Team Formation Sessions & Workshops


In order to protect the health and safety of all participants, workshops and team formation nights were held virtually in 2021.


Team Formation Sessions will be held prior to the start of DataFest for students who need to find additional team members. Skills workshops are 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 introductory level (for students with little to no experience handling data) to intermediate level (for students who want to learn some useful tools for handling large data sets).

Team Formation Sessions

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 sessions. You will be able to meet other students and form teams based on your skills and interests! Sessions are informal; join when you can, leave when you want. You do not need to stay the whole time.
  • Team Formation #1: Wednesday, March 3, from 5:00-6:00pm EST
  • Team Formation #2: Thursday, March 4, from 9:00-10:00am EST
  • Team Formation #3: Monday, March 8, from 11:00am-12:30pm EST


R Workshops

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

Students must have their own laptop 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: Wednesday, March 17, 2021
  • Time: 5:30pm EST
  • Location: Zoom

Workshop 2: Advanced R for DataFest

This workshop is more advanced and will provide 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: Thursday, March 18, 2021
  • Time: 5:30pm EST Zoom
  • Location: Zoom

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 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 22, 2021
  • Time: 5:30pm EST 
  • Location: Zoom


How to Give a Winning Presentation - Video

Past DataFest participants will provide a video to all DataFest 2021 registrants with their tips and tricks about how to give a winning presentation. Presenting the results of your analysis is arguably the most important part of DataFest. You cannot win if you cannot effectively and efficiently communicate the results of your analysis and your actionable insights to the panel of judges!


Post-Datafest Resume Workshop

Datafest provides students with a great opportunity to engage in professional development. Students build a variety of skills such as oral and written communication, teamwork, data analysis, presenting information, critical thinking and problem-solving skills – all of which are significantly valued by employers. As you wrap up this experience, you may be wondering the best strategies for including this experience on your resume. Attend this workshop to learn how to best present your Datafest experience on your resume!
  • Date: Tuesday, March 30, 2021
  • Time: 2:00pm EST
  • Location: Zoom