Panel: Why YOU Should Enter a Data Science Hackathon

by Daniel Feldman, Jake Mason, Kevin Church, Pedro Medina, Sona Maniyan, John Hogue, Wenqiuli Zhang, and Priyanka Saboo | at MinneBar 11 | 1:45 – 2:35 in Calhoun | View Schedule

Want to learn Data Science and Analytics? The best way to get started is to participate in a data science hackathon! In just a day or two, you can build your skills, make connections, and solve problems that affect the real world!

There are THREE great data science hackathons in the Twin Cities! We'll have representation from all of them so you can find one that fits your interests.

This discussion panel will feature organizers and participants from data science hackathons in the Twin Cities. Speakers include:

  • Wenqiuli Zhang, from the winning Social Data Science Hackathon team and recent MS in analytics graduate

  • Priyanka Saboo, also from the winning Social Data Science Hackathon team and recent MS in analytics graduate

  • Pedro Medina, data science startup founder, Analyze This organizer and Social Data Science competitor

  • Jake Mason, current data science student and Analyze This organizer

  • Sona Maniyan, data scientist at Veritas and Social Data Science organizer

  • John Hogue, data scientist at General Mills, Social Data Science organizer and MUDAC judge

  • Kevin Church, independent data scientist, Analyze This organizer, Social Data Science participant, and MUDAC judge

It will be a fascinating discussion about learning in a high-pressure hackathon environment while the clock is ticking!

Discussion will be moderated by Daniel Feldman.


Daniel Feldman

I'm a software engineer working on open source network security stuff. Follow me @d_feldman on twitter, @dfeldman on BlueSky, or on Mastodon.

Jake Mason

This person hasn't yet added a bio.

Kevin Church

  • Independent consultant based in the Twin Cities of Minnesota
  • Chemical engineer by training, applied statistician by vocation.
  • Six Sigma Master Black Belt with over 25 years experience helping organizations leverage their data and internal expertise to make significant and sustainable improvements in performance.
  • Expertise in predictive analytics as the means to convert data into actionable intelligence.
  • Gifted public speaker and teacher/coach, which is essential when teaching applied statistics!
  • Co-Founder of AnalyzeThis! a Twin Cities Meetup group raising the level of local analytics expertise via business focused 3-month challenges.
  • Client List: • Medical Devices (Cardiovascular Systems, Enova Medical, Iolab) • Healthcare (Torrance Memorial Medical Center) • Newspapers (New York Times, Los Angeles Times, New York Daily News, New York Post, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, Singapore Press Holdings) • Public Utilities (Wolf Creek Nuclear, Saint Paul Regional Water Services, Dakota Electric Association) • Manufacturing (Corning: Glass, Arcelor-Mittal: Steel, Meridian Automotive Systems) • Hospitality (Carlson Companies) • Oil & Chemicals (Chevron USA, Chevron Chemical, Texaco) • Engineering & Construction (Bechtel) • Non-profits (The Art Institute of Chicago, The St. Paul Public Schools Foundation, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Children's Cancer Research Fund, Greater Chicago Food Depository, Atlanta Botanical Garden, Appalachian Mountain Club)

Pedro Medina

Pedro is a seasoned data science executive and an experienced problem solver with a passion for data. He is President and Chief Analytics Officer at Haystack, LLC, where he helps companies analyze, visualize, and leverage their data to drive growth.

Sona Maniyan

This person hasn't yet added a bio.

John Hogue

  • As my day job I apply machine learning to automate data driven decision making in the at General Mills. By night my alter ego founded Social Data Science, who’s mission is to apply data science to local nonprofit organizations with intent to improve the world around us. I hope to enable aspiring and practicing data scientists to apply their knowledge to tackle problems our community is currently facing by providing practical, hands-on talks and competitions.

  • I am actively involved in local Python, R and Hadoop User Groups in the Twin Cities. Since these communities helped launch my career, I look forward to giving back.

Wenqiuli Zhang

Wenqiuli is graduating from MS Business Analytics program at Carlson School of Management. With a strong background of both Statistical Analysis and Data Mining, Wenqiuli has great passion on applying her knowledge and experience to help company solve real business problems, discover new opportunities, and make business decisions that can enhance performance and gain competitive advantages.

It is important to talk and learn from other data scientists to improve herself. Wenqiuli had great experience in this community and wants to help as much as she can.

Priyanka Saboo

This person hasn't yet added a bio.