The University of Cincinnati’s Center for Business Analytics sponsored the first-ever MS Business Analytics student project competition on March 4. The project by Joel Weaver, “Determining Optimal Student Groups Based on Varying Classroom Constraints and Weighted Student Scores,” was awarded the top scholarship prize of $2,500 by the judges for its real world applications, content quality and presentation style. Four final projects were chosen and were presented to a panel of analytics professionals from local corporations including Macy’s, Great American Insurance Companies, Proctor & Gamble, and Axcess Financial and United Way of Greater Cincinnati.
The four finalists designed their own projects using real data to model a real-world problem, provide solutions, and generate actionable insights from these solutions. Weaver’s project addressed optimizing student grouping arrangements in elementary and secondary school classrooms where students spend the majority of their time working together in one of many different types of student grouping arrangements. A working model was developed in Microsoft Excel to provide teachers a useful tool to form optimal learning groups. Expanding on this research, additional models can be created to address the varying types of grouping arrangements in the modern classroom.
The first runner up, Srinivas Prabhu, was awarded a $1,000 scholarship for his presentation of “Estimating Aircraft Evacuation Time for Passengers and Crew” that developed a computational model to simulate real-time evacuation of passengers and crew and estimated total evacuation time from commercial aircrafts. The second runner up, Prakash Daftari, received $500 for his insights into “Improving Night Ride Service: A UC Student Safety Initiative“ evaluating opportunities for improving the Night Ride Service at UC which provides students with safe transportation options to-and-from the UC campus. Vishal Ugle also presented on “Evaluating Alternative Approaches to Calculating Value-at-Risk (VaR)” where he identified different approaches to calculate Value-at-Risk in terms of their accuracy in assessing the market risk associated with investing in the S&P 500 stock market index.
About the Center for Business Analytics
The UC Center for Business Analytics in the Lindner College of Business is home to a top 20 Business Analytics master’s program. It also hosts several open to the public events and training courses on topics related to business intelligence, data visualization, big data modeling, data mining, and prescriptive analytics. The Center includes a world-class group of faculty, outstanding students, and dedicated corporations whose goals are to educate and exchange ideas and best practices on how to apply data and analytical methods to enhance business performance. The Center aspires to be a preeminent venue for the exchange of ideas on how to use data to guide decision making and how best to apply analytics to solve difficult problems. For more information, visit the UC Center for Business Analytics.