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2020 Syngenta Crop Challenge in Analytics Prize Committee Announced

Panel of Esteemed Industry Experts and University Researchers to Judge International Competition Focused on Addressing Challenges in Agriculture

Syngenta and the Analytics Society of INFORMS have selected the prize committee for the 2020 Syngenta Crop Challenge in Analytics, a competition in which entrants develop data-driven models to address various challenges inherent in agriculture.

“Additionally, this challenge aims to bring awareness to the complex needs facing agriculture – and how data analytics is driving agricultural productivity.”

Now in its fifth consecutive year, the Syngenta Crop Challenge in Analytics is a collaborative effort between Syngenta and the Analytics Society of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS). In the 2020 challenge, entrants are tasked with developing data-driven methodologies that can help predict the performance of potential corn seed products.

Judges for the 2020 Syngenta Crop Challenge prize committee are:

  • Committee Chair: Durai Sundaramoorthi, Senior Lecturer, Washington University in St. Louis
  • Saurabh Bansal, Associate Professor of Supply Chain Management, Smeal College of Business, Pennsylvania State University
  • Gregory Doonan, Head of Advanced Analytics, Syngenta
  • Yujin Lee, Data Scientist, Schnuck Markets, Inc.
  • ChuanRen Liu, Assistant Professor, Haslam College of Business, University of Tennessee-Knoxville
  • Venkata Pilla, Manager, Operations Research and Advanced Analytics, American Airlines
  • Ian Sherman, Manager of Data Science, Land O’Lakes
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“We are fortunate to have enlisted a prize committee that brings as much institutional knowledge and industry experience as these experts do,” said Durai Sundaramoorthi, area coordinator and senior lecturer of data analytics at Olin Business School, Washington University in St. Louis, and Crop Challenge prize committee chair. “In addition to lending their expertise in data analytics and generously volunteering their time, these judges are helping cultivate a growing crop of data scientists.”

The prize committee will evaluate entries following the Jan. 21, 2020, submission deadline, and finalists will be announced in March 2020. All finalists will be invited to present in front of the judging panel during the 2020 INFORMS Conference on Business Analytics & Operations Research, April 26-28, 2020, in Denver. Winners will be announced during the conference. The first-place winner will receive $5,000; the runner-up will be awarded $2,500; and the third-place winner will receive $1,000.

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“At Syngenta, we are committed to accelerating innovation to address growers’ challenges, and the Syngenta Crop Challenge in Analytics is a great example of how we are applying the power of data analytics to breed better seeds that require fewer resources and are adaptable to more diverse environments,” said Gregory Doonan, Crop Challenge judge and head of advanced analytics, Syngenta. “Additionally, this challenge aims to bring awareness to the complex needs facing agriculture – and how data analytics is driving agricultural productivity.”

Established in 2015, the Syngenta Crop Challenge in Analytics is supported by Syngenta and hosted by the Analytics Society of INFORMS. It was initially funded by prize winnings donated by Syngenta in connection with the company’s 2015 win of the Franz Edelman Award for Achievement in Operations Research and the Management Sciences, an international award that recognizes excellence in the industry.

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