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Villanova University Hosts Annual DataFest Philly Student Competition

Villanova DataFest Competition

VILLANOVA, Pa. — Villanova University will host more than 70 students from 12 colleges and universities for the annual DataFest Philly competition from April 12-14. Put on by the American Statistical Association, DataFest is a nationally-coordinated undergraduate data analysis case competition, where teams of students analyze a complex dataset from a major company and mine it for insights. DataFest has been hosted by colleges and universities around the country every spring since 2011.

The program takes data analysis beyond the classroom setting by enabling students to work with real-world data as a team—bringing together students from statistics, mathematics, business, engineering, computer science, social sciences and more. Throughout the weekend, students are guided by professors and industry professionals from companies that could one day be their future employer.

“DataFest is a tremendous way for students to get experience working with real data, developing their data acumen, and showcasing their talents to potential employers,” said Michael Posner, PhD, PStat® associate professor of Statistics. “It’s an honor for Villanova to host this event for the third year in a row and we are excited how it has grown.”

Villanova will have 18 students participate in the event. Other institutions scheduled to participate include Bucknell University, Drexel University, Franklin & Marshall, Harrisburg Area Community College, Haverford College, Muhlenberg College, Penn State University, Swarthmore College, The College of New Jersey, Temple University and Ursinus College.

At the conclusion of the weekend, prizes will be awarded for Best Insight (Best Overall), Best Use of External Data, Best Visualization.

DataFest Philly is organized by the Center for Statistics Education in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences under the direction of Posner.

About Villanova University: Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's six colleges—the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing, the College of Professional Studies and the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law. Ranked among the nation’s top universities, Villanova supports its students’ intellectual growth and prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them. For more, visit