Published 03/18/16

Three seniors head to national analytics competition

As national finalists in the SAS Global Forum Student Symposium, three Bryant seniors are headed to the final round in Las Vegas in April. The symposium is an opportunity for teams of two to four students to showcase their skills and compete with other teams in the application of SAS Analytics in big data. The Bryant team is one of eight chosen to present their project in a 20-minute breakout session. The students will compete against students from some of the top analytics programs in the U.S. and Canada.

The Applied Analytics curriculum "has taught us how to think critically about big data."

The Bryant team includes:

  • Molly Funk ’16 (Coventry, CT)
  • Max Karsok ’16 (Douglas, MA)
  • Michelle Williams ’16 (Oxford, MA)

Their project uses SAS tools and procedures to examine car crash data from fatal motor vehicle crashes in the United States and Puerto Rico from 2011 to 2013. The team profiled 10 unique situations where minors were involved. Seeking insight about what might have caused the crashes and what factors influenced whether the minors survived or died, they took their analysis and made recommendations to improve the education of different stakeholders in road safety situations.

“Through Bryant’s well-rounded education, we were able to differentiate our project by telling a story with the data that helps establish targeted road safety education programs,” says Williams.  “Our team was able to apply our analytical knowledge through SAS applications to measure and recommend a solution for a serious, under-researched issue in today’s society. This project has given us an opportunity to effectively exercise our teamwork skills and prepare for real-world experiences.”

“Working on this project gave our team the opportunity to bring all of the strategies and techniques we have learned throughout our years in the analytics concentration to the table,” says Karsok. “I think that each of us having a concentration in the College of Business on top of the analytics concentration was valuable when applying our analysis to scenarios outside of the data presented to us.”

“I am honored to be representing Bryant University with Max and Michelle at the SAS Global Forum. We are thrilled to be presenting on the international stage in April,” says Funk. “Our education in Bryant's Applied Analytics curriculum has taught us how to think critically about big data and has given us the experience necessary to tackle challenges faced in the modern business world.”

The group’s faculty advisor is Professor of Computer Information Systems Janet Prichard, Ph.D. Co-Directors of Bryant’s Applied Analytics Center, Richard Glass, Ph.D., professor of computer information systems and Alan Olinsky, Ph.D., professor of mathematics and computer information systems, also accompany the team.