Guajardo to the finals
Assistant Professor Mario Guajardo, Department of Business and Management Science, receives prestigious laureate for his research on the scheduling of Chilean Soccer Leagues and South American World Cup Qualifiers.
The 2016 Franz Edelman competition was arranged 10-12 April in Orlando, USA, as a main track of the INFORMS Conference on Business Analytics and Operations Research. INFORMS gathers more than 600 researchers every year.
30 works apply
Mario Guajardo was qualified for the final of the competition, together with colleagues from Chile and Argentina, with the work: “Operations Research Transforms Scheduling of Chilean Soccer Leagues and South American World Cup Qualifiers”.
“We have scheduled sports leagues since 2005, mainly for the soccer leagues run by the Chilean Professional Soccer Association (ANFP). More recently, we did a schedule which is being used for the South American Qualifiers for the next 2018 World Cup in Russia”, says Mario Guajardo.
Every year, about 30 works apply for The Franz Edelman Award for Achievement in Operations Research and the Management Sciences. 12 works are selected as semi-finalists, of which only six advance to the final. Finalists are chosen on the merits of how analytics methodologies were applied to solve problems, reduce costs, or otherwise improve results in real-world environments.
The winner was a UPS team for the work “UPS On Road Integrated Optimization and Navigation Project”. This is a huge project by a world leading postal service company, expected to save $300-$400 million annually, reduce annual CO2 emissions by 100,000 metric tons, and decrease yearly fuel consumption by 10 million gallons.
“The medal I’ve got is the symbol of being inducted as a Franz Edelman Laureate, by INFORMS. This is given to all authors who have qualified as finalist of the INFORMS Franz Edelman Award”, Guajardo explains.
Recognized for high visibility
Beside the schedule of the leagues, what caught the attention of the jury was the high external visibility and strong educational component developed by the project.
“This aspect differentiated us from other applications and ended up being an important part of our presentation in the final. In this, the dissemination at NHH and in Norway in general was very important”.
“A guest lecture held yearly at the BED15 course in our bachelor programme, the participation at the Forsker Grand Prix and other press articles, were part of the material the jury asked us to gather to show that the project did not only have impact in the sports associations but also more broadly”, he says.
“For us just qualifying for the final was huge, competing there in the real world league finals of OR/MS. And being deemed INFORMS Franz Edelman Laureate is an honour that stays forever. I personally feel that it was one of the greatest milestones of my academic career so far, perhaps a once in a lifetime experience”.
About the competion
The Franz Edelman Award for Achievement in Operations Research and the Management Sciences (OR/MS) is the world’s most prestigious recognition for excellence in developing and applying advanced analytical methods to help organizations solve complex problems or create new opportunities that result in highly impactful outcomes for the economy and society.
Each finalist team is given 40 minutes to present, which is followed by 10 minutes of questions from the jury. Every detail must be taken care for the presentation, including the time restriction, a strong call to include videos and professional slides. All presentations are recorded and then posted in the video learning center of INFORMS.
The awards ceremony is described by INFORMS as an “Oscar-like” gala. A short summary of the project is given during this gala. A video of the gala is posted in youtube, (Mario and his team appear at about minute 54:00 and NHH is listed within the Franz Edelman Academy around 1:15:00).