Outstanding Opportunity: Apply to Win the 2012 Wagner Prize

Why the Wagner Prize? In this short article we will highlight reasons you might be interested in applying to win this prestigious award.

But first the procedures. Your two-page abstract is due by May 1, 2012. Complete details on submittal requirements and timeline can be found under the Application Process tab at http://www.informs.org/wagnerprize

The general idea: The Daniel H. Wagner Prize recognizes and rewards outstanding achievement in the practice of operations research or advanced analytics. The prize goes to professionals who create innovative analytical methods, utilize those methods in a verifiably successful O.R./analytics project, and describe their work in a clear, well-written paper (not previously published).

Like the high-profile Edelman Award, this prize is honored during the gala banquet and award ceremony at the spring analytics conference. Which suggests the question, “What’s the difference between the Edelman Award and the Wagner Prize?”

Indeed, close inspection reveals many similarities. Both awards recognize accomplishments in practice, in any type of client organization, large or small, U.S or foreign, public or private, involving any analytical method in any application field. Both competitions are conducted by means of presentations open to meeting attendees – the Edelman at the spring analytics conference and the Wagner at the fall annual meeting. Both have their competition presentations distributed widely through streaming video on the INFORMS Video Learning Center. Both get a special issue of Interfaces dedicated to publishing their competition papers.

Yet you will find important differences, from which emerge opportunities for prospective contestants.

The primary difference is in the judging criteria. The Edelman’s major criterion is large beneficial impact (absolute or relative) on a client organization. The Wagner’s main criterion is innovative analytical methods, typically in the mathematical modeling or the solution methodology. Both competitions seek innovative methods but this is paramount in the Wagner, not paramount in the Edelman.

Further, the Wagner explicitly assigns great importance to clear exposition, as observed in the written paper and in the oral presentation. Finally, while the Edelman looks especially for large impact, the Wagner looks instead for proven impact but does not give weight to the size of the impact.

Where are the opportunities? Because the Wagner complements the Edelman in judging criteria, your outstanding practice work may fit better with the Wagner. We note that any work already presented in a competition run by an INFORMS society or section is eligible for the Wagner so long as that work has not already been described in a published paper.

Want more information? View the 2011 competition presentations at http://livewebcast.net/INFORMS_AM_Wagner_Prize_2011. Or, see the 2010 competition papers in Interfaces, September-October 2011.

The Wagner Prize is sponsored by CPMS – the Practice Section of INFORMS. It receives generous support from Daniel H. Wagner Associates, Inc., Metron, Inc., and Applied Mathematics, Inc.

Have questions? Wish to submit an entry? Send a note to Allen Butler, President, Daniel H. Wagner Associates, chair of the 2012 Wagner Prize committee allen.butler@va.wagner.com

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