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Kaggle Competition: Optimizing Santa's Workshop

Each year, Santa (the jolly old elf) has a grueling toy-production schedule to keep. Toy orders arrive all year long, and production must be completed by noon North Pole Time on December 24 in order to make an on-time Christmas delivery. Santa’s workshop also must comply with strict rules of the Elfin Workers Union.

This year, in partnership with Kaggle, a platform for predictive modeling competitions, we are asking: Can Santa’s operation be optimized mathematically? Is it possible to create a job scheduling algorithm that not only meets Santa’s toy target, but keeps his elves healthy and happy? Can Santa’s workshop be brought out of the dark ages of magic and holiday spirit, and transformed into a highly optimized modern operation?

If you have answers, there are prizes of up to $20,000 to win in three categories, and, of course, a spot on the nice list. Competition details are available on the Kaggle competition home page. There is also $5,000 reserved for the best solution using FICO Xpress Optimization Suite. Interested? Download Xpress (requires registration) and get started. We can’t wait to see what you come up with (and neither can Father Christmas).

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