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The 2020 DPC Winners Are…

September 14, 2020

The Dynamic Pricing Competition—a contest for the development of learning algorithms sponsored and organized by the VU University of Amsterdam, GoDataDriven, and Haensel AMS—announced its winners in September.

Fulin Xie, Ph.D., a Data Scientist at Microlise in the UK who grew up in Wuhan, China, took the honors for the Dynamic scenario. His submission also ranked an impressive second-place finish in the Duopoly category. “When I first told my wife the news, she thought it was a joke,” Fulin shared, “but then she was really happy—we’re planning to use the DPC cash award to buy our children a LEGO set!” And asked how he liked to spend his time when he’s not immersed in algorithms, Fulin told us: “I like to garden. Sometimes I’d rather get my hands dirty in the soil than in the code!”

In the Oligopoly category, Boris Kuznetsov, a Research Assistant at EPFL in Switzerland collaborated with his friend Oganes Manasian, an IBM Research Intern in Ireland, to claim the prize after an early neck-and-neck running with the eventual second-place participant. After growing up in Moscow and Saint-Petersburg, Boris now lives in Lausanne while pursuing his master’s degree in mathematics and finance at EPFL. “I was motivated to try my hand at the DPC primarily to gain dynamic programming practice. The nightly simulations we did during the competition were very fruitful for Oganes and me, in terms of assessing and adjusting different algorithms,” explains Boris.

Finally, Kyle Maclean, an Assistant Professor at The Ivey Business School in Canada, won the Duopoly race for his second year in a row. Working with an assist from Associate Professor Fredrik Odegaard, Kyle held onto his early lead throughout most of the competition. Originally from Texas, he’s also lived in New York and England, before making the move to Western University in Ontario. “Living here, I’ve discovered I have a passion for hockey,” he says, “and I’ve turned into a huge fan of the Detroit Red Wings NHL team.” And any plans for how he’ll spend his prize money? “Yes, definitely!” he laughs. “I’m getting an AeroGarden for my kitchen—it’s a hydroponic growing system, so that I can have fresh herbs on demand!”

Congrats to our winners, and to everyone who participated—you are all indeed rocket scientists! We’ll look forward to seeing everyone back, along with a new field of competitors, for the DPC 2021!