Solver Support

Make your solutions the best they can be


Below you will find some best practices, developed over our years of reviewing solutions from thousands of Solvers, and key resources to help you hone your solutions.

Best Practices

Our team have reviewed solutions from thousands of Solvers. Winning Solvers are incredibly diverse and no two solutions are presented identically, but the following guidelines may help you get a grounding or refine your solution.

Address all of the solution requirements, point by point, at the end of the main body of your proposal. Don’t neglect this part even if your solution doesn’t meet some of the technical requirements. Although optional, you may want to add a conclusion to your submission and use this section to reiterate your major achievements and to emphasize the novelty of your approach.

Theoretical and RTP Challenge solutions typically follow the following format:

  • Brief abstract of your solution
  • Introduction and background
  • Detailed description of the solution
  • Experimental section (if applicable)
  • References and notes
  • Supporting information
  • Conclusion

Responses to Ideation Challenges are typically three pages or less. However, do not hesitate to expand on this to convey your idea to the Seeker.

Explain everything; don’t assume “everyone knows that!”. Remember, the Seeker must be convinced the solution will work since in most cases, they have not tried it before. If there is any doubt, they will tend to move on to the next submission. Winning Solvers are specific in their recommendations. They do not offer seven suggestions and say you pick the best one. They may offer a few variations, but they state which answer is the best in their opinion.

Make a “Connection”. Winning Solvers make some type of connection between what they know (or have found) and the Challenge at hand. They may relate it to a similar problem they solved or have seen solved previously. They may connect one industry with a completely different one. The Seekers are sometimes too close to the problem, while you, on the outside looking in, can make those connections. If you find yourself just gathering information and shoveling it over the fence, then you probably have not made that “connection” needed to be an award winner. Look for that connection!

Resources

Check out our three useful blogs to help Solvers develop a Solution:

10 Tips for Writing a Winning Solution

Not sure where to begin? Start with these 10 tips based on previous winning solutions.

Habits of Winning Solvers

“The most successful Solvers usually ask a few direct questions early on [via the “Messages” tab in the Challenge Project Room] to make sure they understand the problem correctly…

The importance of Solution Requirements

“I find it very helpful when Solvers conclude their proposals with a special section where they repeat every individual requirement – one by one…”

Create

  • Google Patent SearchRead and download millions of patents and patent applications using Google Patent Search.
  • Google ScholarProvides a search of scholarly literature across many disciplines and sources, including theses, books, abstracts and articles.
  • R: R is a free software environment for statistical computing and graphics. It compiles and runs on a wide variety of UNIX platforms, Windows and MacOS.
  • Wolfram|AlphaExplore knowledge, data, and computation in examples across all fields, including math, science, statistics, engineering, health, astronomy, weather, technology, and transportation.
  • WorldCat Library Search: Find the nearest library with access to scientific journals.

Connect