Fall Data Challenge: Help Solve Homelessness


Thanks for submitting!

The submission period for the Fall Data Challenge is closed as of 11:59 p.m. ET on October 28. 

Stay tuned for contest results and be the first to know about This is Statistics news by joining our newsletter. 


 

Calling all high school and undergraduate students!

According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), an average of 553,000 people in America experienced homelessness on any given night in 2018. As homelessness becomes a greater issue year over year, creative solutions are needed. Statisticians are a key part of understanding the causes and coming up with ways to mitigate the homelessness crisis.

Now, it’s your turn.

This is Statistics’ third annual fall contest challenges high school and college students to use statistics to dig into the data and come up with their own ideas to help solve homelessness.

Through this contest, you will put your statistical and data visualization skills to work with a team of your high school or undergraduate peers to help find ways to reduce and resolve the homelessness crisis, using HUD’s 2018 Point-in-Time Estimates of Homelessness in the U.S. dataset and focusing on one of the following cities, which had the highest populations of people experiencing homelessness in the U.S. in 2018:

  • Los Angeles
  • New York City
  • Seattle

Students with a lower familiarity with statistical analysis from raw datasets may also find it helpful to reference HUD’s 2018 Annual Homelessness Assessment Report, but must cite how they utilized it to inform their assessment in their submissions.

Although not required, teams may identify and utilize external datasets.

To compete, teams must submit their materials by Monday, October 28 at 11:59 PM EST.

Teachers, get your class involved by visiting our educator resource page.

How Does the Contest Work?  

Teams of two to five high school or undergraduate students can submit an entry. Each team must submit its work by 11:59 PM EST on Monday, October 28 to be eligible. Submissions will require a short essay describing the team’s process and presenting their analysis and recommendations via a PowerPoint presentation. When you’re ready to submit, follow the directions here. 

Awards will be given in three categories (1) Best Overall Analysis, (2) Best Visualization, and (3) Best Use of External Data.

Questions? See our FAQ page here, or send us an email at thisistats@gmail.com.

Prizes  and Perks  

Winning teams will receive a $50 Amazon gift card, complimentary memberships to ASA, and a Fall Data Challenge winners t-shirt, along with bragging rights and a chance to have an impact on an important real-world issue.

Winners also will be promoted to ASA’s membership of leading statisticians and data scientists in academia, industry, business, and government, and through ASA’s public education campaign, This is Statistics. Second and third place winners will also be recognized.

Download the complete contest rules and requirements here. 

Dataset 

All submissions must utilize HUD’s 2018 Point-in-Time Estimates of Homelessness in the U.S. and focus on one of the following cities, which had the highest populations of people experiencing homelessness in the U.S. in 2018:

  • Los Angeles
  • New York City
  • Seattle

Students with a lower familiarity with statistical analysis from raw datasets may also find it helpful to reference HUD’s 2018 Annual Homelessness Assessment Report, but must cite how they utilized it to inform their assessment in their submissions. A data cookbook explaining the terms used in the datasets is available here.

Although not required, teams may identify and utilize external datasets.

Need a hint? Be sure to look at the Housing Inventory Count within the dataset. When making your recommendations, research city and state-wide policies regarding homelessness. This will give you important background and will enable you to make relevant suggestions on how to help solve homelessness.

Submissions

When your team is ready, submit your materials following these directions by 11:59 PM EST on Monday, October 28.

Be the first to know about the official contest dates, datasets, rules, resources and more by signing up for our newsletter.