The Competition Challenge
Five teams of Texas A&M University students shared more than $6,000 in prizes during the final of the 2021 TAMIDS Student Data Science Competition, which was held online on April 14, 2021. The competition required students to develop models to predict the impact on electoral outcomes of contributions and spending by campaigns and donors, and use these to develop recommendations for where funds should be directed. Students were encouraged to identify metrics for effectiveness of donations and campaign spending.
More than forty teams, comprising over 100 students, registered for the event. The teams competed in graduate and undergraduate categories. First-place teams in each category received $1,500, second $1,000 and third $500. New for this year, special team prizes of $250 were awarded in the categories for best presentation design, best use of additional data, and best supplementary materials. TAMIDS gratefully acknowledges major competition sponsorship from Chevron, and from the Texas A&M Departments of Computer Science & Engineering, Electrical & Computer Engineering, Wm Michael Barnes ‘64 Industrial & Systems Engineering, Political Science and Statistics.
“This year’s competitors demonstrated impressive skills in formulating their approach to what is a complex problem for data analytics” said Nick Duffield, TAMIDS director and professor in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering. “I am very proud of our students, both for their ingenuity in applying the methods of Data Science and also for developing software tools to explore the data and present their analysis”.
The Winning Teams
The winners in the graduate category were:
- First place team: Data Noobs: Sambandh Dhal, Swarnabha Roy, Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, College of Engineering, Tushar Pandey, Department of Mathematics, College of Science and Ritesh Suhag, Management Information Systems, Mays Business School.
- Second place team: Team Machine: Akhilesh Gandhi, Department of Chemical Engineering, College of Engineering.
- Third place team: Team AMAYsing: Matthew Adesuyi, Sara Foster, Brandon Maddox, Taylor Seal and Sebastian Vizcaino, Analytics, Mays Business School
The winners is the undergraduate category were:
- First place team: Confident Outliers V2: Fang Shu, Department Statistics, College of Science, Songlin Xie, Department of Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering
- Second place team: Cluster One: Landon Buechner, Department of Mathematics, College of Science.
Special Team Prizes and Midpoint Prizes
New for 2021, prizes of $250 were awarded to finalists in the following categories:
- Best presentation design: Team AMAYsing
- Best use of additional data: Confident Outliers, Team Machine (joint winners)
- Best supplementary materials: Data Noobs
Also new for this year, teams were invited to (optionally) submit a one slide graphic summary progress report for the midpoint event competition held on March 15, 2021. Prizes of $250 were awarded to each of: Cluster One, Team Machine and Team AMAYsing.
Judges and Organization
The panel of judges comprised Duffield; James Caverlee, Professor, Computer Science & Engineering; Darren Homrighausen, Instructional Associate Professor, Department of Statistics; Jeffrey Jones, Digital Manager, Chevron; Venkatesh Shankar, director of research at the Center for Retailing Studies and Professor, Mays Business School; and Guy Whitten, Professor, Department of Political Science. Sponsor representative Marina Romanyuk, Data Scientist, Chevron gave an information presentation on Data Science careers at Chevron. Detailed biographies of the organizers, judges and speakers are available here. In response to the COVID-19 health crisis, all competition events were conducted online. Further details concerning the competition schedule and organization can be found in the call for participation.
TAMIDS gratefully acknowledges major competition sponsorship from Chevron, the from the Texas A&M Departments of Computer Science & Engineering, Electrical & Computer Engineering, Wm Michael Barnes ‘64 Industrial & Systems Engineering, Political Science and Statistics.