School of Mathematics

Students from across the University take part in DataFest @ EDI 2020

Dr. Mine Çetinkaya-Rundel organised and ran a Datafest event for students from the School of Mathematics and the rest of the University. This took place over two weeks between May the 30th and June the 13th 2020. Student's submissions for the event were judged by:

  • Ksenia Aleksankina - Data Scientist, TravelNest
  • John MacInnes - Emeritus Professor of Sociology and Statistics at The University of Edinburgh
  • Riinu Pius - Senior Data Manager at The University of Edinburgh, Clinical Surgery

Eight teams participated in the "DataFest @ EDI 2020 - COVID-19 Virtual Data Challenge". For this competition, the teams were challenged to explore the societal impacts of the COVID-19 epidemic other than its direct health outcomes. They could explore everything from the effects on pollution levels, transportation levels, or working from home. The focus of the projects were left up to the teams; though they were urged to be thoughtful and creative. DataFest is designed to showcase Scotland's leading role in data science and artificial intelligence on the international stage, while offering an unparalleled networking platform where one can interact with local and international talent, industry, academia and data enthusiasts.

For this challenge the teams were specifically asked to choose a theme to explore, as discussed above, and then find an appropriate data set to analyse the effects of COVID-19 on it. The team's findings were then presented to the judges for review. Over the two-week period the team members worked amongst their members and their mentors on a Slack channel dedicated to this event with two virtual get-togethers being held -- one to start the event and the other as a Q&A session. These were done along with participants from University of Toronto who were also working on the same challenge as part of their DataFest event.

The following awards were given:

  • Best insight: Team Phoenix - "Surges in searches during the UK lockdown"
  • Aditya Rudrapatna - BSc in Computer Science and Mathematics, Year 2 Lauryn Mwale - BSc Mathematics, Year 3 Mark Kleyner - MA in Geography and Economics, Year 2 Nia Indigo Allen-Cooper - MMath Mathematics, Year 3
  • Most creative topic: The Data Quails - "Societal impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on education in the United States"
  • Jaden Kimura Kaori Shimizu - BSc Hons Mathematics and Statistics, Year 3 ,
  • Claire Squires - BSc Hons Cognitive Science, Year 2
  • Judge's pick - Divy and friends - "Searching US in Covid-19"
  • Natasha Rinta Dustan - BSc in Mathematics and Statistics, Year 3 Jie Xin Ng - BSc in Mathematics and Music, Year 2 Divy Bramhecha - BSc in AI, Year 2
  • Honourable mention - Most creative topic: lemonchocolatecheesecake - "Relationship between dengue fever outbreak and lockdown"
  • Eman Wong - BSc Mathematics and Statistics, Year 2
  • Justin Yeo - BSc Mathematics, Year 2
  • Owen Lee - BEng Computer Science, Year 1
  • Prakash Nair - MA Economics and Statistics, Year 1

More information, and a full breakdown of the awards, can be found here: