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{ Category Archives } Challenges

Data Mining Competition from FICO and UCSD

I am a sucker for competitions.  I have run a few in the past, and I see my page on the Traveling Tournament Problem as an indefinite length computational competition.    Data Mining naturally leads to competitions:  there are so many alternative techniques out there and little idea of what might work well or poorly on […]

Kindle and Math

Added January 6 2012.  Note that this post refers to the kindle circa 2009.  See this discussion on reddit for more recent (late 2011) information.  Unfortunately I no longer use a Kindle so I cannot provide any updated information. The new Kindle from Amazon is out, and it is receiving a lot of press.  Aurelie […]

ROADEF Challenge

The French OR society ROADEF runs a challenge every two years. This year’s challenge (actually the 2009 challenge) is on an interesting and important topic: flight disruption. —————————————————————– Subject of the challenge 2009: Disruption Management for commercial aviation —————————————————————– Commercial airlines operate flights according to a published flight schedule that is optimized from a revenue […]

More do OR and make money!

Francisco Marco-Serrano, author of the fmwaves blog pointed out another contest to determine a recommender system.  Unlike the Netfix contest, which might not end up with a winner, the MyStrands contest appears to guarantee $100,000, and all that is needed is an idea.  Again, this seems like a good opportunity for those in OR to […]

Aurelie Thiele on Operations Research

Aurelie Thiele of Lehigh has a wide-ranging blog on “Thoughts on business, engineering and higher education”. Many of her posts are on operations research. I particularly liked her thoughtful piece on the role operations research plays in the Grand Challenges in Engineering. The leadership of INFORMS put together a white paper on the subject, which […]

Student finds small Turing machine

I wrote previously about a competition Stephen Wolfram (of Mathematica fame) had to show that a particularly small Turing Machine (the “2,3 Turing Machine”) is universal. Sure enough it is, as shown by a University of Birmingham (UK) student, Alex Smith, as reported in Nature. This machine, as shown in a diagram from Wolfram’s blog […]

Timetabling competition

I really like optimization competitions, having run a challenge or two in my time.  As part of the PATAT (Practice and Theory of Automated Timetabling) conference series, there will be a timetabling competition held over the next six months.  If you think you have a good approach for solving these sorts of problems, give it […]

C’mon! What are the big challenges?

Last call for thoughts about the National Academy of Engineers Grand Challenges activity.  What can OR offer to this initiative?  Check out the “OR and the Grand Challenges” web site, and particularly INFORMS response.  Now is the time to get your thoughts in.

Operations Research and Turing Machines

From An anonymous reader writes “Stephen Wolfram, creator of Mathematica and author of A New Kind of Science, is offering a prize of $25K to anyone who can prove or disprove his conjecture that a particular 2-state, 3-color Turing machine is universal. If true, it would be the simplest universal TM, and possibly the […]

Grand Challenges in Engineering

The National Academy of Engineering is soliciting thoughts on “Grand Challenges for Engineering“, setting an agenda for the next 100 years. Of course, such a goal is impossibly ambitious: imagine trying to do such a think in 1907, and come even close to what the last 100 years have achieved (or failed at). But in […]