Students studying the Master of Data Science & Innovation (MDSI) have once again emerged victorious in the second NSW government’s Data Analytics Centre invitational hackathon. Tackling three rounds of a challenge set by Fire and Rescue NSW to differentiate true fires from false alarms, the winning team enriched the dataset provided by adding weather and Twitter data, and generated additional features such as building type. Excitingly, their work may now influence data policy. A combined team from FEIT and UNSW took silver.
Having won the TransportNSW challenge in 2015, this advances UTS reputation as delivering outstanding, work-ready students. The MDSI teams have defeated other universities and professional companies, not only due to their technical ability, but with high performance teamwork, creativity and their ability to pitch their work to the client.
A consequence of fielding teams in these and other hackathons is that we have come to recognise them as a vehicle for very authentic learning. In close partnership with NSW Data Analytics Centre, MDSI has integrated their data challenges into the 2016 curriculum, providing a core experience for all students.