The Operations Research Society of South Africa each year awards two prestige medals to the winners of its national student competition. These medals are
- The Gerhard Geldenhuys Medal for the Best Fourth Year Project, and
- The Theodor Stewart Medal for the Best Masters Thesis,
as featured in the March 2013 edition of the Society's Newsletter. Halls of Fame, featuring past winners of these medals, may be found at http://www.orssa.org.za/wiki/pmwiki.php?n=Awards.StudentCompetition.
The medals are awarded at the annual conference which this year takes place from 10 to 13 September at Champagne Sports Resort, Central Drakensberg (see the conference website at http://www.orssa.org.za/wiki/pmwiki.php?n=Conf.ORSSA). Entries to the competition will be ranked by an independent Selection Committee of expert judges not affiliated with the tertiary institutions of nominees, based solely on the written project or thesis submissions, after which the top two entries in each of the underlined categories above will be designated as finalists. There will be a special finalists' competition session at the conference during which these finalists (or representatives appointed by them) will be required to present their work in order to showcase the quality of the best operational research work by students in South Africa. Should a finalist neither be able to present their work at the conference nor be able to send a representative to present their work on their behalf, such an entry will be disqualified, in which case the third ranked entry, then the fourth ranked entry and so forth will be designated as finalist, until two finalists have been identified whose work can indeed be presented at the conference.
Nominations for written projects/theses in the above underlined categories are gathered by a Nomination Committee, which acts independently from the eventual Selection Committee. Supervising Lecturers are hereby invited to submit entries for the above competition categories to Marthi Harmse, the convenor of the Nomination Committee, at firstname.lastname@example.org by no later than Friday May 19th 2017. Students are not allowed to nominate their own work. Each nomination should be accompanied by a completed nomination form (see attached), and include a short statement by the supervisor in question on the degree of independence with which the student conducted the research as well as an electronic copy of the relevant project/thesis in pdf format on which the following information should appear clearly:
- Name of the student,
- Name of the supervisor, and
- Name of the University at which the project was submitted.
It is a requirement that students whose projects or theses are submitted should have qualified for graduation at their respective universities late in 2016 or early in 2017 (i.e. no earlier than May 1st 2016 and no later than April 30th 2017). The finalists will be announced on Friday June 30th 2017 and will be required to register and submit an abstract on their submitted work online (at http://www.orssa.org.za/wiki/pmwiki.php?n=Conf.SubmitAbstract) for presentation at the annual conference by July 14th 2017. A new set of competition rules, recently approved by the Executive Committee of the Operations Research Society of South Africa, is attached for your information.
Chair of the ORSSA Student Competition Nomination Committee