Wagner Prize Application Process

Abstract Deadline: May 1, 2024 


Application deadline:  May 1, 2024 11:59pm (US pacific)

Semifinalist selections: mid-June 2024

Initial paper submission: July 31, 2024 11:59pm (US eastern)

Finalist Selections: August 30, 2024

Full paper submission: September 20, 2024 11:59pm (US eastern)

In-Person Competition (and reprise for the winning team): October 20-23, 2024 during the INFORMS Annual Meeting (Seattle, Washington) 

Reprise Presentation and award: April 2025 INFORMS Conference on Business Analytics and Operations Research, Indianapolis, Indiana

Preparing Your Abstract

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General Guidelines

To be eligible for the Daniel H. Wagner Prize for Excellence in the Practice of Advanced Analytics and Operations Research, an applicant must submit:

  • A 2-4 page abstract in English that provides evidence of mathematical development, solution, unique new algorithm, or series of coherent advances developed in conjunction with an application.
  • Written verification of success in practice (preferably on the letterhead of the organization that has benefited from the work).
  • Written permission by the author(s) for publication of a previously unpublished, English-language paper in the INFORMS journal (INFORMS Journal on Applied Analytics), and assignment of copyright to INFORMS.
  • Written commitment, if selected as a finalist, to make a high quality, in-person 30-minute presentation at the 2024 INFORMS Annual Meeting in Seattle, WA.
  • Written commitment, if selected as the winner, to reprise the winning presentation at the 2024 INFORMS Annual Meeting in Seattle, WA and at the 2025 INFORMS Conference on Business Analytics and Operations Research in Indianapolis, IN.

A judging committee will select semifinalists based on the abstracts and verification of success in practice. Semifinalists will be invited to submit formal papers. The judging committee will select finalists, provide written comments by the committee, and invite them to submit final papers. INFORMS will schedule the public in-person presentations of the final entries at the fall INFORMS Annual Meeting. Judges will select the winning entry on the basis of:

  • Utility or success of the work in one or more real world practice applications.
  • Quality and coherence of analysis and originality of mathematical solutions.
  • Quality and clarity of writing.
  • Quality and clarity of in-person oral presentation.

The judging committee will announce the winner at award ceremonies at the same meeting, after the public presentations. The winner of the Daniel H. Wagner prize will then reprise their presentation at the same meeting and at the following spring INFORMS Analytics Conference. The committee will select semifinalists, finalists, and the winning entry at its sole discretion. All decisions are final.


Submissions must be 2-4 double-spaced pages (including abstracts, tables, figures, and references), with 12-point font and 1-inch margins all around.


Make your title short, descriptive, and specific. Instead of “Systems Analysis and Order Processing in a Multiechelon System,” try “Verizon Uses Systems Analysis to Speed Telephone Orders.” When judges are told they are going to read about a telephone company, they have a vivid image that includes the notion of a “multiechelon system.” Titles should be a maximum of 10 words in length—when possible, even fewer words is preferable.

Figures and Tables

Please write captions for figures and tables as complete sentences that explain the figure or table fully without forcing the reader to refer to the text. Conversely, readers should not have to refer back and forth between the text to the exhibits to understand the paper. If the caption exceeds one sentence, break and set second and subsequent sentences as a lightface note below figure/table. Precede that text with heading Note for one sentence and Notes for multiple sentences. Please refer to figures where appropriate with “(Figure 1)” and explain the meaning and implications of your data fully in the text. Do not require the reader to interpret the figure to understand what you have done, as in “Figure 1 shows the outcome of this survey.” Tables should list information in logical order.

Please be sure that figures are effective and efficient in their use of space. Labels interior to the figure should be large enough to be legible when the figure is reduced. Show the figure number and, if necessary, indicate the vertical direction of the figure. Label each figure numerically using the word “Figure” or “Table.


Do not use footnotes. If information is important, it deserves a place in the text.


Due to the length and nature of the abstract, headings are not mandatory. If you use headings, please use no more than two levels of headings. Do not use numbered headings; to refer to a particular section, use the title of the section (e.g., use “in the Research Planning section, we describe…” rather than “in Section 5, we describe…”).


Please do not include a set of keywords with your abstract.

Mathematical Notation

Mathematical notation should be chosen so that the formulas and ideas presented in them are clear. Important details can be found here. Write the body of the paper in words and put mathematical details in an appendix. If you insert equations elsewhere, please use numbers enclosed in parentheses flush with the right margin. When referring to the equation in the text, use the format ‘Equation (1)’.


References should be listed alphabetically by author name at the end of the paper in conformance with journal style. In-text citations should be indicated by the author’s last name and year of publication, e.g., (Norman 1977) or Norman (1977). Click here for examples of reference style.

To cite previous issues of IJAA, please reference the journal name that was used at the time of publication. Volume 1, issues 1 (1970) and 2 (1971) should use “The Bulletin”, volume 1, issue 4 (1971) through volume 48, issue 6 (2018) should use “Interfaces”, and volume 49, issue 1 (2019) forward should use “INFORMS Journal on Applied Analytics”.

Source Files

Either MS Word or PDF source files may be submitted.

Supplementary Material

If your paper has supplemental material (i.e., an electronic-companion; additional material that is too voluminous to include in the IJAA printed article), please provide it in a separate file labeled “Supplementary File” and designate it as such in the submission system. Examples of electronic companions include backup tables and figures, programs, code, and executable software.

Artificial Intelligence Policy

Generative AI presents opportunities and challenges. During the review process, there is a risk that such technology could produce incorrect, incomplete, or biased reports and outcomes. These considerations, together with the principle that submitted manuscripts are to be treated as confidential documents, result in the following guidelines for anyone involved in the INFORMS Journal on Applied Analytics process:

  • All opinions expressed by each member of the review team (Reviewers, Associate Editor, Senior Editor) should be theirs and theirs only.
  • The author of any report is responsible for the accuracy of all facts and references cited in the report.
  • Members of the review team should not deliberately upload a manuscript (or any portion thereof) submitted to INFORMS Journal on Applied Analytics into a Generative AI tool in a way that might lead to violations of copyright and/or confidentiality.
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Learn more about the award, past winners, and Dr. Wagner


2023 & 2024 Committee Chair

James Cochran
University of Alabama
Email questions to: awards@informs.org 

Submissions are accepted through INFORMS Awards Portal.  Deadline for abstracts for the 2024 competition is 11:59pm US eastern time May 1, 2024. 

We particularly encourage applicants that can demonstrate excellence in practice, with verifiable results, but the quantitative impact of which is smaller than those normally associated with the Franz Edelman Award for Achievement in Operations Research. Finalists' papers will be published in a special issue of INFORMS Journal on Applied Analytics.


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