Team Formation Nights & Workshops

The Department of Statistics will host Pre-DataFest team formation nights for students needing to find team members and skills workshops for students interested in brushing up on their data science skills before tackling the DataFest analysis challenge. Each workshop will focus on a different topic and will range from an introductory level (for students with little to no experience handling data) to an intermediate level (for students who want to learn some useful tools for handling large data sets).

Team Formation Nights
If you are interested in participating in DataFest but do not yet have a team, or if you are on a team of less than five students and you are looking to add additional members, please plan to attend one of these team formation nights. You will be able to meet other students and form teams based on your skills and interests.
  • Team Formation Night #1: Tuesday, February 13, 7:00pm in the Math Tower, Room 724
  • Team Formation Night #2: Wednesday, February 28, 5:30pm in the Math Tower, Room 724

R Workshops

DataFest participants can use any software they like during the event.  Because R is a popular (and useful!) tool for data analysis, The Department of Statistics will host two workshops on R leading up to ASA DataFest. 

Workshop attendance will be on a first-come, first-serve basis until the room is at capacity. Students must bring their own laptops with R already installed in order to participate in these workshops! See below for instructions on how to install R and RStudio.

Workshop 1: Intro to R

This workshop will provide a basic introduction to R and is intended for DataFest participants who have had no (or very limited) experience working with R. Example topics include reading data into R, working with script files, basic R syntax, etc. If you have used R for data analysis before, you will likely be familiar with most of the material covered in this workshop. Event details are as follows:

  • Date: Tuesday, March 20
  • Time: 6:30-7:30pm
  • Location: 232 Cockins Hall

Workshop 2: R for DataFest

This workshop will cover some useful tips for working with large, DataFest-like data sets in R. Example topics include: reading in large data files, managing and summarizing large data sets with tools in the dplyr and tidyr packages, working with date and time variables in R with the lubridate package, merging data sets, etc. The topics are representative of stumbling blocks participants have had in past DataFest events.

  • Date: Wednesday, March 21
  • Time: 6:30-7:30pm
  • Location: 232 Cockins Hall

Installing R and RStudio

We encourage participants to bring a laptop to use during the workshops. If R and RStudio are not already installed on your laptop, we encourage you to install these programs before the workshops so that you can follow along.

R can be downloaded for free here. It is available for both Windows and Mac (as well as Linux).

RStudio is a popular integrated development environment (IDE) for R that makes R a bit more user friendly. After installing R from the link above, you can download and install RStudio Desktop for free from here.


Data Visualization Workshop

This workshop will provide an introduction to different data visualization software that can be utilized to create your presentation for DataFest. Visualizing and effectively communicating your findings from your data analysis is a critically important component of DataFest. One of the categories you will be judged on is Best Visualization, after all!   

  • Date: Monday, March 26
  • Time: 5:30-6:30pm
  • Location: Research Commons, 18th Ave Library, Room 350