poster area for competition purposes.
Question: I made a submission to a focus-area and my poster is selected for the competition. Do I bring two copies of the poster to the conference, one for the focus-area and one for the competition?
Answer: Bringing two copies is recommended but optional. While the focus-area sessions may be scheduled in a different location, they will be scheduled at a different time slot other than those for the general poster sessions.

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; this is true for both the general session and the focus-area sessions.

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?



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.

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 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 2 ½ 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.

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
(no pdf)

A data-integrated simulation-based optimization
of new patient assignments


Missouri Western State University

Burcu Aydin

Optimization over Tree Structured Objects