Meet the 2020 Syngenta Crop Challenge in Analytics Prize Committee

The 2020 Syngenta Crop Challenge in Analytics judging panel includes experts with backgrounds in agriculture, education and technology. The committee will evaluate the entries on the use of predictive modeling to improve corn seed hybrid selection and decision-making.

Saurabh Bansal

Saurabh Bansal

Saurabh is an Associate Professor of Supply Chain Management at Pennsylvania State University’s Smeal College of Business. Areas of focus for his research and teaching include model- and data-driven understanding for how business managers perceive and estimate uncertainties, descriptive models for how business managers react to those uncertainties, and prescriptive optimization-based models for how business managers should react to uncertainties. Saurabh holds editorships for multiple industry publications, including Operations Research, Decision Analysis and Journal of Operations Management. He received his doctorate in Risk Analysis and Decision Making from University of Texas.

Greg Doonan

Greg Doonan

Greg is Head of Advanced Analytics at Syngenta, where he and his team are responsible for delivering insights and solutions to improve the quality, efficiency and productivity of Syngenta’s breeding programs and operations. During his nearly 20 years at Syngenta, he has held a variety of roles in research and development — encompassing platform and protocol development of high throughput systems, soybean trait development and global genetic projects in oilseeds.

Greg’s efforts, along with the work of his colleagues in Soybean Product Development, were recognized in 2015 when Syngenta won the Franz Edelman Award for Achievement in Operations Research and the Management Sciences and became the first agriculture company ever to win the prestigious award.

Yujin Lee

Yujin Lee

Yujin is a data scientist at Schnuck Markets, Inc., where she collaborates with multiple departments and creates innovative solutions to meet the company’s goals. Before joining Schnucks, she worked as a data analyst at Monsanto, where she gained significant knowledge of agriculture. She also has served as a research assistant for Syngenta, applying predictive and prescriptive algorithms to Syngenta crop datasets. Yujin is an active mentor for students and an avid supporter of women in the data science field.

ChuanRen Liu

ChuanRen Liu

ChaunRen is an Assistant Professor in the Business Analytics & Statistics department at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville’s Haslam College of Business. His research interests include data mining and knowledge discovery, and he has published papers in journals and conference proceedings, such as IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering, INFORMS Journal on Computing, and European Journal of Operational Research. ChaunRen received his doctorate from Rutgers University.

Venkata Pilla

Venkata Pilla

Venkata is a manager in the Operations Research and Advanced Analytics team at American Airlines. He has 13 years of experience leading cross functional teams in the development and delivery of decision tools to support various business groups within the airline. Currently, he is leading the research and development team to support revenue management. His team looks for innovative ways to solve complex airline pricing and yield management problems using optimization and machine learning techniques. Venkata received his doctorate from the University of Texas at Arlington.

Durai Sundaramoorthi

Durai Sundaramoorthi, Prize Committee Chair

Durai is the area coordinator and senior lecturer of data analytics at Olin Business School, Washington University in St. Louis. He received his doctorate in industrial engineering (data analytics concentration) from the University of Texas at Arlington, where he performed his research in the Center on Stochastic Modeling, Optimization, and Statistics (COSMOS). His research interests include business analytics, machine learning, optimization, simulation, and simulation-based optimization applied to diverse applications.

Along with his colleagues, he won third prize in the 2017 Syngenta Crop Challenge in Analytics. Additionally, the paper he co-authored with his colleagues from the 2016 Syngenta Crop Challenge in Analytics won the 2017 INFORMS Data Mining Best Paper Award and 2018 Olin Award.

Ian Sherman

Ian Sherman

Ian is Manager of Data Science at Land O’Lakes, leading advanced analytics and machine learning efforts across Land O’Lakes business units — supporting WinField United Agriculture Solutions, Purina Animal Feed & Supplements and Land O’Lakes-branded dairy foods. Prior to joining Land O’Lakes, Ian held analytics positions at Centriam, G&K Services and SUPERVALU. He holds an MBA from University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management.