INFORMS (Institute for Operations Research and Management Sciences) is the largest association in the field of operations research and analytics worldwide, which focuses on "scientific mathematical processes that enable organizations to turn complex challenges into substantial opportunities by transforming data into information, and information into insights that save lives, save money and solve problems". The INFORMS 2019 Annual Conference is held on October 20-23 2019 and is expected to attract more than 6000 students, employers, academics and industry experts from all over the world.
This year, a team of Management Engineering students is selected as a finalist for the prestigious INFORMS Undergraduate Operations Research Prize. Milan Preet Kaur, Mandeep Hanspal, Jui Dhaval Champaneri, and Sathana Srikanthan will be competing against 5 other competitors from top universities worldwide, including Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA), Northwestern University (USA), and Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Germany).
At the INFORMS 2019 Annual Conference, the team will present their paper titled “Optimal Re-allocation of Pay and Display Machines for Toronto Parking Authority”, based on their 2019 Capstone Design project supervised by Houra Mahmoudzadeh, a management sciences professor.
The team used optimization models to re-evaluate the need for pay-and-display machines throughout the City of Toronto, after observing an increase in the use of a newly-introduced Mobile Pay App. Using mathematical optimization, the students found that by optimally reallocating the machines, the city can save millions of dollars while maintaining customer service levels.
These Management Engineering students previously won the first prize at the Undergraduate Student Paper Competition of the Canadian Operations Research Society (CORS) in May 2019 and were awarded travel grants by the Sandford Fleming Foundation for partially covering the cost of attending the conference.