Winners of the Inaugural John Andrew George Memorial Prize

At the 2017 ORSNZ the first John Andrew George Memorial Prizes were awarded. This prize was established by Grant Read, Vicky Mabin, Bob Cavana, and John Buchanan in memory of former ORSNZ Vice President John George, who passed away in November last year.

While most OR projects are expected to deliver “benefits” of various kinds, the emphasis here is not on purely economic, or even purely environmental, benefits, but on efforts to better the lives of others.  It is thus about the motivation, heart and soul of the project.  So the key consideration was be the following question:

“How will this work contribute to improving the quality of people’s lives, particularly those who may otherwise be vulnerable or disadvantaged, now, or in future?”

This prize was open to all papers presented for the YPP, and was awarded jointly to:

Samuel Ridler – Ambulance simulation and optimisation; and
Samin ArefComputing the frustration index in signed graphs using binary programming.

Left to right: Samuel Riddler (JAG Award Winner), Grant Read, Vicky Mabin, Bob Cavana (judges), and Michael O’Sullivan (ORSNZ President).

Young Practitioner’s Prize Winners 2017

At the 51st ORSNZ Conference held in December 2017, we had 14 entries into the Young Practitioner’s Prize, which was sponsored by Trustpower. There were three prizes awarded:

  • 1st Place: Oscar Dowson – SDDP.jl: a Julia package for Stochastic Dual Dynamic Programming
  • 2nd Place: Thomas Adams – Balancing Physician Workloads Under Uncertain Admissions
  • 3rd Place: Isaac Cleland – Solving a Generalised Staff Rostering Problem

Dr Michael J O’Sullivan (ORSNZ President) and Mr Danny Tsai (Trustpower) present YPP certificates to Oscar Dowson (left), Thomas Adams (middle), and Isaac Cleland (right)

Mini-conference on Infrastructure Planning under Uncertainty

As part of the 2017 ORSNZ Annual Conference, there will be a 1-day mini-conference on Infrastructure Planning under Uncertainty on Wednesday 13 December. This day will begin with a plenary presentation by Prof. Michael Ferris (see the program for details), and end with an analytics forum event, and a discussion panel.

Also, we would like to remind you that Tuesday, 31 October is the final day for abstract submissions, as well as early-bird registrations. We welcome both practical and theoretical talks utilising either operations research, or analytics methods.

ORSNZ annual conference 2017: Plenary speaker announced

Michael C. Ferris

Plenary Speaker Confirmed
We’re pleased to announce that Professor Michael Ferris, the Optimization Theme Leader at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, will be a plenary speaker at the upcoming ORSNZ annual conference being held in Auckland, December 11-14.

This plenary will be held on the Wednesday morning (13 December).

Registration and Abstract Submission
If you have not yet submitted an abstract, please do so. October 31 is the deadline for both abstract submission, and the early-bird registration. Please try to submit your abstract in advance of this date, to enable us to provide responses in a timely manner.

ORSNZ Annual Conference 2017

The link for registering for the upcoming ORSNZ Annual Conference (10 December – 14 December 2017) is now live. You can register from this page.

Note that the deadline for both early-bird registration and abstract submission is 31 October 2017.

More details about the conference are given below.

Call for Papers

Abstracts can now be submitted for the upcoming ORSNZ Annual Conference, being held in Auckland from the 10th to the 14th of December 2017. This year it is being held in parallel with the Joint IASC/NZSA conference, at the University of Auckland Business School.

Abstract Submission

We welcome presentations on any aspect of operations research, analytics or management science, especially practical applications.

Submissions from students and practitioners are greatly encouraged. Abstracts should be 200 words or fewer and are to be submitted as plain text (not a PDF file) through EasyChair.

Oral presentations will be 20 minutes in length (15 + 5 for questions). All abstracts will be considered by the conference committee, and the authors notified of their acceptance or otherwise.

Please see this page for more information on the abstract submission process. Note that the abstract submission deadline is October 31, with optional full papers due by November 27.


Early bird registration closes on October 31, and the final deadline for registration is December 3.

Please see this page for details about the registration fees. (The registration payment page is not yet live, but will be available within the next week.)

ORSNZ Young Practitioners’ Prize (YPP)

OR practitioners and students who are within 5 years of graduation on the first day of the conference (10 December) are invited to compete for $1000 of prizes in the ORSNZ Young Practitioners’ Prize competition. When registering for the conference, competitors should request that their paper be entered for the YPP, and also include YPP as a keyword when submitting the abstract. Note that a full paper must be submitted in order enter the YPP.

Plenary Speakers

The following plenary speakers have been confirmed for the IASC/NZSA conference.

  • Jennifer Bryan
  • Ross Ihaka
  • Luke Tierney
  • Simon Urbanek

Please see this page for more information, including brief bios for each of the speakers.

(Note that by registering for the ORSNZ conference you will be able to attend these plenaries and other sessions of the IASC/NZSA conference.)

2016 Young Practitioner Prize Winners

At the 2016 Joint NZSA+ORSNZ Conference we had 7 high-quality papers submitted for the YPP, sponsored by Orbit Systems. Three prizes were awarded:

  • First-place: Ryan Cory-Wright, University of Auckland. Cost-recovering, revenue-adequate single settlement schemes for electricity markets.
  • Highly commended: Melissa Welsh, Victoria University of Wellington. Modelling traceability in the dairy industry.
  • Highly commended: Danielle Gatland, University of Auckland. Mapping electric vehicle range.
YPP Winners with Prof. Andy Philpott. From right: Melissa Welsh, Ryan Cory-Wright, and Danielle Gatland. Credit: Howard Henderson.

Copies of their papers can be found on the proceedings page of the conference website, here.

ORSNZ Celebrates 50th Annual Conference

The Operations Research Society of New Zealand celebrated its 50th annual conference last week at the 2016 Joint NZSA+ORSNZ Conference held at the Auckland University of Technology.

After the morning plenary on the first day of the conference, Prof. Andy Philpott (a former president of the society) noted that this is in fact the 51st anniversary of the society (having been established in 1965). However, since there was no ORSNZ conference in 1997 (members instead attended the APORS conference in Sydney), last week’s conference was indeed our 50th.

A cake was provided at the morning tea break in celebration. The (envy-free) cutting of the cake problem was solved by having Andy Philpott and Grant Read jointly make the first cut.

Andy Philpott and Grant Read
Andy Philpott and Grant Read cut the cake celebrating ORSNZ’s 50th conference.