Etailer The Hut Group has launched a £5,000 programming contest challenging computer science students to make personalised user recommendations.

The Hut Group Recommendation Challenge is the first programming competition held by the etailer and taps into its one of its key ambitions of providing “engaging personalised experiences”.

The contest is open to all current students enrolled at UK universities and holds a £5,000 prize for the winning team as well as summer internships and other prizes.

The competition involves making predictions about what particular customers will buy in a two-month time period based on what they have bought in the past 18 months.

The anonymised dataset is drawn from The Hut Group’s sports nutrition website

Recommendation systems are a very active area of research for retailers and has been a commercial priority across retail since Amazon’s adoption of it.