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Local high school students test their math skills at first TORCH competition at the University of Waterloo

Thursday, March 29, 2018

On March 17, 2018,  over 40 high school students from the Waterloo Region tested their math skills and learned more about the field of operations research at the The Operations Research Challenge (TORCH). The competition was jointly organized by volunteer graduate students in the Department of Management Sciences in the Faculty of Engineering and the Department of Combinatorics and Optimization in the Faculty of Math. It was held in parallel in the campuses of the University of Waterloo, University of Toronto, and Concordia University in Montreal, QC.

TORCH competitors working to solve one of the problems 

A team of Waterloo TORCH competitors working to solve a problem

Founded in 2011 at the University of Toronto, 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 the use of engineering, computer science, and mathematics.

After completing the competition, the students heard from professors Mehrdad Pirnia of Management Sciences and Laura Sanita of Combinatorics and Optimization about their experiences in the field of Operations Research, its applications in various fields and industries, and how the Management Engineering and Combinatorics and Optimization programs at the University of Waterloo can help students specialize in this field.

Prof. Mehrdad Pirnia discusses his experience in Operations Research

Prof. Pirnia discusses his experience in the field of Operations Research