Kennesaw State students win big with industry sponsors

KENNESAW, Ga. | May 30, 2019

Students in data science course tackle analytics challenges

Two Kennesaw State student teams recently earned accolades from the companies that they partnered with in solving their toughest data-related problems as part of a spring data science course.

Kennesaw State undergraduate and graduate students worked in interdisciplinary teams throughout the semester and competed against other KSU data science teams in a quest to find resolutions. Two of the teams earned company-sponsored cash prizes.

KSU’s Analytics and Data Science Institute launched the course last year as an answer to industry’s need for analytical talent. Every semester, companies reach out to the Institute for help with their data-related challenges, and the Institute creates interdisciplinary teams to tackle these real-world analytics problems.

The industry sponsors for the spring course – Coke One North America Services/Heartland Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Cox Communications, and Perceivant – provided Kennesaw State’s Analytics and Data Science Institute with their specific analytics problems.

This semester, five teams worked with two companies each, completing one project for each company. The competitive experience offers students face-to-face interactions with C-suite executives from the sponsoring companies.

Data Science

For the CONA/Heartland Bottling Company project, graduate students in business administration (MBA), information systems (MSIS), information technology (MSIT), and analytics and statistics (MSAS), developed algorithms to address an inventory optimization problem. The five-person team, named Datanauts and consisting of Alexis VonBeck, Chaim Bernstein, Krystal Johnson, Sandra Rodriguez, earned the $1,000 prize for their inventory and supply chain process improvements.

As part of the project for Cox Communications, the third-largest cable provider in the nation, graduate students worked on a customer call center problem, which required teams to develop a model that would reduce call center costs while improving customer service. The team, named Talk Data To Me, composed of Kelly Linz, Anna Deeb and Cherin Tetteh, developed the winning algorithm and secured the $1,000 prize offered by the company.

Data Science

The project with Perceivant, an educational technology company serving the higher education marketplace, challenged graduate students to determine the factors which most influence the academic performance of students taking online courses. Student teams developed algorithms to address the challenge.  

– Tiffany Capuano

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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 45,000 students. Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia with 11 academic colleges. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 7 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit