IISE Data Analytics and Information systems division (dais) student data analytics competition

The Data Analytics Competition is an annual student competition event organized by the Data Analytics and Information Systems (DAIS) division of the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers. The main objective of the competition is to provide the students with the opportunity to learn, showcase and enhance their data analysis and visualization skills through working with real-world problems with real-sized data sets.


Example 1: Causal inference for predicting treatment outcome in breast cancer
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is increasingly being integrated into the standard of care imaging to screen patients at risk of developing breast cancer or to assess the extent of cancer after initial diagnosis. One such application is the prediction of response (complete recovery or incomplete recovery) to neoadjuvant systemic therapy (NST) in breast cancer. Recent work has extensively focused on developing data science models to predict the treatment response. However, they are limited in providing an expert-level interpretation of these models, particularly interpretability towards generating causal inference. In this competition, we will focus on identifying the regions on the breast MRI that contribute towards the prediction of treatment response. Identifying these causal features on the MRI can help oncologists in improving the treatment of breast cancer.

Example 2: Surface anomaly detection from 3D point cloud data
Showcase your skills in 3D computer vision and help tackle real-world challenges in detecting defects in manufactured products. Your task is to develop an algorithm that accurately classifies and optionally segments deviations in the geometric structure of objects represented in unstructured 3D point cloud data. Take on the challenge of working with complex, high-dimensional, and unstructured data, and be recognized as a leader in this field.


  • Individuals or teams of a maximum of four members.   
  • Student members can be undergraduate or graduate students from higher education institutes in the field of Industrial & Systems Engineering or related fields.
  • Student members should be enrolled at the time of the submission of the proposal.
  • At least one of the team members must be an active member of the Data Analytics and Information System (DAIS) division of IISE.
  • A team must submit a notice of intent to participate in the competition.

Competition Process

Notice of Intent
A team must submit a notice of intent to participate in the competition via email to the chairs of the competition steering committee by Sunday, February 12, 2023. The notice of intent needs to include:

  1. The list of full names of all team members, their affiliations, and contact information (email and phone). Student team members are required to provide their expected graduation date.
  2. One team member identified as the main contact.
  3. The example your team would like to work on (see Example I and II above).

The competition chairs will share the competition challenge questions and data set through email to the main contact provided by the team on Friday, February 17, 2023. The data set will include training and test sets. The label information will be (partially) provided for training data.

Submission of the Results
Participating teams or individuals are required to submit a file that includes:

  1. A final report ((guideline will be provided along with the competition challenge questions and data set)
  2. The source code and scripts via email to the chair of the competition steering committee by Wednesday, March 8, 2023

More details regarding the final report format will be provided along with the challenge questions. The competition steering committee will evaluate the submissions, and a maximum of top four teams will be selected as finalists.

Final Presentation

The selected finalist teams and individuals will present the model motivation, model approach, and results at the 2023 IISE Annual Conference & Expo, May 19 – 22, 2023 New Orleans, LA. More information on the presentation contents will be provided to the finalist teams.

Evaluation Process

Approval of the Notice of Intent 
The competition steering committee will review and approve or reject the submitted notices of intent to participate based on the aforementioned eligibility criteria. Approval emails will be sent by the chair of the committee by Feb. 7, 2023. The competition challenge questions will be emailed to the eligible teams and individuals by Friday, February 17, 2023.

Selection of top three finalist teams 
The competition steering committee will select a maximum of four finalist teams. Finalist teams will be notified by email by the chair of the committee by Thursday, March 9, 2023.

Selection of winners
The selected finalist teams will present their results in 2023 IISE Annual Conference & Expo, May 20-23, 2023, New Orleans, Louisiana. A blind vote cast by invited judges will decide the winner after the presentations.


  • Recognition at the Annual Conference:
    • at the DAIS Town Hall Meeting
    • in Honors and Awards program
  • Certificate provided by IISE (either mailed or given at the town hall meeting) for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize winners.
  • 1st Place winner receives a complimentary ticket to the Honors and Awards banquet.
  • Recognition in ISE magazine
  • Recognition on DAIS webpage and in the newsletter

Important dates/deadlines

  • Notice of Intent: Febraury 12, 2023 
  • Notice of the team approval: February 17, 2023 
  • Competition challenge questions are made available: February 17, 2023 
  • Deadline for submission of the results: March 8, 2023 
  • Notification to the finalist teams: March 9, 2023 
  • IISE Annual Conference & Expo: May 20-23, 2023 

Competition Chairs

Haifeng Wang, Mississippi State University
Xiao Liu, University of Arkansas
Ashif Iquebal, Arizona State University
Michael Beihler, Georgia Tech

Questions, contact Amy Straub at IISE.