Love Big Data?

DataFest is a data analysis competition where teams of up to five undergraduates have a weekend to attack a large and complex dataset. Your job is to find and communicate insights into these data. The teams that impress the judges will win prizes as well as glory. Everyone else will have a great experience, lots of food, and fun!

This is the first DataFest at Princeton but Duke and UCLA have hosted similar events and they are Princeton's partners for this event. In particular Duke will provide the dataset.

Various tutorials will be organazed during the day for participants to familiarize themselves with modern statistical machine learning techniques and their implementation on the statistical software R.


DataFest 2014 starts on Friday, March 28, 2014 at 6pm and will end by 5pm on Sunday, March 30, 2014.

On Friday we will start with a reception where your surprise client will give a brief introduction to the data you will be working with over the weekend and tell you a bit about what they would like to get out of it. The data will likely be much more complex than what you are used to seeing in your classes, and you will be given free reign to analyze it however you like. In other words, you will come up with a research question that is of interest to you, and conduct the appropriate analysis to answer your question. But you are welcomed, and encouraged, to take cues from the client's introduction when shaping your research question(s).

On Friday and Saturday, several one-hour tutorials by faculty and graduate students will allow participants to learn about new techniques for statistical analysis and machine learning.

Presentations and judging will begin at 2pm on Sunday, March 30, 2014 in Sherred 101. Each team will give a brief (4 minutes) presentation of their findings to a panel of judges comprised of faculty and professionals from a variety of fields. There will be prizes in several categories, such as best visualization, best use of external data, and best findings. A finalized list of categories will be announced at the beginning of the competition.