What is Data Challenge?

Data Challenge is an annual week-long data exploration event at the University of Maryland hosted by The College of Information Studies and The School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Maryland’s School of the Built Environment (MAPP)

During the week, UMD students will gain analytical experience by solving challenging problems exploring novel datasets, build technical aptitude integrating datasets to create multidisciplinary knowledge, and obtain real-world team-building experience.

All UMD students are invited to participate.

Students will choose from the sponsor provided datasets to work with for the week, and will be encouraged to use additional 3rd party services, APIs, open source projects libraries, and frameworks to create and answer a unique question about their chosen dataset. This week long distributed format allows students sufficient time for evaluation, question formation, dataset integration, analysis, and results preparation.

In addition, the students will have an opportunity to participate in sponsor’s tech talks, network with a variety of organizations, and learn about future connections with the organizations.

No matter what major the students are from, they can partner up for a social cause, show off their skills and make their contribution to creating something innovative!


Data Challenge Event February 23 – March 2, 2019

Challenge Kickoff | February 23, 2019 9:00am – 5:00pm

Teams meet with mentors on campus to discuss ideas, frame the research question, start the analysis work and set expectations for the week.

Research Showcase and Judging Day | March 2, 2019 9:00am – 5:00pm

Teams present the outcomes of their analysis to the Data Challenge Judges, data enthusiasts, friends, family, and anyone who is interested to see the amazing work the students have created during the week.

Registration Schedule

Individual Registration | December 1, 2018 – January 31, 2019

Every team member first registers individually for the event through the registration link.
Registration link will be posted on December 1, 2018 at 8:00am.

Team Registration | February 1, 2019 – February 15, 2019

If you plan to form a team, you will have the opportunity to officially register your team during this timeframe.

Data Challenge Pre-Events

Mentor/Researcher Team Building Event | February 1, 2019 4:00pm – 6:00pm

This event is open all Data Challenge 2019 mentors, plus anyone who is interested in learning how to work with students as they work through a data analysis problem. Signup details coming soon!

Team Building Event | February 8, 2019 6:00pm – 9:00pm

This event is highly recommended for those who do not have a team yet. Meet and network with other student participants with similar ideas who are looking to join a team. RSVP is required.
All students registered for the Data Challenge will receive an invitation to this event.