DataFest 2016

What is the ASA Datafest™?

The American Statistical Association (ASA) DataFest™ is a celebration of data in which student teams work around the clock to find and share meaning in a large, rich, and complex dataset.

DataFest was founded at UCLA in 2011 when 30 students gathered for 48 intense hours to help fight crime through an analysis of every arrest record of the last 5 years as provided by Lt. Thomas Zak of the Los Angeles Police Department. ASA DataFest is now sponsored by the American Statistical Association and is hosted by several of the most prestigious colleges and universities around the country and involves over 500 students. In 2014, teams came from UCLA, Pomona College, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, UC Riverside, University of Southern California, Duke, the University of North Carolina, North Carolina State, Emory, Princeton, Dartmouth, Smith, Hampshire, Amherst, Mt. Holyoke and the University of Massachusetts.

Penn State University is joining this event for the second time!  This year we are welcoming teams from two Penn State campuses (UP and Brandywine) as well as teams from Wilkes University and Juniata College.

Last year’s inaugural event was a success and we’re excited to bring it back again for our students.

For more information, see the ASA’s Datafest™ page and the following articles about ASA DataFest:

Who may participate?

ASA Datafest at Penn State University is open to all undergraduate students and Master’s students at Penn State University, main campus or branch campuses.  This year we also welcome student teams from Juniata College and Wilkes University!

There is no fee to participate.

Students compete in teams of 2 to 5.  You may form your own team prior to the event, or you may ask to be placed on a team.  We encourage you to form teams of individuals from different disciplines, because you will benefit from having team members of diverse backgrounds and skills.


Each individual participating in Datafest must submit a registration.  If you form your own team, each member of your team must register separately and include the team name on the form.  If you have not formed a team, you will have the chance on the registration form to request placement onto a team.


Each team must present a short 3-minute presentation summarizing their findings to a panel of judges comprised of faculty and professionals from a variety of fields.  Presentations are judged based on creativity, insight, visualization, and communication.  There will be a winning team in each of the three following categories (no team can win more than one): Best Visualization, Best Insight, and Most Creative.  One of these three teams will also win the overall competition: Best In Show.

First Place

Nittany Data Labs
Vamshi Voruganti
Christopher Sharkey
John W. Warner
Ryan Jaeger

Sponsors and Contributors

Thank you to our sponsors and contributors!



Planning Committee

Stefanie R. Austin
David Hunter
Dennis Pearl
Kwame Kankam
Saksham Chandra
Daisy Philtron
Jun Song
Frank Shen
Lizhao Ge
Kathy Smith
Whitney Zimmerman
Lorey Burghard

Follow us on Twitter @PSUDatafest and Like us on Facebook /PSUDatafest.