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RIT to Host National Data Hackathon for Undergrads

The Rochester Institute of Technology will host DataFest, a national undergraduate data hackathon, for the second consecutive year later this week.

Sponsored by the American Statistical Association, the competition asks teams of students from any major and at any point in their data science education "to tackle what's probably the richest, most complex dataset you've seen so far provided by a real-life organization," according to information on the RIT DataFest site. Teams will get 48 hours April 13-15 to use the data to find a solution to a real-world problem.

Prizes will be awarded for best in show, best visualization and best use of external data.

Founded in 2011 at the University of California Los Angeles, the inaugural event asked participants to fight crime through analysis of every arrest record in the Los Angeles Police Department from the previous five years. Each year, student participants are joined by roving consultants who may be industry professionals, faculty members or graduate students.

"By hosting DataFest for the second year in a row, RIT is making it clear that it is serious about playing a leading role in the shaping and the development of the emerging field of data science," said Ernest Fokoué, associate professor at RIT's School of Mathematical Sciences, in a prepared statement. "It makes RIT a hub of data science in the greater Rochester area."

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About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at [email protected].

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