Congratulations to all Participants!

The inaugural Five College DataFest was a smashing success, with at least 60 students representing all of the Five Colleges participating. Nine teams presented and submitted their work, and while we’re not at liberty to disclose much about the content of what was presented, we can congratulate our winners.

Our three illustrious judges, Jay Emerson of Yale University, Becky Sweger of the National Priorities Project, and Davit Khachatryan of Babson College, deliberated carefully before awarding the following three prizes:

    • Best in Show/Best Visualization: P-Valuables (Smith College)
      • Deirdre Fitzpatrick
      • Michele Handy
      • Maja Milosavljevic
      • Sara Stoudt
      • Dana Udwin
    • Best Use of External Data: Silly Lobsters (Hampshire College)
      • Justin Baldwin
      • Elaine Wang
      • Adam Blaustein Rejto
      • Grusha Prasad
    • Best Garbage Detection: Dataminerz (Amherst College)
      • David Jacobson
      • Jonathan Jordan
      • Whit Froehlich
      • Jennifer Lee

Congratulations go to our winners and all of our participations, and heartfelt thanks go to our sponsors and consultants who made the weekend great fun and a great learning experience!

Check Twitter for more action using #datafest


Two more DataFest prep sessions

As DataFest approaches, two more prep sessions will be held.  These are optional events for those wanting to sharpen their data analysis skills before the big event.  Students from any of the Five Colleges are welcome at both events.

Amherst College: Wednesday, March 26, 4:30-6 pm, Seeley Mudd 206

Andrew Bray (University of Massachusetts) will give an overview of this exciting event (by Skype).  Professor Nick Horton will also provide an overview of visualization, data manipulation and related tips and tricks in R and RStudio.  He will utilize examples from, “A Compendium of Commands to Teach Statistics with R”, one of multiple Creative Commons licensed materials available with the mosaic package on CRAN.  While the event is aimed at undergraduate students planning to head to DataFest, others are welcomed to hear more.

Mt. Holyoke College: Wednesday, March 26, 4-5 pm, Clapp 402
Professors Westgate and Viles will have one more R session in preparation for DataFest.  This time we will do some more sophisticated statistical analyses, including linear regression and logistic regression.  It will be helpful if you’ve seen linear regression before, but it should be fine no matter what.  No problem if you haven’t seen logistic regression.

Anyone is welcome to come, including if you didn’t make it to the first R session or aren’t participating in DataFest.  Please bring a laptop if you have one.  Please try to have R installed on your laptop before the session.  There are some notes to get started with R in the handout from the first session (posted here).

Spring training: practice with R

This Wednesday, Mt. Holyoke will be hosting a session to introduce the programming language R and learn how to use it to do basic data analysis.  The event is specifically geared to those interested in DataFest and no experience with R is necessary.

Wednesday, March 12,  4-5 pm / Clapp 402, Mt. Holyoke College

If you have a laptop, please bring it along!  Stay tuned for more sessions after Spring Break.

Introducing the Five College DataFest

Last year, nearly 100 students participated in the 2013 DataFest at UCLA, and many other took part at Duke University. This year, DataFest is coming to the Pioneer Valley in the form of the Five College DataFest, to be hosted at UMass-Amherst. Undergraduates from throughout the Five Colleges (Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, Smith and UMass) will have the opportunity to compete in teams of up to five students, to address a real-world problem supported by an interesting data set.

The Five College DataFest will take place over the weekend of March 29th at UMass.

Will you rise to the challenge of making sense of the data?