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Love Data Week at TXST: Datathon Program Details

Innovate for Impact: Open Data Solutions for the Bobcat Community

The theme of this Datathon activity encompasses the commitment of TXST to innovation, community engagement, and leveraging open data for meaningful impact. Participants will work collaboratively to make a meaningful impact on real-world issues through open data and share final digital artifacts to support TXST university communities aligned with the university's mission. Participants will research the topic or problem, provide insights, and develop creative solutions using open data.

Event Details & Awards:

Following an opening talk and keynote address related to data research, a pool of research topics related to real-world problems will be announced to all competing teams at the kickoff event on Feb. 12. Teams will research the challenge topic and provide creative insights using open data. Students can receive Q&A support through daily office hours during the competition week. Teams will be required to create a “digital artifact” such as a digital poster to help visualize their project entry and must upload their final data and digital artifact to TXST online open repositories by the 1 p.m. deadline on 2/16. Teams will give a brief 5-10-minute in-person presentation of their work to a panel of expert judges who will score each project based on a pre-distributed rubric. A certificate of completion will be given to all participants who complete and present the project, and awards will be given to the top three teams with the highest overall scores. 

Schedule of Events: 


Event/Activity(ies)/Specific Hours   


Monday, Feb. 12 

3:30-5:30 p.m. 

In-Person Event Kickoff 

  • Opening Talk & Keynote Address 

  • Best practices and tools for research data management and examples of open data resources shared 

  • Research Topic & Rubric, Toolkit Provided 

  • Team building & networking 

  • Prizes announced 

  • Competition work begins 

Alkek 441 

Tuesday – Thursday, Feb. 13-15 

Ongoing competition 

  • Competition work is done by teams 

  • Virtual office hours for Q&A each day [3 pm - 5 pm, Zoom meeting]

Offsite or using library workstations 

Friday, Feb. 16 

10 a.m. – 3 p.m.  

Final Submissions & Presentations 

  • Onsite group work, networking, presentation prep/10 a.m. -noon 

  • Lunch provided/noon 

  • Drop final work into repositories with guidance/noon – 1 p.m. 

  • Presentations & Judging 1-2 p.m. 

  • Award notifications/2-3 p.m. 

Alkek 441 

Competition Rules

  • The maximum team size is 4.​

  • Teams will gather on Monday, Feb. 12 for the open talk and kickoff event and work independently with their teams during the week.​

  • All teams should be present at the final presentation in person on February 16th, from 1 pm to 3 pm. ​

  • Teams can gain advice and support from event organizers, librarians, library specialists, and others.​

  • All work on a project of the Datathon should be done during Love Data Week (February 12–16, 2024).​

  • The topic of your project must be selected from the given challenge pool below.​

  • Teams can use libraries or open-source code in their projects. ​

  • Teams using AI tools to facilitate the completion of the project will be required to disclose their usage and provide a brief statement verifying the accuracy of the information obtained through AI during the presentation. This disclosure ensures a clear understanding of the tools used and promotes accountability.​

  • Teams will be required to create a digital poster to help visualize their project for the presentation. They must upload their final dataset and digital poster to TXST online open data and research repositories, respectively, by the 1 p.m. deadline on 2/16. ​

  • Cite the open data source you used for the Datathon in your final project appropriately.​

  • Teams will be required to provide a 5-10 minute oral presentation of their digital poster for the competition. 

  • Award certificates and prizes for winners (top three teams). Certificate of completion for all participants if they attended all related events during Love Data Week.

TXST Open Datathon Scoring Rubric

View and download the TXST Open Datathon Scoring Rubric here. Teams will challenge the topic or problem and develop creative solutions using open data. Teams will give a brief 5- to 10-minute in-person presentation of their work to a panel of expert judges who will score each project based on this rubric.

Datathon Judges and Event Organization Team

Dr. Tahir Ekin 

Director, TXST Center for Analytics and Data Science

Professor, Department of Information Systems and Analytics  

McCoy College of Business

Dr.  Xiangping Liu

Assistant Professor

Department of Agricultural Sciences

College of Applied Arts

Dr. Emily Zhu

Assistant Professor

Department of Information Systems and Analytics  

McCoy College of Business

Carolina Benavides

Data Management Analyst

Office of Data, Analytics, & Institutional Research


Rachel hall

Research and Evaluation Specialist

Texas School Safety Center