2019 RMDS Data Science Competition Recap

December 19. 2019

Competition Winners
The five winning teams consist of members from George Mason University, University of Arizona, University of Southern California, Loyola Marymount University, University of Washington, University of North Carolina on Chapel Hill, Bucknell University.


Competition Champion
Dr. Alex Liu, Dr. Hui Su, and Dr. Yitang Zhang present Yun Li from Champion Team George Mason with $1000 prize money.


RMDS Lab, standing for Research Method and Data Science, is one of the largest data science community in California. From its establishment in 2009, RMDS Lab has gathered over 30,000 data scientists and experts in the community. This year, RMDS Lab has held a data science competition from Oct. 23rd to Nov. 25th. 

This competition aims to innovate the statistical tropical cyclone intensity forecast model with advanced machine learning techniques. Applications could be used to improve hurricane intensity forecasts that reduce economic losses. 

 “This data science competition will present how data and artificial intelligence (AI) can produce positive impacts such as to mitigate risks from natural disastets and of course participants can learn a lot working with top experts in this field, with prizes for winning teams as well”, said Alex Liu, Former IBM Chief Data Scientist and the CEO of RMDS Lab.

Through meticulous evaluation ran by the advisory committee of experts from NASA JPL, IBM, and LMU, we have finally honored championship to the George Mason University group formed by Earth System Geoinformation Sciences PhD candidate Yun Li and a Master student Yanyi Zhang under the guidance of Professor Chaowei (Phil) Yang who is the director of the NSF Spatiotemporal Innovation Center. Yun Li will also represent the group to give a presentation of their project at RMDS Annual Conference on Dec. 7th. 

The success of this AI forecast model could save the government budget responding to hurricanes for better natural disaster preparedness. In the year 2017, hurricane Irma attacked Florida, with the estimation of 84 people died and at least $50 billion in damage, making Irma the costliest hurricane in Florida history. Over $20 billion state budget investigated in post-disaster reconstruction, comparing to the total state budget of $88 billion in the whole year. $6 billion state budget was overspent responding to the environment damage, which severely embezzled the half allocation belongs to human services.

RMDS Lab will continue help researchers and data scientists worldwide to excel in a new era of big data and cognitive computing. We welcome all data science enthusiastic to join and discuss data science, research methodology, and innovations.

To view the winners' projects, please go to grmds.org/competition-winner