SAS Curiosity Cup student data science competition honors wide range of analytics applications

Higher education teams recognized for excellence in data preparation, analysis and presentation

CARY, N.C., June 14, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — What do hotel reviews, Romanian deforestation and diabetes have in common? They were all topics of winning projects in the 2023 SAS Curiosity Cup, a global data science competition sponsored by analytics leader SAS. The contest of data skills challenged the next generation of analytics experts to explore, analyze and learn from data on topics that inspired their curiosity.

“Our showing at the SAS Curiosity Cup demonstrates that what we’ve learned is applicable outside the classroom.”

The disparate topics reflect the broad, real-world applications of analytics. Using SAS® software, student teams from around the world researched topics ranging from public health to travel to sports. Over 70 student teams from 16 countries competed for the honors, with presentations judged by industry experts in three categories: data preparation, data analysis and data presentation.

“We were excited to see what topics these young competitors would choose to analyze, and we weren’t disappointed,” said Jürgen Kaselowsky, Director of Global Academic Programs at SAS. “Data is powering industries and careers with new advances and applications. We are proud of all our 2023 participants and look forward to their continued exploration of data’s endless possibilities.”

Curiosity Cup competitors could use free SAS software, such as SAS® Viya® for Learners and SAS OnDemand for Academics, or SAS software licensed by their universities. Viya for Learners and SAS OnDemand for Academics are available to all higher education students through SAS Skill Builder for Students, a global program that students can access 24/7 to learn analytics skills, earn valuable certifications sought by employers, and find ways to connect with potential employment opportunities.

The champions, who are highlighted on the SAS Curiosity Cup page, were:

  • Data Preparation: Team Data Voyagers from the University of Technology and Applied Sciences, Oman – Unveiling Traveler Preferences and Experiences: An Analysis of Hotel Reviews from TripAdvisor.
  • Data Analysis: Team T(h)ree Sentinel from Babes-Bolyai University, RomaniaSatellite Image Classification for Detecting Deforestation in Romania.
  • Data Presentation: Team Shazam! from the University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC), US – Comparing Classification Models of Predicting Diabetes Using SAS Viya.

UMGC students Shiva Devkota and Zane Liu presented their paper, along with their faculty advisor.

“Winning the SAS Curiosity Cup competition is a significant achievement for me, both personally and professionally,” said Devkota in a UMGC announcement. “It validates my hard work, skills and knowledge in SAS programming and data analysis and potential to make significant contributions in the field.” 

Liu said the competition results reflected the relevance of the UMGC team’s skills. “Our showing at the SAS Curiosity Cup demonstrates that what we’ve learned is applicable outside the classroom,” he said.

All teams were made up of two to four students with a faculty advisor. Teams chose their own SAS learning software, data and analytical questions for the free competition. After a round of paper submissions, 10 finalists submitted video presentations describing their data analyses as if given to an audience of analytical stakeholders. Judges scored entries based on data preparation, analysis and presentation, organization, use of visuals, and subject matter knowledge. Winning teams received 12 months of free access to the SAS Academy for Data Science and a SAS digital badge acknowledging winner status.

Learn more about how SAS Academic Programs and SAS Skill Builder for Students are creating the next generation of analytics experts. Details on the 2024 competition will be available in the fall.

About SAS
SAS is the leader in analytics. Through innovative software and services, SAS empowers and inspires customers around the world to transform data into intelligence. SAS gives you THE POWER TO KNOW®.

SAS and all other SAS Institute Inc. product or service names are registered trademarks or trademarks of SAS Institute Inc. in the USA and other countries. ® indicates USA registration. Other brand and product names are trademarks of their respective companies. Copyright © 2023 SAS Institute Inc. All rights reserved.

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