Bansal Wins Second Place at INFORMS Annual Conference

Bansal INFORMS 2d PLace.PNG

Manish Bansal, Ph.D. student in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, won the second-place award at the 2013 INFORMS Interactive Poster Presentation Competition that was part of the INFORMS Conference in Minneapolis Oct. 6-9.

For his second-place award, Bansal received a check for $250 and a plaque.

There were three rounds in the competition. First, participants submitted their posters prior to the conference. From these submissions, the judges selected the semifinalists to be evaluated in Round 2. During this round, each semifinalist presented individually to two judges. Presentations were limited to five minutes, at the end of the five minutes the next judge appeared and the semifinalist presented again. From this round the judges selected the finalists.

The 10 judges formed two teams and finalists presented to each team separately. The interactive judging had candidates presenting while receiving comments and questions from the judges.

When asked how he handled what could easily have been a stressful situation, Bansal said, “I didn’t know what would happen; I just performed.” He said that he borrowed a technique from his adviser, Dr. Kiavash Kianfar, which was to figure out an approach that gets the audience’s interest, then go for it.

Kianfar said, “I am truly impressed by the volume of fundamental discoveries that Manish has made in his research on integer optimization in a short period of time. He moved very quickly from learning to posing great research questions to finding exciting answers. Manish exemplifies an extremely motivated and talented student who never loses the sight of the real goal: knowing more and becoming a better researcher. This is the characteristic that brings you such recognitions. Congratulations to him!”

In response to the news, Dr. Yu Ding, director of graduate studies in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, said, "Congratulations to Manish and to Dr. Kianfar on this achievement. I know the interactive presentation event is highly competitive; being selected to participate is a distinction. Winning an award is an exceptional accomplishment.”

Bansal's parents, Raksha Bansal and Yashpal Bansal (who are industrialists), have conveyed this message from India: "Congratulations and thanks to the IE department, especially Manish's academic father (Dr. Kianfar), for this accomplishment."