This paper is from Session 4F: Opening up the data world wider and faster
Full topic list
which comes under Topic 4: Statistics education at the post-secondary level

(Friday 18th, 13:45-15:45)

DataFest: celebrating data in the data deluge


  • Robert Gould (University of California, Los Angeles, United States)


DataFest is an undergraduate competition in which student teams have just 48 hours to find and communicate meaning in a rich, complex data set. Many of the skills and practices of data science—working collaboratively with a team, organizing raw data, dealing with non-traditional data types, sorting through datasets with hundreds of variables—are hard to teach in a classroom setting. Assigning projects is one approach, but in our experience, many student projects were far below the level we hoped that students would achieve. DataFest, which now includes participants from fifteen U.S. colleges and universities, provides an opportunity for students to challenge themselves with realistic, large data sets in an intense, fun, and encouraging environment.