Biostatistics graduate students rank among top competitors in big data competition

Three biostatistics graduate students at Penn State College of Medicine finished fourth in a big data competition hosted by Kaggle, an online community of data scientists and data sets.

Vishal Midya, Renan Sauteraud and Daniel McGuire teamed up against 86 other teams for a chance to attend the Institutes of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Big Data Conference in December 2019.

For five months, the team used data collected by scientists to predict when major solar flares that could cause harm to global infrastructure might occur. According to McGuire, understanding how to work with big data sets is an invaluable tool for biomedical researchers.

“There are massive amounts of medical data ranging from genetic test results to electronic medical records,” McGuire said. “The same principles we used in this competition to develop mathematical models might help us apply those skills when investigating problems in public health.”

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