Tag: MinneMUDAC

Watch student presentations from MinneMUDAC 2023

Thank you to all of the students, faculty members, and volunteers who participated in MinneMUDAC 2023 on March 25 at Target Field! Special thanks to the Minnesota Twins for partnering with us for this year’s challenge. We’ll be sharing a full recap soon. You can watch presentations from some of the top teams below.

Graduate Division 1st Place – Team G07 from the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management


Graduate Division Bonus Question Winner – Team G12 from the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management


Undergraduate Division Honorable Mention A – Team U05 from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology


Undergraduate Division – Team U03 from Boston University Questrom School of Business

Student Machines Defeat Humans in Spring Edition of MinneMUDAC Data Science Challenge

Many of us look forward to the excitement of filling out March Madness brackets each year, but this year MinneAnalytics took that thrill to a new level. For the special Spring 2021 edition of the organization’s MinneMUDAC Student Data Science Challenge, student teams were invited to compete for bragging rights and cash prizes by building predictive models to make their picks. These machine-generated picks were also compared to a separate pool of human predictions to see how they would fare.

The results may not seem all that surprising: the predictive models created by students proved to be more successful at predicting the outcomes than their human competitors. Teams had two chances to make predictions – the main challenge began with the First Round of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship. A second “Sweet Sixteen” challenge was added once the championship was down to 16 teams. Student-led teams won both challenges decisively.

“I’m not saying you’ll be working for machines in the future,” said MinneAnalytics cofounder Dan Atkins. “I’m saying you’ll be working for some of these brilliant students that are creating these machines.”

The highest overall score in the main challenge was achieved by a team of undergraduates from the University of St. Thomas College of Arts and Sciences with a score of 171. They used a multivariate linear probability model with effective field goal percentage, turnover rate, and conference strength being their key independent variables. The team was comprised of Economics majors Mark Neuman and Patrick McLean, along with accounting major/economics minor Scott Kalthoff. Tyler Schipper, assistant professor in data analytics and economics, served as the teams faculty advisor.

An undergraduate team from the University of Minnesota – College of Science and Engineering took home first place in the Sweet Sixteen Challenge with a score of 116. Their methodology focused on picking upsets with seeding, 3 point percentage, and defensive efficiency as their key independent variables. Team members included Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE) students Sam Casey, Connor Fell, Isaac McCarney, and Will Titus, with faculty advisor Ankur Mani.

The top team among those in the graduate division was from University of Iowa, achieving a score of 145 in the main competition (4th place overall) and 112 in the Sweet Sixteen Challenge (2nd place overall). The team was comprised of student Tyler Dennis, who is pursuing an MS in Statistics, and faculty advisor Matt Bognar. According to Dennis, “we utilized a simple LDA model that used only information presented in an empty bracket, and the seasons from 2011-2012 through 2018-2019 were used to train the model.”

While the human pool overall was not as strong as the student machines, there were some standouts: Technovation[MN] executive director Lisa Schlosser, who has spoken at MinneAnalytics events in the past, came in second in the main challenge with an impressive score of 157. In the Sweet Sixteen Challenge, an 8th grader, Ray Anderson finished with a strong score of 104 (5th place overall).

MinneMUDAC is generally an annual challenge organized each fall, but last year the competition had to be called off due to pandemic concerns. The idea for a special spring challenge was brought to MinneAnalytics when Joe Lambrecht, a Computer Science and Data Analytics major at University of St. Thomas, contacted Dan Atkins.

“We were looking for fun ways to inspire students to explore data modeling and analysis outside of their coursework, and with March Madness just a month away, the timing was perfect,” said Lambrecht, who is the special programs director of the UST Data Science and Analytics Club. “Originally, we were looking at a school-wide competition, but I thought there was a lot of potential for the event beyond just one university.”

MinneMUDAC is presented by MinneAnalytics and the Midwest Undergraduate Data Analytics Competition (MUDAC). Thank you to all of the students, advisors, and professionals who took part in the competition. View the complete final standings at this link.

Announcing the Winners of the MinneMUDAC 2019 Student Data Science Challenge

On Saturday, Nov. 9, student teams came from colleges and universities around the country to participate in the fourth-annual MinneMUDAC Student Data Science Challenge at Optum in Eden Prairie. A total of 71 teams across three divisions presented their results to 150 volunteer judges. The event is designed to give students real-world experience working with data and communicating their results while competing for cash prizes.

This year’s challenge required students to analyze a variety of data to predict trends in soybean prices. Teams were evaluated based on a number of factors, including data preparation, team synergy, and communication of results. Teams in the Undergraduate and Graduate divisions were also scored on the accuracy of their predictions. The challenge and data were curated by Farm Femmes.

“We firmly believe that investing in the next generation grows the future,” said Karen Hildebrand, Co-Founder of Farm Femmes. “Some days the seeds we plant are literal as farmers, but MinneMUDAC gave us the opportunity to grow the knowledge of agriculture and agtech.”

After the initial judging round in the morning, the top teams from each division advanced to the finals round in the auditorium. After the scores were tallied, prizes were then awarded in each division for First Place Overall, Analytic Acumen, and Serendipitous Discovery.

“We were very impressed by so many students,” said Hildebrand. “There were many who we judged individually who did not make it to the finals whose discoveries made us think of new ways we could run our business.”

More teams competed this year than in any previous MinneMUDAC competition, with teams traveling from as far away as Boston University to participate. The high turnout meant more volunteer judges were needed to evaluate the teams and 150 professionals from the community came to share their time and experience.

“We had a record number of not only women but all-women teams this year,” said Dan Atkins, MinneAnalytics co-founder and an organizer of the challenge. “Four of the Graduate division teams were all female, including a winning team. The Novice division also had an all-woman team winner.”

Thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s challenge! Special thanks to all the volunteers who served as judges. MinneMUDAC is presented by MinneAnalytics and the Midwest Undergraduate Data Analytics Competition (MUDAC).

Novice Division Finalists

First Prize: Cornell College (team Better than Last Year)
Bailey Barnard, Parker Linscott, Jack Bressett, Dan Heinsch
Faculty Advisor: Ann Cannon

Analytic Acumen Award: University of Wisconsin-Platteville (The Platte Villains A-Team)
Nicholas Buchert, Joel Egelhoff, Kristin Sheyko, Emma Dums, Daniel Zellmer
Faculty Advisor: Michael Black

Serendipitous Discovery: South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (team Algebros)
Timotheo Ford, Katelyn Raposa, Tiati Thelen
Faculty Advisor: Kyle Caudle

Honorable Mention: Purdue University (team Big Data Energy)
Kruthi Krishnappa, Thrishna Bhandari
Faculty Advisor: Mark Ward

Undergraduate Division Finalists

First Prize: South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (team SDMinesData)
Shashwati Shradha, Marc Mascarenhas, Manasi Paste
Faculty Advisor: Kyle Caudle

Analytic Acumen Award: Hamline University (Hamline Team 1)
Lindsay Steiger, Andrew Argeros, Lyndsey Hawk
Faculty Advisor: John Lochner

Serendipitous Discovery: University of Minnesota Duluth (team Data Doggos)
Kaylee Andersen, Daniel Crist, Christopher Kuehn, Brian Paulsen, Noah Lahr
Faculty Advisor: Tracy Bibelnieks

Honorable Mention: University of Minnesota Duluth (team Skippy Bois)
Sam Ott, Michael Gorbatenko, Tucker Hazzard, Austin Steinmetz, Joey Kmiec
Faculty Advisor: Pushkar Raj

Honorable Mention: St. Olaf College (team St. Olaf Model Behavior)
Leon Zhou, Henry Miller, Victoria Knutson, Nicole Sanford, Eleanor Hastings
Faculty Advisor: Paul Roback

Honorable Mention: Winona State University (WSU Team 2)
Sawyer Fratzke, Samuel Broberg, Benjamin Winters, Bryce Banton, Jenny Ackerman, 
Faculty Advisor: Todd Iverson

Graduate Division Finalists

First Prize: University of Minnesota – Carlson School of Management (team Song Birds)
Piyush Gupta, Pushkar Vengurlekar, Hamed Khoojinian, Harsh Seksaria, Yassine Manane
Faculty Advisor: Yicheng Song

Analytic Acumen Award: University of Minnesota – College of Science and Engineering (team Women in Math and Stats)
Yu Yang, Somyi Baek, Cora Brown, Sarah Milstein
Faculty Advisor: Gilad Lerman

Serendipitous Discovery: University of Minnesota – Carlson School of Management (team Data Vaders)
Sai Akhil Kodali, Anisha Mula, Vijay Ranjan Dhulipala, Sampada Sathe, Mainak Roy
Faculty Advisor: Edward McFowland III

Honorable Mention: University of St. Thomas (team perceptron)
Shubha Shubha, Shantanu Hadap, John Affolter, Himanshu Gamit, Kiel Auer
Faculty Advisor: Michael Dorin