2nd Vancouver Sport Analytics Symposium and Hackathon
“I am hoping that VanSASH will be my first step into data science, and ideally, sport analytics.” - VanSASH 18 Participant
The second iteration of the Vancouver Sport Analytics Symposium and Hackathon (VanSASH) took place on September 22nd 2018 at Simon Fraser University’s Harbour Centre Campus. Organized by SFU students (Kristen Bystrom, Dani Chu, Eli Mizelman, Matthew Reyers, Andrew Ringer, and Lucas Wu) for students, over 90 hackathon competitors competed to solve business and soccer challenges using exclusive datasets provided by the Vancouver Whitecaps. With accomplished mentors and judges attending the event, participants had the opportunity to work with and learn from leaders in statistics, machine learning and sports analytics.
Even those who had no prior experience with coding were invited to participate in the event. In the morning they attended tutorial sessions where they were taught basic programming skills, including introductions to modelling and visualization in R. They left the tutorials with the foundation of a project that they could then develop for the rest of the event with the help of the talented VanSASH mentors. These mentors consisted of Professors in Statistics at SFU, machine learning experts and data scientists with over 10 years of industry experience.
Finally, every participant was given the chance to present their work to multiple judges. Giving the participants a chance to make an impression on the judges provides them with a foot in the door to a job or industry connection – a major goal of the event. The judges consisted of MLS Vice Presidents, Whitecaps Coaches, and Directors of Analytics Departments at a variety of Vancouver companies. The winning teams won over $2,000 in prize money and were able to attend the Vancouver Whitecaps game the next day. They were even given a shoutout on the Whitecaps Big Screen at BC Place.
The event was attended by the Vice President of Data and Analytics at Major League Soccer, Charlie Shin, who is hoping to host a similar event for the MLS in the future
We want to thank the Canadian Statistical Sciences Institute (CANSSI), Statistical Society of Canada, Simon Fraser Student Society, Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science at SFU, Faculty of Science at SFU, KEY | SFU’s Big Data Initiative, SFU Statistics and Actuarial Science Student Association, SFU Sports Analytics Club and Sticker Mule for their generosity and support of our vision.
Masters Student in Statistics
Simon Fraser University