• Redistricting - Designing new electoral districts based upon new census data. A difficult optimization problem and an example of zone design. See the 2012 InformsWagner Prize finalist video, The Philadelphia Districting Contest: Designing Territories for City Council Based upon the 2010 Census" at
  • Amelioration of food deserts - Description and visualization of the problem. Finding locations for profitable possible commercial ventures (market area analysis). Optimal placement of resources from public and charitable sources.
  • Sociolinguistics - Mapping speech characteristics (statically and dynamically) to geographic locations. Association with other (mashed) repository data for explanatory purposes as well as for predictions in other realms, such as prediction of purchases, and use of services. Herein lies a grand scienti c challenge, since the mechanism by which cultural patterns drive language change remains mysterious".
  • Algorithm testing - Optimization methods, whether exact or heuristic, require for their development evaluation on test problems. Nearly always, these test problems are arti cially generated, raising validity questions for real-world problems. The envisioned SMD repositories would afford a rich and ample source of real-world data and problems for testing and evaluating optimization algorithms.
  • Education - Make available and use project work products for teaching (e.g., busi-ness analytics, policy analysis, optimization, data visualization) and to support student research projects (undergrad and graduate levels).