Carnegie Mellon's Department of Statistics presents:

Tartan Data Science Cup

Episode I: Ride To Glory

The problem, data, and rules are here.

The submission link and information on presentations/prizes are here.

1st place: Real Distributions Have Curves (Apoorva Havanur, Rohan Nagalkar, Shreya Punya)
2nd place: Goon Squad (Richa Mohan, Jichao Sun, Steven Wang)
3rd place: Star of David Validation (Adin Adler, Isaac Haberman, Andrew Resnikoff)

Best Writing: Goon Squad (Richa Mohan, Jichao Sun, Steven Wang)
Best Visualization: We Love Data (Rachel Chang, Max Ma, Zhenzhen Wen)
                             36-40WON (Joey Gibli, LeShaun Jones, Lina Sheremet)
Highest Scoring Underclassmen Team: We Median Business (Jackie Singer, Elisa Wang, Victor Xu)
Best Team Name: Unconscious Statisticians (Sameer Dhavalikar, Jennifer Jin, Annie Zhang)
                             The Mean (Expected Value) Girls (Sangeetha Sankaran, Lorianna Vanderveen)

Episode I Timeline

Information Session: Wednesday, February 17th, 2016, 4:30pm, Baker 232M

The information session will provide additional information on the format and logistics of the competition. This is also an opportunity for students to form teams and register for the competition. However, students do not have to attend the information session to participate.

Pizza and drinks will be provided! Specific information about the data or research topics, however, will not.

Registration Deadline: Friday, February 19th, 2016, 11:59pm:

All currently enrolled Carnegie Mellon University undergraduate students on the Pittsburgh campus are eligible to participate. Teams can be from 1-3 students; students can only participate on one team. All student names and Andrew IDs must be included when registering. Registration must also include a (non-identifying) team name.
To register, click here.

Competition Begins! Sunday, February 21st, 2016, 9am, Baker Hall 136A (Adamson Wing):

The research problem and data set(s) will be released on this website at 9am. Students are welcome to work anywhere, but Baker Hall 136A will be open all day as the TDSC Homebase. TDSC organizers will also be available during the day to answer questions.

Lunch will be provided for participants in the TDSC Homebase at 12pm.

Time's Up! Sunday, February 21st, 2016, 5pm:

At 5pm, submissions are due. Each team should submit a single .zip file to this website.
The zip file should contain:

  • all (well-documented!) code used to analyze the data, obtain results, create graphics, etc
    (any programming language/software is acceptable)
  • a 1-2 page report describing the key results and methods used to analyze the data (made as or converted to a pdf file)
  • up to 3 slides for a 5-minute research presentation (made as or converted to a pdf file)

Submission constitutes permission to post winning team entries online (under non-identifying team name).

Presentations and Final Results: Sunday, February 21st, 2016, 7pm, Baker Hall 136A (Adamson Wing)

There will be a panel of judges from different backgrounds. The judges will review the code, reports, and slides from 5-7pm and then watch the slide presentations at 7pm. Students are encouraged to practice their presentations over the 5-7pm dinner break.

The top 10 teams will be given five minutes to present their methods and results to the judges, the other teams, and anyone else who wishes to attend. Teams can have up to three slides, but be careful -- you will be cut off after exactly five minutes! Teams outside of the top 10 are still eligible to win other prizes and encouraged to stay and watch the final presentations.

The judging criteria include:

  • Code: Is the submitted code reproducible, well-documented, correct, and easy to understand?
  • Report: Does the submitted report describe the problem, methods, and results in a clear and concise manner?
  • Presentation: Did the team communicate their problem, methods, and results to an uninformed audience effectively?
  • Results: Do the team's results sufficiently and effectively answer the research problems presented?


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1st place: $250
2nd place: $125
3rd place: $75

Additionally, the 1st place team will receive the Tartan Data Science Cup. After each competition, the Cup is presented to the winning team, who are allowed to keep the cup and gloat for a short period of time. Members of the winning team will have their names engraved onto the Cup.

TDSC Organizer Contact Information:

Sam Ventura (, Rebecca Nugent (