Students Tackle Complex Real-World Business Challenges in 2020 INFORMS Student Team Competition


Ashley Smith
PR Specialist

Students Tackle Complex Real-World Business Challenges in 2020 INFORMS Student Team Competition

CATONSVILLE, MD, March 31, 2020 – Six student teams from around the world are selected as finalists in the fourth annual INFORMS O.R. & Analytics Student Team Competition. The competition highlights impressive young talent and provides operations research (O.R.) and analytics students with the opportunity to solve the kind of real-world workplace challenges they will undoubtedly face during their careers. 

Out of the 274 teams from 26 countries registered for the 2020 competition, this year’s finalists are, in alphabetical order:

  • Bilkent University, Turkey
  • Boğaziçi University, Turkey
  • Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
  • Özyeğin University, Turkey
  • Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Chile
  • Tilburg University, Netherlands

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

The problem and funding for the competition were provided by the 2020 Title Sponsor, Bayer. Bayer is a leading life science company with a more than 150-year history and core competencies in the areas of healthcare and agriculture. They help diagnose, alleviate, or cure diseases and improve the global food supply. 

The competition challenged student teams to design a distribution network to determine product flows amid capacity constraints at a fictitious manufacturing company. Students were provided with realistic data about the number of facilities, locations, manufacturing processes, and equipment. The goal was to develop strategies for better planning and internal work order creation, establishing the current manufacturing capabilities, and balancing the work load across each of the manufacturing locations.

“O.R. and analytics programs are essential to our success at Bayer and this opportunity to support the next generation of O.R. and analytics professionals is unparalleled. We hope this competition and our involvement can better prepare students for future careers by challenging them with obstacles we face daily in the industry,” said Shrikant Jarugumilli, Head of Decision Science-Connected Virtual Systems, Data Science Center of Excellence at Bayer.

A panel of 16 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 by video conference on April 27 and 28. Winning teams will be announced on April 29 at a virtual awards ceremony. Check for a full schedule of presentations and access information.   

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



With more than 12,000 members from around the world, INFORMS is the largest international association of operations research (O.R.) and analytics professionals and students. INFORMS provides unique networking and learning opportunities for individuals and organizations to better understand and use O.R. and analytics tools and methods to save lives, save money, and solve problems. 


About Bayer 

Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the life science fields of healthcare and nutrition. Its products and services are designed to benefit people by supporting efforts to overcome the major challenges presented by a growing and aging global population. At the same time, the group aims to increase its earning power and create value through innovation and growth. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development, and the Bayer brand stands for trust, reliability, and quality throughout the world. In fiscal 2019, the group employed around 104,000 people and had sales of 43.5 billion euros. Capital expenditures amounted to 2.9 billion euros and R&D expenses to 5.3 billion euros. For more information, go to





Ashley Smith