INFORMS Student Team Competition challenges students from around the world to solve complex real-world business challenges


Ashley Smith
PR Specialist

INFORMS Student Team Competition challenges students from around the world to solve complex real-world business challenges

CATONSVILLE, MD, March 7, 2019 – Six student teams from around the world have been selected as finalists in the third annual INFORMS O.R. & Analytics Student Team Competition. The competition highlights impressive young talent and provides O.R. and analytics students the opportunity to solve the kinds of real-world workplace challenges they will face during their careers. 

Out of a record 292 teams from 25 countries registered for the 2019 competition, this year’s finalists are (in alphabetical order):

  • Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, Republic of Korea
  • Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
  • Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology, Republic of Korea
  • Tilburg University, Netherlands
  • University of Belgrade, Serbia
  • University of Maryland University College, United States

Each student team is challenged to use an O.R. and analytics approach to solve a complex business problem, using identical data sets and a choice among 10 complimentary software options.  

The problem and funding for the 2019 competition was provided by General Motors (GM), a leading vehicle manufacturer that designs, manufactures, markets, and distributes vehicles and vehicle parts, and has been pushing the limits of transportation and technology for over 100 years.

Teams were challenged to help GM analyze how autonomous vehicles may change the finished vehicle delivery and operating processes. This involved designing a vehicle delivery network, including the routing for each plant-dealer-vehicle combination. The objective was to minimize total costs while satisfying all constraints. Students were provided with GM datasets, as well as access to company technical and management personnel. 

“As an organization that has benefited from the implementation of a strong O.R. and analytics program, General Motors is thrilled to support the next generation of O.R. and analytics professionals, and better prepare them for future careers by challenging them to solve a difficult problem we face in our industry,” said Jon Owen, director of the Advanced Analytics COE at General Motors.

A panel of 18 judges comprised of industry experts and academic leaders reviewed each team’s written submission, evaluating their analytics process, including problem framing, methodology selection, data use, model building and quantitative analysis. 

In addition to the written submission, the finalist teams will present their solutions to a judging panel at the INFORMS Business Analytics Conference in Austin, TX, on April 14-16, at which time the winning teams will be chosen. 

For more information on the INFORMS O.R. & Analytics Student Team Competition, visit



With 12,500 members from nearly 90 countries, INFORMS is the largest international association of operations research (O.R.) and analytics professionals and students. INFORMS provides unique networking and learning opportunities for individual professionals, and organizations of all types and sizes, to better understand and use O.R. and analytics tools and methods to transform strategic visions and achieve better outcomes.

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