November 10, 2015 - Last week, we had the pleasure of hosting a hackathon with our partner Booz Allen Hamilton and Southwest Airlines at the INFORMS Annual Meeting in Philadelphia. The idea for this event began as a desire from AIMMS to engage with students in a more personal way at the INFORMS Annual Conference, often attended by 5,000 people. This passion was shared by Booz Allen and Southwest Airlines who also felt that hands on training and tackling a real world problem would provide students with important, marketable skills to help them succeed.
Leading up to the event, each individual team member received an AIMMS license and a tutorial so they could get familiar with the AIMMS software and optimization techniques. We also invited everyone to a Google Group where we shared some practice problems and had some trivia questions to familiarize people with optimization.
The problem posed at the hackathon was introduced by Southwest Airlines. Network Planning departments at airlines and various other types of transportation organizations are always looking to maximize the efficiency and productivity of their networks. Prior to scheduling and routing aircraft, for instance, the Southwest team must first come up with a set of frequencies they wish to fly nonstop between two airports within the network. The optimization problem that was tackled during the hackathon attempted to maximize the efficiency and productivity of the network by focusing solely on maximizing total network profitability.
Each participant received a certificate of participation and were invited to the AIMMS cocktail party on Monday. The winning team was Katherine Anne Giles, a recent MBA grad from the Tepper School of Business and Iman Dayarian, a postdoctoral fellow from the University of Toronto. These lucky winners received $600 in Southwest gift cards.
A heartfelt congratulations and thank you to all participants from the AIMMS team! You all made this a great event!
Read more about the hackathon on Analytics Magazine.
Iman Dayarian (winner), Katherine Anne Giles (winner), Gertjan de Lange (AIMMS), Cenk Tunsar (BAH), Lonny Hurwitz (southwest airlines) and Jerry Yurchisin (BAH).