ISyE Takes the Team Prize at ASA StatBowl

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Barbara Christopher
Industrial and Systems Engineering
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Georgia Tech's ISyE team took home the winner's trophy at the American Statistical Society's Stat Bowl, held at the August Joint Statistical Meetings (JSM) in Toronto.

The team consisted of Ph.D. students Abhyuday Mandal, Zhiguang Qian, and Andrew Smith. Smith was also honored as Individual Runner-up. Ten universities competed in Stat Bowl.

Mandal was the first to commit himself to the competition, at the invitation of Mark Payton, Stat Bowl's organizer from Oklahoma State University. He talked his roommate, Qian, into joining him. It wasn't a hard sell. "He told me if I participated I'd get a $500 reimbursement (for conference fees)," says Qian. All competitors received the reimbursement.

Smith was a last minute addition to the team when an extra slot opened up. "It was flattering for me," he says. "I came in there at the last minute. It was completely unexpected for me to play, let alone win something." Perhaps it was his attire; he competed in shorts and a t-shirt, while his competitors wore professional garb.

None of the Tech students cracked their books for the competition, which has two rounds. The first, or screening round, was a written quiz. "Basically a statistics quiz," says Mandal. "They asked different questions about history, current research, or people who have had an influence in the field." Those who made the cut got to come back for the Jeopardy-style buzzer round.

"It was a fun thing," continues Mandal. "Some of our faculty attended the final to give us support. The room was full, an audience of 60 or so." Team scores were determined by combining individual scores. The questions were by no means consistent in difficultly, ranging from the complicated to lightweights such as, "Where is next year's conference?" Qian got the right state, but struggled to name the city. He finally responded with the only city in Minnesota that he knew: Minneapolis. He was correct.

Mandal commented that winning "is an honor to the school and to us. We are very happy to get the trophy." Smith received a plaque for his individual efforts.

Stat Bowl, formerly known as College Bowl, was established in 1992 at the ASA Winter Conference in Louisville. Starting in 1994, it was conducted every year until 1999. After a gap of three years, it was successfully reincarnated at the 2003 JSM in San Francisco, with several enhancements.

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H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISYE)

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Engineering, Research
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Status
  • Created By: Barbara Christopher
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: Sep 20, 2004 - 8:00pm
  • Last Updated: Oct 7, 2016 - 11:07pm