Student Analytical Scholar Competition

INFORMS and SAS in 2017 are once again happy to offer a scholarship program for the INFORMS Conference on Business Analytics and Operations Research. This competitive program, supported by SAS® and sponsored by the Analytics Society of INFORMS, recognizes one outstanding student who would like to learn more about the practice of analytics at this annual conference by covering the costs of attending the event and additional networking opportunities. Honorable Mention winners may be named if other applicants merit special recognition.

2017 Winner(s)

Purpose of the Award

The purpose of the competition is to practice the process of structuring and presenting a compelling proposal for analytical work. Applicants will be asked to produce a document, known as a “Statement of Work” (SOW), for a case study based on a real-life project. Such documents are usually created early in a project, after some exploratory work, but may or may not fully define the problem.

This year's case study:

Rate Optimization at East Atlantic Railways


What does the scholarship cover?SAS provides initial documentation for the case study and makes available resources that will act as the ‘customer’ through questions and answers posted to an online discussion board open January 30 - February 10, 2017. Applicants are encouraged to ask questions and explore the problem definition to be able to put together a viable, professional SOW. The winner is selected as would occur in a real bidding contest–based on the cohesion, proper use of assumptions, demonstrated technical and presentation skill in the SOW, and practicality of the proposed approach to solve the business problem.

  • Round-trip flight to the conference and round-trip ground transportation from the Las Vegas airport.
  • Hotel (3-4 nights, depending on the home location)
  • Most meals (which are included in the conference registration)
  • Registration for the conference and the Professional Colloquium
  • Consultation on how the real case study was addressed in practice
  • Publicity for the winning submission

What are the key application dates?

  • February 13, 2017 – applications must be received by midnight Eastern Time; applications received after the deadline will NOT be accepted
  • March 6, 2017 – winner notified
  • March 10, 2017 – deadline for student to confirm attendance

Application Process

View information about eligibility, procedures and deadlines
Click here for more information


Polly Mitchell-Guthrie – contest contact

Maarten Oosten

Loren Williams

Pelin Pekgun
University of South Carolina

Dasaradh Mallampati
BNSF Railway

Aysegul Cansizoglu
Boston Consulting Group

Past Awardees

2017 Winner(s)
Trilce Encarnación, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
2016 Winner(s)
Maya Bam, University of Michigan
2016 Honorable Mention
Michael Prokle, University of Massachusetts Jan Vlachy, Georgia Institute of Technology
2015 Winner(s)
Jodie Lam, University of British Columbia
2015 Honorable Mention
Qinlu (Louisa) Chen, University of British Columbia
2014 Winner(s)
Dan Boardman, Baruch College's Zicklin School of Business
2014 Honorable Mention
Leonardo Carrasco, University of British Columbia
Lukas Halim, North Carolina State University Institute for Advanced Analytics
2013 Winner(s)
Oleksandr Akulov, University of British Columbia
2013 Honorable Mention
Anirudha Kulkarni, Rochester Institute of Technology
Shin Woong Sung, Korea Advanced Institute for Science and Technology
2012 Winner(s)
Sarah LaRocca, John Hopkins University