Foundation year students get into big data at Monash

Four foundation year students put their maths skills to the test in the Monash University Big Data Challenge. Working with Monash University students to solve real world problems, two of our representatives contributed to prize-winning teams!

Four Monash foundation year students attended the Big Data Challenge at the Monash University, Clayton Campus, in April. Billy, Chris, Tervy and Devon along with other high achieving foundation year Business students (who are strong in Mathematics) had opportunity to participate in teams to develop their analytical and problem solving skills with real-world problems.  The students were placed in either Actuarial Science, Business Analytics or Econometrics teams.

Billy was in one of the Business Analytics teams and Chris, Tervy and Devon were placed in three separate Econometric teams. The students had a briefing session to "set the scene", so that they were aware of what their problem solving activity for the day was.

The Business Analytics Teams developed an app that demonstrated what would happen to coastal towns as the sea level rose in response to the temperature increase.

The Econometrics teams looked at the statistical analysis of economic data to examine how changing temperatures affect pedestrian traffic flow in Melbourne. Students were required to establish a model to determine the validity of their hypothesis with the aid of a computer program.

The students participated in two problems solving sessions in computer labs to work on their challenge.

In the afternoon, the students attended a Monash Business School course presentation with a student panel where they got an informative overview of course offerings and student experiences. There were also industry presentations from representatives of Seek.com, the Victorian Government and Actuarial Science. It was interesting for students to hear how important data analysis is today and the involvement of technology in mapping and converting data into a useable form to assist with decision making.

The day wrapped up with the announcement the winners. Billy's Team and Devon's Team won a prize for their solution to the problem. They wore their black Monash University hoodies with pride!

Foundation year student Devon with his Monash University teammates at the Big Data ChallengeDevon's reflection on the day shows how much he gained from participating:

Big data challenge day is much more challenging than Business Scholars Day as the name suggested. I chose econometrics and our topic was to find the relation between the climate change and traffic flows. It's a valuable opportunity for business students to apply our comprehensive knowledge of maths, economics and ICT. This is what attracts me most is the competitive teamwork! Throughout the whole day, dealing with massive data within limited time our team formed firm friendships under the pressure of the competition and enjoyed the delight of being in the winning team! Moreover, I have gained a lot through talking to elites from each school.