The OR Society Undergraduate Award

One prize is awarded per registered institution per academic year. At each institution, the student who completes the best OR project as part of their relevant undergraduate degree course is awarded: 

  • A certificate
  • £50
  • The opportunity to present an overview of their project at The OR Society’s Education and Research Seminar
  • Each winning student’s name, their institution and course details and project abstract is published on The OR Society's website
  • An article also features in Inside OR magazine with photographs of all prize winners at the seminar series or with photographs forwarded by the institutions

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To request an application form, please contact us using the form opposite.

Please submit entries via the form opposite, unless unfeasible. If you are unable to do this, please contact the office and ask for Carol McLaughlin.

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Citations for The OR Society Undergraduate Award 2021

Nikolaos Constantinou, University of Warwick

Following graduation from his degree in Mathematics, Operational Research, Economics and Statistics (MMORSE) Nikolas will be joining the CDT programme in Statistics at the University of Warwick with the aim of contributing in research on Mathematical Finance.

Option pricing and hedging with execution costs and market impact

Option pricing theory often relies on frictionless market assumptions, where illiquidity and volume of trading have no impact on prices, and so agents are price takers. The prime example is the Black-Scholes equation which admits an explicit solution for the price of a vanilla option, as well as for the optimal strategy, known as the Black-Scholes Delta. However, in practice, options cannot be perfectly hedged, among others, because of the presence of execution costs and market impact during the trading process. We therefore incorporate frictions of this sort, which are based on the so called Almgren-Chriss framework. On the other hand, the Almgren-Chriss framework deviates from the conventional log-normal stock price dynamics as it assumes Gaussian evolution instead, so that this gives rise to the second model in our study. Our problem, in both modelling approaches of the underlying, is concerned with pricing vanilla options with a given nominal, and stresses indeed the departure from the perfect market setting in terms of both option prices and hedging strategies, whose derivation relies on numerically solving relevant PDEs via a splitting technique.

Nikolaos Constantinou Headshot

Joel William Harris, University of South Wales

Following graduation from his BSc (Hons) Mathematics Joel’s plans to pursue further education and research in OR and data science.

A data science approach to investigating waiting times in Welsh Health Boards

Within this project Joel set out to gather and use data to investigate waiting times across Welsh Health Boards. This involved what factors contribute to changes in waiting time, how it varies between health boards and whether there is a difference between South Wales and the Rest of Wales. He did this by collecting and processing admissions data from the Annual PEDW Data Tables (Wales [2020a]) and population data from Stats Wales (Wales [2020b]). He then conducted exploratory and statistical analysis, feature engineering and finally regression model fitting. From statistical analysis he found that Powys Teaching Health Board significantly different waiting times from all other Welsh Health Boards (p ≤ 0.05), and there was a significant difference in waiting times between South Wales and the Rest of Wales (p ≤ 0.05). Regression model fitting led us to create a random forest regression model that predicts mean waiting time for the majority of our unseen data to within 10 days, and told us that the percentage of population between age 0 and 14 is the most important factor in predicting this followed by the percentage of admissions that are female, the percentage of admissions that are emergencies and the mean age of patients.

NHS Wales. Pedw data online, 2020a.
URL: information-services/welsh-data-hub/pedw-data-online/

Stats Wales. Stats wales data catalogue, 2020b.
URL: Catalogue/Population-and-Migration/Population

All code used to produce the results within this project can be viewed via github at:


Katie Robb, University of Strathclyde

Following graduation from her BA Business Analysis & Technology at the University of Strathclyde Katie plans to join a Technology Analyst rotational graduate scheme.

Clocking in From the Couch: An analysis of the impact of the Covid-19 induced shift to remote working on the mental wellbeing of the working population.

This project has been completed with the aim of understanding how the shift to homeworking because of the Covid-19 outbreak, has negatively impacted on the wellbeing of the working population. The researcher focused on technology-induced stress and its relationship with remote workers due to its relevance within society today. The literature review provides an insight into previous studies focused on teleworking and the role of videoconferencing technologies. This study is evaluative and exploratory, with semi-structured interviews chosen as the primary means of data collection. The collected data was analysed using a thematic approach, and the seven themes identified were then compared and contrasted with studies discussed within the literature review. Overall, findings suggest that remote workers suffer from overwork, weaker workplace relationships, and blurred boundaries between their work and personal life. Technostress has a direct relationship with age and has been exacerbated through excessive use of videoconferencing platforms during the pandemic. Findings suggest that remote working will become standard practice in the future, but there remains a need for a collaborative, flexible and optional office space. To improve the work-life balance of remote workers, a routine is encouraged, as well as identifying and exploring new avenues for employees to socially interact. However, this topic is of a recent nature, and therefore, additional research is recommended.

Katie Bird.jpeg

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