2010 Archives

SMU Data Mining Team ranked in nation's
top three for third consecutive year

August 30, 2010

The SAS Institute of North Carolina has just announced that SMU’s Data Mining team is one of the top three finishers in the nation for the 2010 SAS Data Mining Shootout, a data analysis competition co-sponsored by SAS, Dow Chemical and  the Central Michigan University Research Corporation. 

The order of finish will be announced October 26, 2010, at the 13th annual SAS Data Mining Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The SMU team includes Subhojit Das, Greg Johnson and Jacob Williamson, along with faculty sponsor Professor Tom Fomby of the Department of Economics in SMU's Dedman College. They will receive all-expense-paid trips to Las Vegas to attend the conference and the award ceremony.  Das and Johnson are third-year students in the Economics Ph.D. program, while Williamson is in the last semester of the MA in Applied Economics program.       

The problem statement of the 2010 SAS Data Mining competition was posted to all U.S. universities in February of this year.  All solutions were due by July 19, 2010.  Proposed solutions involved analyzing the medical, demographic, and behavioral data of 50,788 individuals some of whom had diabetes in order to determine the economic benefit of reducing the Body Mass Indices (BMIs) of a selected number of individuals by 10%.  To maximize the benefit of the BMI reduction program, individuals have to be carefully selected for the program.  Accurate selection of “high risk” individuals for treatment is quite important because the more accurate the selection of appropriate individuals, the greater the savings on future medical expenses relative to the costs of reducing the BMIs of a limited number of individuals. 

Evidently SMU’s Data Mining Team proposed a very strong solution offering one of the highest benefit-to-cost ratios for the program among the proposed solutions of approximately 50 teams from universities and colleges across the nation.    

This is the third year in a row that SMU’s Economics Department has fielded one of the top three Data Mining teams in the nation in the annual SAS Data Mining Shootout competition.  The previous two SMU teams finished as National Champions.     

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