Texas A&M University will serve as the host site this fall for a first-of-its-kind international data-science-driven event, the TAMU Datathon.
The 30-hour, weekend data science competition and learner event, set for October 19-20 at the Texas A&M Student Recreation Center, has attracted 2,000 applicants from 130 universities and 95 majors for the unprecedented opportunity to solve real-world challenges in data science and compete for a variety of prizes. Space is limited to 450 eventual attendees, who will be selected from the gamut of skill levels, majors and classifications ranging from freshmen to Ph.D. students.
“Think hackathon, but with a data science focus,” said Josiah Coad ’19, a Texas A&M triple major in computer science, mathematics and statistics who serves as project lead for the entirely student-run event. “As the host university of the first Major League Hacking data science hackathon in the world, Texas A&M is in a unique position to gain an international spotlight as the university leading the way in data science.”
In addition to piquing the interest of thousands of applicants around the world, the TAMU Datathon has attracted title sponsorship from 20 corporate sponsors — six of them Fortune 500 companies in data science, including Facebook, Walmart and Shell. On-campus backers include the Texas A&M College of Science, the Texas A&M Transportation Institute, the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, the Texas A&M Institute of Data Science, the Department of Mathematics, the Department of Statistics and the Texas A&M Data Analytics Club, whose faculty advisor is Dr. Valen E. Johnson, distinguished professor of statistics and dean of the Texas A&M College of Science.
“The Datathon promises to be a truly remarkable opportunity for students across the campus and from other campuses across the country to participate in the data science revolution,” Johnson said. “Students will be able to register for a learner’s track to obtain basic data science training, or for a competition track in which they can test their skills in developing predictive models for real-world phenomena. It is fantastic that the organizers have brought this first-of-its-kind event to the Texas A&M University campus.”
Each TAMU Datathon sponsor has the option to host a 30-minute workshop or tech talk during Saturday’s portion of the two-day event. Workshops are intended to feature hands-on technical or coding activities that are useful to participants but also potentially tied to individual sponsor missions. Tech talks give sponsors a chance to turn the spotlight inward to educate participants on related data science opportunities that ideally inspire the world’s top talent to apply for eventual jobs or graduate programs.
Coad, a Grand Challenges Scholar who already holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science, mathematics and statistics from Oxford University, notes that regardless of their future plans or career goals, TAMU Datathon attendees are guaranteed to be diverse. In addition to being 30 percent female, the applicant pool was 31 percent first-generation students.
“We believe the TAMU Datathon will inspire students across all genders, levels and disciplines to integrate quality data-driven practices into their field of expertise,” Coad said. “The entire leadership team has worked hard and is understandably proud to introduce the world to Texas A&M as we showcase our collective faculty, student and staff expertise in data science.”
To learn more about the TAMU Datathon and related activities, visit https://tamudatathon.com/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Texas A&M University is a community of scholars dedicated to solving diverse, real-world problems through determination, innovation, and above all, fearlessness. Texas A&M opened its doors in 1876 as the state’s first public institution of higher education and is today a tier-one research institution holding the elite triple land-, sea- and space-grant designations. Research conducted at Texas A&M represented annual expenditures of almost $1 billion in fiscal year 2018. Texas A&M’s 69,000 students and half a million former students are known for their commitment to service, as well as dedication to the university’s core values and rich traditions.
Contact: Shana K. Hutchins, (979) 862-1237 or email@example.com or Josiah Coad, (208) 819-2625 or firstname.lastname@example.org