News and Announcements

Data Hack 2018

by Alina Harper | Oct 08, 2018

Data Hack 2018

On Saturday, October 6th, 20 undergraduates competed in the first ever Economics Data Hack competition.

The UCSB Department of Economics recognizes the growing need for proficiency in data analytics in the workforce and for undergraduates to be able to participate in research. To supplement students’ coursework, the Department has ​launched the first ever Data Hack: Data Analytics Boot Camp & Hackathon. Students spent three intensive days learning how to work with data in programming language R through a "boot camp" taught by Economics PhD candidates. On Saturday, October 6th, all this work culminated in the Economics Data Hackathon.

Teams received a prompt at 8:00 AM:

Your city is trying to attract the next headquarters for the tech giant CoolestThingEver. You've been hired by your city to pitch why your city is ideally suited for CoolestThingEver.

Each team then had 7 hours to put their skills to the test and construct a presentation to prove to the judges that their city was the best for the new fictional headquarters of CoolestThingEver. All in all, the event was a blast and the students left with actual experience in using the tools they learned!​

A special thank you to our industry and faculty judges:

Javier Birchenall
Associate Professor of Economics

Shelly Lundberg
Leonard Broom Professor of Demography, Professor of Economics

Andrew Mutz
Chief Technology Officer of Property Management, Appfolio

Spencer Phillips
Financial Analyst for Space and Airborne Systems, Raytheon 

Kate Reva
Advanced Risk & Compliance Analytics, PwC

Heather Royer
Department Vice Chair, Associate Professor of Economics

Adam Tashman
Director of Data Science at {Carpe Data, Visiting Associate Professor of Statistics and Applied Probability (PSTAT)