Awards Hall

In addition to the Franz Edelman Award for Achievement in Advanced Analytics, Operations Research, and Management Science, the following prizes and awards will be featured at the Virtual 2021 INFORMS Business Analytics Conference:

UPS George D. Smith Prize

The George D. Smith Prize is aimed at strengthening ties between academia and industry by rewarding institutions of higher education for effective and innovative preparation of students to be good practitioners of operations research. The Prize is generously underwritten by UPS. Awarded for the first time in 2012, past winners are Carnegie Mellon University, H. John Heinz III College, Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia – Center for Operations Excellence, MIT Leaders for Global Operations, Naval Postgraduate School, and Tauber Institute for Global Operations at University of Michigan.

The 2021 Competitors are:

  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Gies College of Business
  • University of Minnesota, Information & Decision Sciences Department at the Carlson School of Management
  • University of Iowa, Department of Business Analytics

The teams will present their work to the judges on Friday, April 9. Videos of the competition will be found in the video library on the virtual meeting platform.

The Smith Prize winner will be announced at the Edelman Awards Ceremony on Tuesday, April 13.  The 2021 winner will give their presentation on Wednesday, April 14 in the INFORMS Prizes & Special Sessions Track.

Learn more about the UPS George D. Smith Prize here.

Daniel H. Wagner Prize for Excellence in Operations Research

The Daniel H. Wagner competition is held each fall at the INFORMS Annual Meeting. The 2020 Wagner Prize Reprise will take place on Monday, April 12 in the INFORMS Prizes & Special Sessions Track.

The 2020 Wagner winning submission went to Saurabh Bansal, Genaro J. Gutierrez, and Mahesh Nagarajan for “Distribution Estimation and Efficient Optimization for Portfolio Management in Agribusiness: Analytical Developments and Benefits”. 

We worked with an agribusiness firm to develop new mathematical algorithms to manage the firm’s annual $1 Billion portfolio of more than 200 seeds offered to farmers in the continental U.S. The algorithms included, (i) optimization-development to deduce probability distributions for production yields for new products when managers provide partial information for the distributions, and (ii) a decomposition based development to optimize the production plan for the firm’s portfolio with more than 600 uncertainties. The algorithms have yielded substantial monetary savings and intangible benefits.

This prize emphasizes the quality and coherence of the analysis used in practice. Dr. Wagner strove for strong mathematics applied to practical problems, supported by clear and intelligible writing. The Wagner Prize recognizes those principles by emphasizing good writing, strong analytical content and verifiable practice successes. The competition is held and the winner is announced at the INFORMS Annual Meeting in the fall.

Past awardees include practitioners and researchers from Lehigh University and the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, The Forestry Research Institute of Sweden, CDC, Ford, U.S. Coast Guard, Intel, IBM T. J. Watson Research, Schneider National, Boston University, University of Florida, and others.

Learn more about the Daniel H. Wagner Prize here.

Innovative Applications in Analytics Award (IAAA)

Sponsored by INFORMS Analytics Society, Kinaxis, and Adelphi University

The IAAA Finalists will present on Tuesday, April 13 in the INFORMS Prizes & Special Sessions Track.  The winner will be announced at the closing plenary session on Wednesday, April 14.

The teams competing for the 2021 IAAA will be announced soon.

The purpose this award is to recognize the creative and unique application of a combination of analytical techniques in a new area. The prize promotes the awareness and value of the creative combination of analytics techniques in unusual applications to provide insights and business value. The Analytics Section leadership would like to cordially thank all the members of the judging committee for their hard work in selecting these finalists.

Learn more about the Innovative Applications in Analytics Award here.

Syngenta Crop Challenge in Analytics

Brought to you by INFORMS Analytics Society
Powered by IdeaConnection

The population of Earth is growing daily and our world is running out of land needed to produce food. Meanwhile, the crops farmers plant face escalating challenges due to increasingly variable growing conditions and climate change.

Today, the agriculture industry works to maximize the amount of food we gain from crops by breeding plants with the strongest, highest-yielding genetics. Plant breeding is complex, and data analytics can help scientists at research and development organizations like Syngenta make advances in seed product development

Syngenta has proven that data-driven strategies can help our industry accelerate innovation and breed better seeds that require fewer resources and are adaptable to more diverse environments. Developing models that can predict the performance of potential corn products can help scientists more accurately select seeds that increase the productivity of the crops farmers plant – and will help address the growing global food demand.

Teams will put their analytics skills to the test for a chance to win up to $5,000.

The finalists will present on Monday, April 12. The winner will be announced at the closing plenary session on Wednesday, April 14.

Learn more about the Syngenta Crop Challenge here.