Prof. Kevin Yousie welcomes students to competition

Results are in from the 2020 Big Data & AI Case Competition!

Monday, April 20, 2020 - 2:47pm
Kira Lussier

The case competition was hosted by the University of Toronto Mississauga’s BIGDataAIHUB (BDAIH), in partnership with Scotiabank and the Institute for Management & Innovation (IMI). The BDAIH is a UTM-wide initiative that explores the impact of big data, AI, and machine learning on research, teaching, professions and industries. It offers a variety of events for faculty, staff, and students involving multiple departments and industry partners (e.g. research-focused “lightning lunches”, hands-on analytics workshops, accounting conferences, and our inaugural Big Data & Artificial Intelligence Case Competition).

The competition offered students the chance to work with real-life Scotiabank data that had been encrypted to protect the privacy of individual clients. The data file was huge and contained 8.6 million rows of data 8 columns wide.  The task for the students was to: “Recommend a process that employs big data and artificial intelligence in identifying whether clients are engaged in money laundering, specifically as it relates to human trafficking”.

The caase competition enabled students to learn hands-on skills in data analysis and to meet with industry experts and executives. It kicked off on January 25th with 175 registrants, far surpassing the target number of 48. At that session, students learned about human trafficking & money laundering, became familiar with the data and software, and heard from Scotiabank executives and data scientists. In February, Prof. Gerhard Trippen hosted two tutorials.  The first focused on Python programming, and the second on machine learning. Because of COVID-19, the final competition was shifted to a virtual format. That was held on March 28th.  Competitors submitted 15-minute voice over PowerPoint presentations and a team of Scotiabank expert judges selected the winning teams. 

A huge congratulations to the winning teams!

  • First prize:  The team of Alex Pegg, Nimisha Mundade, Christian Thormeyer and Massil Beguenane 
  • Second prize:  The team of Bilal Qadar, Kyla Schneider and Juan Castaneda 
  • Third prize:  The team of Renato Zimmermann, Zhengyu Li and Tran Hue Linh.  

The winning teams represented a wonderfully varied set of academic disciplines from across the University of Toronto Mississauga (e.g. Management, Commerce, Economics, Computer Science, Physics, Mathematics, Statistics, and Environmental Science). Each of the top teams will receive gift certificate prizes and the opportunity to present their work to senior executives at Scotiabank.

Thank you to the many individuals at Scotiabank who gave generously of their time and talent, and to Scotiabank itself for providing it’s large retail banking data set and the prizes. In addition, a big thanks to all the faculty, staff and student volunteers who made the competition a success!

A special thanks to Prof. Kevin Yousie, who did an extraordinary job of organizing and leading the competition, as well as to Prof. Irene Wiecek (Director MMPA Program and the BIGDataAIHUB) and Prof. Soo Min Toh (Director of IMI) for conceiving of the idea for this competition and for their unwavering support throughout.

Plans for the 2021 Big Data and Artificial Intelligence case competition are already underway!