UC Irvine hosts first Embark datathon 

The event saw students and OC businesses come to campus to learn data science tools and techniques.
Friday, April 21, 2023
UCI Physical Sciences Comunications

Students gather in the Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Building for UC Irvine's first-ever "datathon" data science workshop. 

Picture Credit:
Alice Vo

On April 15 and 16, in UC Irvine’s Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Building, the UCI Department of Mathematics hosted an event called Embark  — a “datathon” that brought anteater data science enthusiasts and Orange County businesspeople together for two days to work to solve business problems using data science tools and techniques.

Data@UCI — a university organization that aims to build community and offer networking opportunities for anteaters looking to incorporate data science into their studies — created and ran the datathon. Emi Cervantes, a UCI undergraduate majoring in mathematics with a focus on data science, was a co-lead coordinator for Embark.

“We’ve always dreamed about creating our first Datathon since our club was founded a year ago. The theme we chose for our first Datathon, “Embark”, reflects our commitments to new adventure and fostering growth in our data community,” said Cervantes. “We were so glad to see so many students from different interests and school came to our Datathon, and we were blown away by the incredible projects they produced. We hope that this Datathon is just the first of many to come, and that our club can continue to support and inspire our UCI data community.”

Professor Bob Pelayo of UCI Math is the Data Science concentration advisor for the Math major, said that “UCI Mathematics students concentrating in data science have a strong theoretical background in this area, and events like the Embark Datathon are a perfect way to complement their coursework with real data sets that that require mathematical thinking, coding and analytic creativity.”

Melissa, a local data analytics firm, sponsored Embark and opened the datathon with a talk and ran a workshop focusing on data’s relevance to business. StrataScratch, Crowdstrike, ODIT, Math Works, Notion and Guayaki were other sponsors of Embark.