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Data Analytics Team Takes First Place at Curiosity Cup

Alex Kasten
By Alex Kasten
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Adelphi, Md. (April 19, 2023)–A team from the Master of Science in Data Analytics program at University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC) emerged as one of 10 winners in the SAS Curiosity Cup, a global student analytics competition.

In the event sponsored by SAS, the business analytics software and services company, UMGC competed against 51 other teams from around the world, including Denmark, France, India, Italy, Oman, and Romania.

Teams submitted research papers that focused on real-world analytics skills. UMGC students Shiva Devkota and Zane Liu, along with faculty advisor Goldberg—presented a paper titled “Comparing Classification Models of Predicting Diabetes using SAS Viya,” which focused on the use of classification models to predict factors leading to diabetes. Viya is a data-management program that employs artificial intelligence.

In the first round of judging, UMGC’s paper was accepted as one of the 10 finalists. During the second-round competition, UMGC created a video presentation of its research to win the data presentation category, which was one of three individual skills that were judged. The other categories were data analysis and data preparation.

“Winning the SAS Curiosity Cup competition is a significant achievement for me, both personally and professionally,” said Devkota. “It validates my hard work, skills, and knowledge in SAS programming and data analysis and potential to make significant contributions in the field.” 

Liu said the competition results reflected the relevance of the UMGC team’s skills. “Our showing at the SAS Curiosity Cup demonstrates that what we've learned is acceptable outside the classroom,” he said.

For its accomplishment, the UMGC team will receive yearlong access to the SAS Academy for Data Science, a digital badge from SAS, a SAS certification exam voucher, and a SAS training course voucher. Full competition results can be found here.

“The SAS Curiosity Cup provides students with additional opportunities to flex their data analytic skills outside of the classroom,” said Dr. Kate Goldberg, collegiate professor of data analytics at UMGC and the team’s faculty advisor. “A great benefit of the competition was to provide students with a chance to work with other analytical software packages that they are likely to encounter in the workplace.”

About UMGC

University of Maryland Global Campus was founded more than 75 years ago specifically to serve the higher education needs of working adults and military servicemembers. Today, UMGC is the largest provider of postsecondary education in Maryland and continues its global tradition with online and hybrid, courses, more than 175 classroom and service locations worldwide, and more than 135 degrees and certificates backed by the reputation of a state university and the University System of Maryland. For more information, visit