ASA DataFest@UofT 2020

May 5, 2020 by Negin Neghabat

The competition for this year’s ASA DataFest@UofT is set to begin on June 1 and it will –of course—be online! 

COVID-19 Challenge

This year, we challenge the teams to explore the societal impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic; anything other than its direct health outcomes. From the effects of working from home to pollution and transportation levels, any relevant topic of choice can be explored. The teams could investigate changes in the number of people posting on TikTok with their families or do an analysis on online education. Creativity and thoughtfulness in analyzing data and communicating insights about some of the pandemic's societal impacts is the challenge. 

Students will form teams of 2 to 4 people, choose an outcome such as one of those listed above or something entirely different, find the appropriate data to explore the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on this issue, and present findings with the underlying dataset used. 

Collaborative Approach

ASA DataFest@UofT has always been a collaborative competition, and this is being extended to this year’s virtual competition.  Local judges will still recognize projects that stand out from the rest on categories like Best Insight, Best Visualization, and Most Creative Data set or Topic, but we encourage participants, this year in particular, to share useful sources, methods and approaches in order to foster a collective learning experience.

Join the Competition! 

ASA DataFest@UofT COVID-19 Virtual Challenge is integrated with the Independent Summer Statistics Community (ISSC) – an online community for statistics undergraduate students to build technical and professional skills. The ISSC is open to all undergraduate students enrolled in a Department of Statistical Sciences Program of Study.  All undergraduate students in the Department of Statistical Sciences should have received an email invitation to join the Independent Summer Statistics Community (ISSC) and registeration is still open.  Beyond access to compete in ASA DataFest@UofT, ISSC offers a multitude of summer learning opportunities ranging from website and blog development to portfolio building, networking and many other curated resources about for career preparation and personal development, plus a platform on which to share, discuss and support each other.

Interested students may submit a team application by Sunday, May 24, 23:59 EDT to join the competition. The number of teams that will be selected to be evaluated by the judging panel is limited. However, even if a team is not selected for judging, team members may still participate, and use the project to help build their professional portfolio with the support of the Independent Summer Statistics Community (ISSC).

For inspiration to help interested students get started, the Resources section of the ASA DataFest@UofT website hosts a wide range of sample topics and datasets.

The competition is set to run from June 1 through June 14. All projects must be submitted by June 14, 2020 at 23:59 EDT.