2021 Syngenta Crop Challenge in Analytics prize committee named

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16 December 2020, Downers Grove: Syngenta Seeds and the Analytics Society of INFORMS have announced the prize committee for the 2021 Syngenta Crop Challenge in Analytics, a competition in which students and professionals in the fields of statistics, data analytics and mathematics develop data-driven models to address some of the most pressing issues in agriculture.

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The Syngenta Crop Challenge in Analytics is a collaborative effort between Syngenta and the Analytics Society of INFORMS. The competition aims to spark cross-industry collaboration that is necessary to address the complex problems facing farmers as they strive to feed a growing population with limited resources. For the 2021 challenge, entrants are asked to develop analytical approaches to optimize year-round corn hybrid breeding processes.

The 2021 Syngenta Crop Challenge prize committee judges are:

Committee Chair, Durai Sundaramoorthi, Senior Lecturer, Washington University 

Saurabh Bansal, Associate Professor, Smeal College of Business, Pennsylvania State University

Gregory Doonan, Head of Advanced Analytics, Syngenta Seeds

Esma Gel, Associate Professor, Arizona State University

Ingmar Steinzen, Manager Director and CEO, OPTANO

Yong Bao, Sr. Data Scientist, Land O’Lakes

“We are honored to have such an esteemed group of professionals dedicating their time and expertise to make the Syngenta Crop Challenge in Analytics a success,” said Sundaramoorthi, area coordinator and senior lecturer of data analytics at Olin Business School, Washington University in St. Louis. “Our goal as a committee is to help inspire a new group of data scientists to tackle the complex issues facing global food production.”

Entries to the Syngenta Crop Challenge in Analytics must be submitted by Jan. 20, 2021. The prize committee will evaluate submissions based on quantitative metrics as well as the simplicity and intuitiveness of the solution, and clarity in the explanation. The finalists will be announced in March 2021 and invited to present in front of the judging panel during the INFORMS Conference on Business Analytics & Operations Research in April 2021. Winners will be announced during the conference with first place receiving $5,000; the runner-up receiving $2,500; and third place receiving $1,000.

“Syngenta Seeds is committed to accelerating innovation so that we can help growers feed a rapidly growing population while using fewer resources,” said Gregory Doonan, Crop Challenge judge and head of advanced analytics, Syngenta Seeds. “The Syngenta Crop Challenge in Analytics embodies that commitment. It presents a unique and valuable opportunity for us to connect a new generation of scientists and cross-industry experts with the important work of helping growers produce more food.” 

Established in 2015, the Syngenta Crop Challenge in Analytics is now in its sixth consecutive year. It was initially funded by prize winnings donated by Syngenta Seeds 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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