DataFest is a nationally-coordinated undergraduate competition in which teams of up to 5 students work over a weekend to extract insight from a rich and complex data set. Last year’s data (this year’s will not be revealed until the event begins) consisted of several million potential romantic pairings provided by e-Harmony. Students were asked to find qualities that predict or characterize successful matches. At the conclusion of the competition, each team will have 6 minutes to make a presentation to our panel of judges. In addition to a “Best in Show” prize, we will give a prize for best visualization and also for best use of external data.
The mission of DataFest is to expose undergraduate students to challenging questions with immediate real-world significance that can be addressed through data analysis. By working in teams, students with varying skill sets will combine their efforts and expand their collective data analysis horizons. Interaction among students, as well as with outside consultants will promote the sense that data analysis is a dynamic, engaging, and vibrant part of our society, as well as a realistic, practical, and fun career path.