The Copart IT Department hosted a Datathon with University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) students in October. Copart enjoys working closely with the surrounding undergraduate and graduate community as a way to build relationships and foster innovative learning environments. Through the Copart Datathon, students had the opportunity to meet and interact with members of the IT executive leadership team as well as have the chance to work within a global company.
A Datathon often is either one day or over the course of multiple days as a workshop and incubating space. The purpose of a Datathon is not only to bring together IT students and professionals, but it is intended to be an intense workshop that asks participants to do their best to turn information into knowledge. Datathons in particular use research questions and datasets to advance knowledge and come up with a solution.
The first few rounds of the Datathon were held at the UTD Career Management Center
Once the Datathon reached the elimination rounds, the remaining Datathon teams presented at Copart Headquarters in Dallas in front of their peers as well as IT executive leadership.
“This is always a great experience,” said Professor Kashif Saeed, Director of the MS-Business Analytics Program at UTD. “My students get to learn so much through these events. We are doing at least four Datathons this semester.”\
“This was such a great learning experience,” said VJ Rathore, a member of one of the top three teams. “It’s one thing to do practice problems and be given mock scenarios in class, but you can’t beat getting real data and knowing that your work will be used to solve a real life problem.”
“This datathon is different from others that I have been a part of because first, I had the opportunity to actually interact and speak with the IT leadership,” said Tina Sharma, a member of one of the top three teams. “I have never had this kind of exposure before, and it’s really great to see a company that has very approachable, considerate and eager leaders who willingly answer all of our questions.”