A former Simpson College math professor started a competition that challenges Iowa high school and college students to use data science to correctly pick the winner of the 2018 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.
What is ultimately designed to expose students to potential careers in data science, the Basketball Data Analytics Battle requires teams of students to produce an algorithm that will select ten teams in an attempt to pick a winner of the 2018 NCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball Tournament. The top ten teams the algorithm predicts will earn points based on how far each team advances in the tournament.
Rick Spellerberg, a former math professor at Simpson College math professor, is organizing the competition as the first project for his new nonprofit organization, The Iowa Center for Interdisciplinary Training.
“The big thing with data science, it’s a relatively new discipline and there’s a huge demand for these people,” Spellerberg says. “We have got to get kids interested in coding and that’s one thing for sure this competition can hopefully get students interested in.”
According to Spellerberg, 17 school districts and 360 students are committed to participating in the Basketball Data Analytics Battle.
Spellerberg said to follow up with the participants, he’s going to partner with Drake University to host a data analytics conference on campus in May.
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