Last weekend (April 12-14, 2019), we hosted DataFest for the first time at Denison. DataFest is a weekend-long event during which small teams of undergraduate students work intensively to gain insight from a large dataset. The American Statistical Association coordinates DataFest on many college campuses around the nation during different weekends in the spring.
Students were given a surprise dataset on Friday evening. They worked in teams to make meaning of the data and present their findings on Sunday at around noon.
On Sept 22, I attended StatFest at Amherst College in Massachusetts with three of our students Anamay Agnihotri, Fatima Haroon, and Smelanda Jean-Baptiste. For all of them, it was their first statistics conference. StatFest is a conference aimed at undergraduate students from historically underrepresented groups to consider careers and graduate studies in the statistical sciences. The conference had it all on a single day. There was time dedicated to networking, poster presentations, keynote speeches, panels with professionals both from nonprofit and industry.
Denison University is lucky to be positioned so close to the Columbus metro area, a growing hub for technology and data analytics. On March 15, a sold out (450+ attendees) Women in Analytics conference (#WIA2018) featured female leaders in industrial and academic applications for data analytics. Best of all, the meeting was held at the Greater Columbus Convention Center, a short 30 minute drive from Denison.
I am currently teaching the DA 301 course, Practicum in Data Analytics, where junior-level students synthesize their data wrangling, analysis, and communication skills to tackle fuzzy, open-ended problems, with real clients and real data.