Data science ignites the way to a better world

At the heart of every Data Science Bowl® is our common purpose to meaningfully tackle immense problems with immense force.

The Data Science Bowl is the world’s premier data science for social good competition, created in 2014 and presented by Booz Allen Hamilton and Kaggle.

The Data Science Bowl brings together data scientists, technologists, and domain experts across industries to take on the world’s challenges with data and technology. It’s a platform through which individuals can harness their passion, unleash their curiosity, and amplify their impact to effect change on a global scale.

To present the competition, Booz Allen partnered with Kaggle, the leading online data science competition community with over 1 million members around the world. During a 90-day period, participants, either alone or working in teams, gain access to unique data sets to develop algorithms that address a specific challenge. And each year, the competition awards cash prizes to top teams.

In 2015, participants examined more than 100,000 underwater images, provided by the Hatfield Marine Science Center, to assess ocean health at a massive speed and scale. More than 1,000 teams participated, submitting more than 17,000 solutions to the challenge. The winning team, Team Deep Sea, developed a classification algorithm that beat the current state of the art by more than 10%.

In 2016, they applied analytics in cardiology, transforming the practice of assessing heart function. Though the challenge was decidedly more complex than the prior year, this competition received nearly 9,300 submissions from more than 700 teams. In fact, the winning team, Tencia Lee and Qi Liu, are hedge fund traders, not traditional data scientists.

In 2017, nearly 2,400 teams worked to improve lung cancer screening technology, submitting more than 18,000 algorithms. Estimates suggest the top 10 solutions outperform best-in-class models by 10 percent. A follow-on competition took the advances from the 2017 Data Science Bowl algorithms from concept to clinic, sponsored by the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation along with DrivenData.org.

The 2018 Data Science Bowl competition brought together nearly 18,000 global participants, the most ever for the Data Science Bowl. Collectively, they submitted more than 68,000 algorithms and worked an estimated 288,000 hours to automate the vital, but time-consuming, process of nuclei detection. Identifying nuclei allows researchers to find each individual cell in a sample and, by measuring how cells react to various treatments, understand the underlying biological processes at work. Algorithms developed in this competition are projected to save researchers hundreds of thousands of hours of effort per year.

In this fight, no one fights alone. Every year, the community grows larger and more resourceful in how they address the challenge. We keep the door wide open to explore new techniques and technologies and approaches. In the end, they find a way and contribute to something bigger than themselves.

— Booz Allen Senior Vice President Josh Sullivan
It’s a platform through which individuals can harness their passion, unleash their curiosity, and amplify their impact to effect change on a global scale.
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In our first contest, we dove deep with a microscopic lens to improve ocean health. In our last, we went on a life-saving mission to spot nuclei to diagnose killer diseases. In each case, we did what couldn’t be done before: bring the awesome creativity and capability of data scientists to open the doors to new approaches.

What should we tackle next? If you have ideas, let us hear from you!

We’re in the hunt for the next big problem to solve—a problem with the potential to change the world. If selected, the power of the entire data science community will be harnessed against it.

Contact us to submit your ideas or email DataScienceBowl@bah.com. Include an overview of the problem, your contact information, a brief description of the data, and where it can be obtained.

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