Encourage your undergrads to participate in the DataFest 48-hour data hackathon. Students from any major can participate.
DataFest is a nationally-coordinated undergraduate competition in which teams of two to five students work over a weekend to extract insight from a rich and complex data set.
Previous years’ data sets have included crime data from the Los Angeles Police Department, dating data from eHarmony, energy use data from GridPoint, and sales data from Ticketmaster. This year’s data set will be revealed at the opening of the event on Friday evening. At the conclusion of the competition, each team will have five minutes to make a presentation to our panel of judges. In addition to a Best in Show award, we will give awards such as Best Visualization and Best Use of External Data.
This is a great way to gain experience working with data. Past participants of DataFest have gone to job interviews able to describe technical challenges overcome, explain how they work under time-pressure, and talk about their thoughts on solving real-life data problems.
Dinner on Friday night, lunch and dinner on Saturday, and lunch on Sunday is included, and every participant gets a free DataFest t-shirt!
Faculty and graduate student mentors needed
We also need faculty and graduate student mentors to help the undergraduate teams during this event.