Economics Department DataCom

Whether you are ready to try your hand at research for the first time or you are already a data veteran, this competition is for you!

Date & Time:

Friday, April 27, 2018
3:00 PM - 5:00 PM


ASC Dorsey Way

The University of St. Thomas Department of Economics is sponsoring the second annual UST Economics Data Competition. The Sustainable Communities Partnership is co-sponsoring the competition. In this year’s DataCom, students will analyze real-­world data to answer their own research questions. Under the guidance of a faculty advisor, students will learn to develop skills managing and analyzing large datasets, conduct independent original research, and effectively communicate empirical results. This year’s data are provided by Metro Transit, which operates the primary public transit system of bus and rail lines in the Twin Cities.



  1. Teams are comprised of a maximum of three students and an economics faculty advisor. Each student must be either an economics major/minor or not have any officially declared major.
  2. Students are strongly encouraged to attend the Data Orientation Workshop on February 27, 12:00-1:00pm in OEC 449, led by Dr. Eric Lind (Senior Data Scientist, Metro Transit). Eric will introduce students to the Metro Transit data, helping students to understand the nature of the data, how they fit together, and what kinds of research questions the data can address, etc.
  3. Students must register to participate by March 9. Please e-mail Dr. Luz Saavedra ( with the names of your team members, faculty advisor, and team name. Alternatively, please send an e-mail if you are interested but you do not have a teammate or an advisor and we will connect you with one.
  4. The core Metro Transit datasets will be provided to students. Teams may also supplement the core Metro Transit data with any relevant datasets.
  5. Each team will create a poster and present their results at a poster session. The Department of Economics will pay for the printing of the posters.
  6. Judging will be based on the poster and responses to judge’s questions according to the following criteria:
    1. Original and important research question(s)
    2. Innovative and appropriate methodology for analyzing data
    3. Clear analysis of results
    4. Effective presentation of results – both visually and orally

All teams must attend the poster session and reception event on April 27, 3:00-5:00pm. Food and beverages for the event will be provided.

Important Dates:

  • Data orientation workshop: Feb 27, 12:00-1:00 in OEC 449
  • Registration Deadline:  March 9, 2018
  • Poster session: April 27, 3:00-5:00 in ASC Dorsey Way

Total Prize Money: $1500 (multiple cash awards)

Getting started is easy: talk to an economics faculty member to get the ball rolling!

All programs offered by the University of St. Thomas shall be readily accessible to individuals with disabilities. For details, call (651) 962-6315.