Team "Standard Deviants" Takes First in DataFest 2019

Students brainstorming together at DataFest

April 10, 2019

After three days of competition the Standard Deviants came away with this year’s DataFest crown. The team, made up of Prasidh Arora, David Black, Robert Garrett and Bob Krueger, took home the first-place prize of $1,000, along with the pride of victory.

Black, a senior information systems major, said he always saw DataFest as an opportunity to apply what he’s learned about data analytics to a real world context.

“I definitely didn't go into this DataFest expecting to win, and working with Rob, Bob and Prasidh was the real prize for me,” Black said of the win. “They each brought a unique perspective to the table, and I learned a lot about how to tell a data-driven story that can really connect with people.”

Rounding out the top three were teams SLAM (Lauren Anderson, Ty Jablonski, Jackson Polish, Alex Erisey and Rory Tekulve) and The Flying Walri (Colin Amy, Brian Fotheringham, Tim Romer, Isaac Stephani and Will Tekulve), which placed second and third, respectively.

Jablonski, a sports leadership & management major with an analytics co-major, said he was surprised at his team’s second-place finish.

“Most of the other teams used far more complicated models to explain some variation in the data, whereas we simply found an anomaly and didn't get bogged down on that stuff,” he said. “Making our work readable by someone who wouldn't necessarily know complex modeling was a core focus and it paid off.”

All in all, 36 teams, comprised of over 150 students, were signed up at the beginning of the competition on Friday. By the final round on Sunday just nine remained, including the above three teams that ended up placing. Students registered represented 31 different majors; nearly one-third were underclassmen.