I’ve heard something about a Crop Challenge. Is that the same as this competition?

No. INFORMS and Syngenta have joined forces on two different competitions this year. This competition is the INFORMS O.R. & Analytics Student Team Competition. The Syngenta Crop Challenge website can be found here.  While the problems presented in the two competitions are from Syngenta, the problems themselves are different. The other difference between the two competitions is that this one is only open to students at the undergraduate and master’s level.

How many people should be on my team? How big are the other teams?

The short answer to both questions is that we can’t tell you. Although our guidelines state that teams should be at least three people, there is no upper limit, and we expect to see teams of many different sizes. The judges also feel that figuring out the optimal team size is part of the challenge!

Where can I find past results for this competition?

This competition is in its first year, so you won’t be able to find any information about past competitions.

I’m a PhD student. Can I participate?

Not as a competitor. However, we encourage student teams to have an advisor, and you’re welcome to serve in that role. The job of an advisor is to provide guidance and mentorship, and not to contribute to the work of the project.

When are entries due?

Written entries are due no later than January 30, 2017.

When will the data be available, and how will we access it?

Teams that have registered their intent to compete will be provided with access to the data sets on October 7, 2016. Also on that date, teams will receive the full entry instructions and access to software.

Do we have to use the software that you provide?

No. You may use any software that you want to help solve the problem.