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CCM Achieves First Place in Prestigious National DataFest Competition

MORRIS COUNTY — County College of Morris (CCM) students, known as the CCM Data Titans, recently received two impressive awards from the Spring 2024 American Statistical Association (ASA) national DataFest competition.

They earned first place in the Two-Year College Category and were awarded for Best Statistical Analysis. Founded in 2011, this annual event requires undergraduates to work 24/7 to find and share the meaning of data in what is becoming a popular field of discovery.

CCM congratulates team members Hamza Alvi of Rockaway, Favio Jasso of Dover, David Maldonado of Wharton, Rohan Sharma of Mt. Olive, and Lucas Spitzer of Succasunna for an amazing job. The students are pursuing their Associate of Science degree in Mathematics, Computer Science-Data Science option, and are enrolled in the Certificate of Achievement in Data Analytics program at CCM.

Professor Kelly Fitzpatrick, CFA of the college’s Department of Mathematics and a Tableau Desktop Specialist, served as the team’s faculty advisor. Fitzpatrick takes the students from zero to 100 in just 15 weeks to learn data science in MAT 114, Introduction to Data Science class.

“It is impressive every semester to see how quickly students can grasp high-level data science techniques using technology and perform at a high level to win national competitions,” said Fitzpatrick.

Each year, the ASA DataFest challenges students to analyze real-world data and make recommendations to address interesting and timely topics. The 2024 challenge was to investigate the CourseKata student data and find discoveries that could help improve student success in statistics and data science courses.

Team CCM Data Titans won Best Statistical Analysis by using box plots to detect and remove outliers and extraneous input, regression analysis, decision trees, and a heat map to determine how to improve student success. During the weekend in April, the team worked aggressively in R, Python, and Tableau to perform tidy data techniques and create custom categorical fields and visualizations.

They presented their results in a five-minute video to the judges. Each team member will receive a $25 gift card to the campus store and a complimentary ASA student membership on behalf of the Campus Life Center.

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Frank L. Cahill
Frank L. Cahill
Publisher of Parsippany Focus since 1989 and Morris Focus since 2019, both covering a wide range of events. Mr. Cahill serves as the Executive Board Member of the Parsippany Area Chamber of Commerce, President of Kiwanis Club of Tri-Town and Chairman of Parsippany-Troy Hills Economic Development Advisory Board.
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