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Darla Moore School of Business

Master Modeler Competition 2021

Hosted by the University of South Carolina, Emory University and Atlanta University Center Data Science Initiative.

This competition, sponsored by Boeing, is intended as an experiential learning opportunity for students, and a way to give back to the community to help support our data sponsor, ERASE Child Trafficking.

At the competition, you will:

  • Work on a complex business or community issue
  • Gain real experience in data science
  • Contribute positively to society and community causes
  • Learn how to collaborate with other disciplines
  • Meet industry leaders and analytics/data science hiring managers
  • Top three teams: $2,000 per team
  • Overall winner: Additional $1,500 ($3,500 for winning team)
  1. Competitors must be a current, active undergraduate student during spring 2021
  2. Operate within a team environment with two to four members.
  3. All teams must consist of members from their own institution, defined as:
    1. University of South Carolina
    2. Emory University
    3. Atlanta University Center - Clark Atlanta University, Spelman College, and Morehouse College - competitors from CAU, SC, and MC can work together)
  1. All submission deadlines must be met.
  2. Videos must be saved to YouTube as unlisted and viewable by anyone with the link. Include what content your team thinks makes sense. Videos typically include a walk-through of the analytics project including stages like problem framing, data acquisition and cleaning, choosing an analytics method, etc.
  3. All work must be original.
  4. Teams may not collaborate with other teams.
  5. Data can be augmented only by open source resources.
  6. Paid consulting, advice, suggestions, coaching or other support are not allowed.
  7. Teams may be disqualified by the competition administrators in the event such as unsportsmanlike conduct, ethical concerns or other reasons.
  8. Round 1 submissions limited to the first 20 per institution (20 max from AUC, 20 max from EU, 20 max from UofSC).
  9. Teams moving from Round 1 to the Finalist Round must include the same team members for both rounds.
  10. Winning prize money will be distributed equally to each team member.
Round 1: Entries due March 1

Please develop your proposed approach based on the following:

Business Situation

ERASE Child Trafficking leverages social media to increase awareness of human and child trafficking, reduce the level of trafficking, and reach individuals in need of assistance for leaving a human trafficking situation.

For this competition, we focus on their Facebook social media, with success metrics including a) likes, b) shares, c) mentions, d) comments, and e) hashtag usage (#HelpERASE).

Your objective is to 1) determine the types of posts that are most successful, 2) estimate the value of each type of engagement (likes, etc.), and 3) evaluate post attributes (use of celebrities, etc.) that tend to drive more positive post results.

The data will include the following types of tables and information, on a per Facebook post basis:

  1. Post contents
  2. Post engagement types
  3. Post engagement levels / frequencies

You are allowed to propose (and if you advance as a finalist, gather) additional/augmented data from open source locations.

Please submit once per team for your final Round 1 materials, and note that no analysis occurs until Round 2/Finalist Round.

Submit your materials online.

Finalist Round

Finalists will be asked to conduct an analysis leveraging the data provided to help answer a specific business situation related to the Round 1 prompt. Details will be emailed to your team lead.


Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.