Kennesaw State students take top honors in national analytics competition

KENNESAW, Ga. | May 6, 2019

Two KSU teams among top eight invited to SAS Global Forum

A Kennesaw State student competition team earned second place in the SAS Student Symposium, a national analytics competition showcasing skills in the application of SAS Analytics in big data, earning them an invitation to the world’s largest event for analytics professionals.

Collegiate teams that ranked among the top eight of the SAS Student Symposium online competition were invited to present their results at the SAS Global Forum in Dallas, Texas.

KSU’s all-female team, named The Type III Errors, placed second in the SAS Student Symposium behind Oklahoma State University. The four-person team is composed of students Wendy Ballew, Rebekah Fallon, Audrey Whittle and Sharon Pearcey, and is led by faculty mentor and advisor Sherry Ni in KSU’s Department of Statistics and Analytical Sciences.

SAS Student Symposium

The student team of Audrey Whittle, from left, Sharon Pearcey, Rebekah Fallon, and Wendy Ballew, placed second in the SAS Student Symposium.

Each year, graduate students in KSU’s College of Science and Mathematics applied statistics program compete in the SAS Student Symposium, an annual competition that draws nearly 50 universities. Two Kennesaw State teams entered the event this year. 

KSU’s Dark Falcon team, which includes team members Owen Kelley and Matthew Bunker, was also named among the top eight teams. This is the fourth consecutive year that KSU has placed in the top eight, with a Kennesaw State team winning first place in 2016.

Each invited team, composed of two to four graduate-level students, presented projects during breakout sessions at the SAS Global Forum on April 29.

Kennesaw State was one of only two universities to have more than one team land in the top eight. Other finalists included Oklahoma State University, with three teams, as well as Purdue University, the University of South Florida and Louisiana State University.

– Tiffany Capuano

Photo submitted

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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 43,000 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