The following is from the American Statistical Association (ASA)’s ‘This is Statistics’ initiative to share the winners of its fifth annual Fall Data Challenge—including students from Bellaire! More than 120 high school and undergraduate students from all over the country competed.
The American Statistical Association (ASA) today announced the winners of its fifth annual Fall Data Challenge. Students apply their statistical skills to examine a relevant and timely topic and demonstrate the real-world impact of data. The 2020 Get Out the Vote Challenge invited undergraduate and high school students to analyze real voter-turnout data from the Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics, provided by the IPUMS organization and curated by ASA, to provide insights to inspire more people to vote.
“Statistical knowledge is essential for today’s students, empowering them to analyze the world around them and its most important issues–including voting behaviors,” said Ron Wasserstein, ASA Executive Director. “The ASA congratulates all the winners of the Fall Data Challenge and thanks all the students who participated. We were impressed by their creative data visualizations, sophisticated data analyses and insightful recommendations to increase voter turnout.”
A total of 56 teams of 66 high school and 61 undergraduate students analyzed the IPUMS-ASA U.S. Voting Behaviors dataset, which includes information about voting registration and behavior in the U.S. over the past 14 years. With 28 variables on more than 640,000 cases, the full dataset offered opportunities for the students to create data subsets to focus on a particular time or geography. This not only further challenged the students to expand their statistical skills, but also let them focus on the data that interested them most.
Students recommended a variety of impressive voter-turnout strategies to implement for future elections. Overwhelmingly, their statistical assessment of the dataset identified a correlation between increased education and increased voter turnout. This analysis led them to suggest developing programs to educate citizens about the history and importance of voting. Teams also recommended improving access to polling stations, increasing the accessibility of voting information and implementing voter registration programs in every high school.
For the contest, teams of two to five students submitted entries including a short essay describing the team’s process and presenting its analysis and recommendations in a presentation. The judges awarded prizes to the top high school and undergraduate teams for overall analysis, as well as honorable mentions for visualization and use of external data.
Team: Super Juniors
Students: Qi An, Mengzhi Qin, Xuling Yang, and Chenyuan Zhu
Sponsor: Ranjini Grove
Institutions: Barnard College of Columbia, New York City, NY, and University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Students: Binze Li, Isabella He, Julian Dong, and Aurora Wu
Sponsors: Yongsheng Bai, Zhaohui Qin and Weihua An
Institutions: Bellaire High School, Bellaire, TX, Pittsford Mendon High School, Pittsford, NY, Northville High School, Northville, MI, and Emma Willard School, Troy, NY
Honorable Mention, Best Visualization
Team: WU Stats
Students: Aby Jaeger and Nikki Seina
Sponsor: Heather Kitada Smalley
Institution: Willamette University, Salem, OR
Team: Lake Howell Stats
Students: Samantha Waterston and Emily Mason
Sponsor: John Rothrock
Institution: Lake Howell High School, Winter Park, FL
Honorable Mention, Best Use of External Data
Team: Green Team
Students: Emily Litzenberg, Kate Lang, Nate Mulugeta, and Shannon Connor
Sponsor: Elizabeth Johnson
Institution: George Mason University, Fairfax, VA
Team: Data Minors
Students: James Anderson, Kevin Huang, Prathik Kakarlamudi, Angela Tsang, Zack Zhuang
Sponsor: Claudia Smith
Institution: Valley Christian High School, San Jose, CA
The panel of expert judges responsible for choosing the winning entries include Dr. Jonathan Auerbach, a Science Policy Fellow at the American Statistical Association (ASA); Christine Franklin, the K-12 statistics ambassador for ASA and a retired University of Georgia Lothar Tresp Honoratus Honors professor; Dr. Mary Gray, a Distinguished Professor of Mathematics and Statistics at American University; Dr. Wendy Martinez, Director of Mathematical Statistics Research Center at the Bureau of Labor Statistics; and Dr. Amy Nussbaum, Visiting Lecturer at Mount Holyoke.
To learn more, visit ThisIsStatistics.org.
About the American Statistical Association
The ASA promotes the practice and profession of statistics. It is the world’s largest community of statisticians and one of the oldest continuously operating professional science associations in the United States. Since its foundation, it has supported statistical science through meetings, publications, membership services, education, accreditation and advocacy. Its members serve in industry, government and academia in more than 90 countries, advancing research and promoting sound statistical practice to inform public policy and improve human welfare.
For additional information, please visit the ASA website at http://www.amstat.org.