DataFest 2016 Wrap-up

Thanks to everyone for a truly wonderful weekend of DataFest-ing! We would like to thank our consultants from Boehringer Ingelheim, Pfizer, SAS, The Hartford, University of Connecticut, Yale University, and Wesleyan University.

Congratulations to our winners:

Honorable Mention: Best Research Question
Team: Databayes (Wesleyan University)
Carlo Medina
Korkrid (Kyle) Akepanidtaworn
Amanda Yeoh
Poom Chiarawongse
Joshua Su

Best Insight
Team: QACs FOR LIFE (Wesleyan University)
Catherine Marquez
Alexandra De Veaux
Ariel Kaluzhny
Stephanie Ling

Best Business Application
Team: Standard Deviants (University of Connecticut)
Jiachen Liang
Peter Tallcouch
Daniel Brink
Nicholas Illenberger

Best in Show
Team: 1,588,506 (Wesleyan University)
Tiffany Coons
Samara Prywes
Jack Gorman

Thanks to our generous financial sponsors, including, The Connecticut Chapter of the American Statistical Association, RStudio, SAS, Pfizer, Google, The Brattle Group, and DataCamp.

Please stay tuned for pictures of the event.


DataFest at WES is almost here!

DataFest is fast approaching! Here is some important information. As always, email with any questions.


  • You may come and go as you please, but you will not be allowed to work on the data outside of Exley and Allbritton.
  • You will have friendly consultants present at all times between 8am and midnight. These are faculty, grad students, local data professionals, or other professionals with field-specific knowledge of the dataset. They all have different areas of expertise, so if you get stuck on something, ask someone else later. Feel free to ask anything; this is not an exam, but a collaborate competition. Consultants are not there to write code for you, but they are there to help point you in the right direction!
  • For non-Wesleyan students: You may want to check with faculty members at your institution about coordinating rides and about check-in procedures for Inn at Middletown.
  • We recommend that every member of the team bring a laptop.
  • For Yale and UConn students: Wireless Internet access will be provided through the “eduroam” SSID on the Wesleyan network. Make sure to configure “eduroam” at your home institution before DataFest!
  • For Trinity and Conn College students: We will provide you with connection instructions at registration.
  • We recommend that you make sure beforehand that the software you will be using throughout the weekend is properly installed and running on your computer.
  • You will be working with a large dataset so make sure that you have the space for it on your hard drive.
  • We will have coffee, tea, water, and snacks available at all times, and meals will be catered at specific times. Feel free to bring anything additional you might want, including your own mug.
  • You are of course free to come and go as you please.
  • Power strips will be made available. But you still may want to bring your own.
  • At the end of DataFest, delete all data from thumb drives, hard drives, etc. The data are sensitive.





  • Each team will have 5 minutes to present their findings to the judges. The time limit will be strictly enforced.
  • Each team will be allowed at most four slides, including a title slide with your group name, etc. That means only 3 slides of content. So at some point on Sunday, you might want to set aside time to think about what you want the judges to know. All team members must be present for the presentation, but not all team members need to actually speak (given the time limitation).
  • Your presentation must be emailed to by 12pm on Sunday. You may create your slides in any application, but you must submit a PDF. If using a web-based tool like GoogleDocs or Prezi, please export to PDF. If you actually want to demonstrate something on the Internet, embed the link in your slides.
  • Along with your presentation you will also turn in a short one-page write-up of your project. You can think about this as the text of your presentation. The judges may refer to these during deliberation. Please send this to by 12pm on Sunday.
  • The judges will decide on the most appropriate awards. Typically awards include Best Insight, Best use of external data, Best visualization. But they may decide another type of award is more appropriate based on student work.
  • Winners will receive certificates, $50/person, and glory!

Workshop schedule now posted!

Join us for some workshops in machine learning, working in R, statistical modeling, tackling large data, and visualization! It is not too late to request a workshop or specific tutorial. Please check our workshop tab for specific details.

DataFest pre-announcement


April 8-10, 2016

DataFest is a data analysis competition where students are presented with a large, complex, surprise data set and work over the weekend to explore, analyze, and present their findings.  Teams of 3-5 students work together and compete against other teams. Prizes for best insight, best visualization, and best use of external data are awarded.
The event is organized by the Quantitative Analysis Center (QAC) and begins on Friday, April 8th 2016 at 6pm. You are free to work with the data around the clock until Sunday, April 10th at noon. We will conclude at roughly 5pm on Sunday. Meals etc. will be available for participating students and advisors/consultants throughout the weekend.

Sign-ups will begin early spring semester but maybe you want to start forming your teams now!

Please take less than a minute to let us know of your preliminary interest:

Want to know more? Check out the national event page:

Feel free to email Valerie Nazzaro with any questions