After a full day of competition judging, my colleague Nico and I are, paradoxically, absolutely spent and completely energized. Our brains are weary after intense deliberations with the judges on our respective panels, the Syngenta Crop Challenge in Analytics and the INFORMS Student Competition, both of which Syngenta supports and from which Syngenta provided the problem question. The quality of submissions has made judging and ranking them an incredibly difficult task. In the Crop Challenge students from as far as China and Serbia submitted incredibly well thought out and researched models alongside U.S.-based finalists from the University of Illinois, University of Tennessee at Knoxville, and Washington University in St. Louis.
But we are energized that these young people are thinking about the problems facing agriculture. When Syngenta started implementing analytics in its operations, we developed ways to predict and breed the best seeds to meet the demand of your farmers – and our growing world – that was incredibly innovative in our industry. But that was only the beginning, and we know that these competition served as an excellent entry point for emerging leaders in analytics to discover the challenges and problems facing agriculture.
We are looking forward to attending the Edelman Awards tonight. As recipients of the Edelman Award in 2015, we know the hard work that goes into the process of creating new analytical systems and preparing to present them to the INFORMS audience.
Best of luck to all the finalists!