AUA Students Organize Datathon 20232 min read
YEREVAN, Armenia — Students of the American University of Armenia (AUA) never miss the opportunity to organize learning activities beyond the classroom. One of the reasons why people aspire to study at AUA is not for the quality of academic knowledge alone, but also to engage in a variety of activities the University offers along with it; AUA creates opportunities for students to test their skills, get to know themselves and one another, and meet like-minded people.
Hackathons have been quite popular recently; they focus on a specific theme or technology and aim to bring people together, providing a platform for sharing ideas and coming up with creative solutions in a short period of time. Inspired by this concept, the AUA Data Warriors Student Club in collaboration with the Office of Student Affairs organized the first student-led Datathon 2023 at AUA, which focused on data science and machine learning.
Data science student Mher Movsisyan (BSDS ‘24) was the organizer and task developer of the datathon. “As members of the AUA community, we feel responsible for providing our peers with an opportunity to gain practical experience in data science and machine learning. Everyone can contribute to the improvement of the field, and the datathon is a way to do so,” he remarked, adding, “Our club has been organizing meetups with different data science professionals, and these events have helped us to understand the field better and find out how specialists approach their learning and career. It also helped me realize that I can have an impact on other people; our event is the result of that self-realization.”
With two teams and four individuals competing individually, Datathon 2023 aimed at giving the participants a chance to improve their data handling, machine learning, problem solving, and data generating skills, while helping them build a network and meet other students interested in data science.
Zaven Avagyan (BSCS ‘24) won the competition with a 99,8% accuracy score. “Actually, I had no experience in the sphere, and at first I did not want to participate, because I thought it would be shameful for me to lose. However, Mher managed to convince me by saying that I would get some useful experience. I like to take risks, and I am happy I did. When you win, you get more motivated. I am grateful for the chance to participate in this event, it was really interesting, and I will do my best to help organize more events like this,” he reflected.
The students are positive that such events will become more frequent and serve as a platform for collaboration between AUA and other universities in Armenia.
Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia, affiliated with the University of California, and accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission in the United States. AUA provides local and international students with Western-style education through top-quality undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs, promotes research and innovation, encourages civic engagement and community service, and fosters democratic values.