Ms Annaliza Moodley, who completed her honours in Computer Science at UKZN last year, received the award for the best fourth year honours student at the conference and prize giving ceremony of the Operations Research Society of South Africa (ORSSA).
Moodley was nominated for the award by her Supervisor, Dr Aderemi Adewumi, who received the prize on her behalf.
Moodley’s project, which focused on financial portfolio selection with heuristic optimization, had earlier been accepted and presented by Adewumi at the IEEE International Conference on Computational Intelligence for Financial Engineering and Economics (CIFEr 2012) in New York.
CIFEr is the major collaboration between the professional engineering and financial communities and one of the leading forums for new technologies and applications in the intersection of computational intelligence and financial engineering and economics.
In addition to the recognition and prestige the award holds, Moodley was given a cash prize for her achievements. It was the first time since the merger that a UKZN student has won the prestigious annual award which places University’s name in the ORSSA Hall of Fame.
It was also the first computer science project to scoop the award.
UKZN’s School of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science made its presence felt at the event with several academics and students - including Adewumi and Professor Nelishia Pillay - presenting at the conference.
The UKZN delegation presented research papers in the area of optimisation and modeling which provided practical solutions to problems of national importance including annual crop planning, sports league scheduling, blood assignment in blood banking, financial portfolio selection and the early detection of type two diabetes.
Papers submitted by the UKZN delegation were well received and several have been accepted for publication. Adewumi was appointed to Chair a parallel session discussion during the conference.
The UKZN delegation got very positive feedback from ORSSA and was mandated to help resurrect the research society’s KwaZulu-Natal Chapter.
The Conference was also an opportunity for the UKZN group to network with other academics and industry partners, seeking ways for future collaboration.