TORCH Waterloo 2020

Founded in 2011 at the University of Toronto, The Operations Research Challenge (TORCH) is a free, one-day contest designed to introduce high school students to Operations Research, a field that tackles many of today's complex decision-making problems through engineering, computer science and mathematics. The day is full of teamwork, free food and over $1000 in prizes.

TORCH 2020 will be held at the University of Waterloo on March 14, 2020, marking the 10 year anniversary of the competition, now held across 3 university campuses in Canada. Make sure to register by February 29, 2020 and help us make this year’s competition extra special! 

To learn more about TORCH, please visit

How to register

TORCH participants must be registered by a custodial parent or legal guardian, and have that person listed as the “Primary Parent” on the participant's Welcome Package and Medical Form. We are unable to accept registrations that are not completed by a participant's custodial parent or legal guardian.

The TORCH registration process includes an online portion, which must be filled in prior to acceptance and a paper portion, to be submitted in-person, the day of the competition. A participant's status is changed to registered once they have:

(1) Applied online

  • Online Application for TORCH Waterloo. Here we collect your email, dietary preferences, and other pre-event details that will help us ensure we have prepared just for you!

(2) Received an acceptance email from along with Welcome Package and Medical Forms.

(3) Handed the paper forms to a TORCH volunteer during registration on the morning of the competition. Any participant that fails to provide these forms on the day of the competition will be disqualified from the event and requested to vacate University of Waterloo property.

Please note that in order to keep this event free and open, space must be limited and the number of applicants may exceed the spaces available. Participants will be notified via email if they have a space reserved on a rolling basis. The TORCH selection committee provides no guarantees about the selection process, but will aim to work on a first-come first-serve basis, so please fill out the online application as soon as possible. If a participant receives a confirmation by email, but can no longer make it to the competition, notifying us at will allow us to accept another student and will be greatly appreciated.

We intend on making our program accessible to all who are interested. If you have any questions or concerns about the event, please feel free to contact us at

Follow us on social media:

Facebook:TORCH Waterloo 

Twitter: @UWTORCH

Instagram: @uwtorch

Event Sponsors

We at TORCH Waterloo would like to give special thanks to the Management Sciences and Combinatorics and Optimization departments, as well as to the Faculty of Engineering for sponsoring this wonderful event. Without their generous contributions and keen interest in Operations Research, we would not be here for the third year running!