The Undergraduate Operations Research Prize Competition is held each year to honor a student or groups of students who conducted original and significant theoretical and/or applied research in the field of operations research or management science during their undergraduate enrollments. The prize is given each year at the INFORMS Annual Meeting if there is a suitable recipient. However, a little less clear for now is how much of this year’s meeting will take place as a physical event and how much will happen virtually.

Winner(s) of the competition will share a prize of $500 in addition to receiving travel support to the INFORMS Annual Meeting (if the conference is not held virtually). All finalists of the competition will be invited to present their research in designated Undergraduate Research Showcase sessions at the INFORMS Annual Meeting.

Applications are due by June 30, 2020 (11:59 EST) and must consist of the following documents:

1)     Article co-authored by the entrant(s): An original research paper from the entrants’ project or work (no need to be published) presenting the problem, methods used and results reached. One or more faculty, and doctoral student(s) or post-doctoral advisor(s) may appear as co-authors of the article, but the first author must be the entrant(s) as they must have made substantial contribution to the project and to the writing of the paper with only minor editorial assistance.

2)     Reference letter: A brief letter (not exceeding two-pages) by the entrants’ research advisor or another faculty member familiar with the entrants’ work confirming the entrants’ eligibility and detailing their contribution to the research. We encourage submissions involving multidisciplinary research.

All applications including reference letters should be submitted online at the following address:

An entrant to the competition is defined as any co-authors of the submitted article who were enrolled as undergraduate students for at least one academic term between June 15, 2019 and June 15, 2020, and the following eligibility criteria must be met by the entrants and their submitted articles.

Submitted articles must also satisfy the following formatting requirements:

The criteria for review will be based on the significance of the work, creative and novel use of modeling and/or solution methodology using operations research techniques, promise of the research for future work in the field of operations research and the quality of the writing of the article in terms of its coherency and the clarity of exposition. The work may be building a different modeling approach to an established problem or providing a new insight into an emerging or important problem. Demonstration of substantial value for project sponsors (if there is any) is also a plus in evaluation.

All applicants should expect to be notified with the results of the competition by August 31, 2020.

The 2020 committee members:

Thiago Serra, Bucknell University (chair)
Lincoln Chandler
, Chandler Decision Services
Saurav Kumar Dubey, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
Xiaolei Xie, Tsinghua University
Xuying Zhao, University of Notre Dame
Shannon Harris, Ohio State University  
Eduardo Perez, Texas State University
Destenie Nock, Carnegie Mellon University
Dong "Michelle" Li, Babson College
Kayse Lee Maass, Northeastern University
Neda Mirzaeian, Carnegie Mellon University
Pengyi Shi, Purdue University


Thiago Serra, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Business Analytics
Freeman College of Management
Bucknell University