International “INFORMS” Competition
INFORMS is the largest international organization for executives and researchers from the field of analytics of data replication and performance research, with over 12,000 members and companies around the world.
Since 2017, the organization has held the annual Real-World Business Competition in the United States, a competition between student teams in the fields of information science analytics and performance research. Our students competed in 2018-2020, twice winning first place, and once winning second place. The students compete as part of the Big Data Analytics and Operations Management specialties taught in our Master’s program.
INFORMS is a prestigious competition, in which over 250 teams from around the world compete. In 2020, 274 teams from 26 countries participated, and our team succeeded in making it to the final stage among six teams, and won first place and a prize of $7,500.
Cooperation with international companies
Each year, a different company sponsors INFORMS. The sponsor defines the tasks for the competitors, which are, as the name of the competition implies, real-world business challenges and problems.
Last year INFORMS was sponsored by Bayer Pharmaceuticals, which has over 150 years of experience. Bayer asked the delegations to produce a supply chain for their manufacturing facility. They provided the teams with data such as the number of available plants, the possible production processes, and the available equipment, so that competitors could perform their calculations.
The INFORMS judging panel is comprised of 15 experts from industry and academia, and is headed by Professor John Birge of University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, a world leader in his field. The judges deliberate on the work of each team, addressing the problem definition, analysis processes, use of information, and building models and algorithms to solve the problem.