AIMS Data Science Hackathon by Microsoft
Work towards a Microsoft certificate and win cash prizes with the start of the challenge in January 2021
Prize
$2,000 USD
Time
Ended over 1 year ago
Participants
123 active ยท 174 enrolled
Helping
Africa
Prediction
Description

This is a private hackathon for currently enrolled AIMS and CMU Africa students only. If you are an AIMS or CMU Africa student, reach out to your professors or student leaders for the secret code.

CMU Africa: Kwadwo Agyapon-Ntra - kagyapon(at)andrew.cmu.edu or Yonah Byarugaba - ybyaruga(at)andrew.cmu.edu.

AIMS Ghana: Francis Oduro - francis(at)aims.edu.gh

AIMS Cameroon: Berthine Nyunga Mpinda - bmpinda(at)aimsammi.org

AIMS South Africa: Samuel Ofosu Mensah - samuelmensah(at)aims.ac.za

AIMS Senegal: Franck Kalala Mutombo - franckm(at)aims-senegal.org

AIMS Rwanda: Blaise Tchapnda blaise.tchapnda(at)aims.ac.rw

About the Problem

Granular information on economic well being is extremely useful for governments and policy makers. But household surveys that capture this kind of information are expensive and conducted infrequently in many African countries. For this competition we will attempt to create a workaround for this lack of data by building a model able to predict a measure of wealth as measured in household surveys using readily available inputs.

Using data from 18 different countries collected at different times, you must correctly predict the cluster-level estimated wealth measures found from surveys in 7 different countries not covered in the training data. A successful model could be useful for filling in the gaps between the more expensive surveys.

About AIMS Data Science Hackathon

The AIMS Data Science Hackathon will run from 25 January to 28 February 2021, however students can register here at any time. Students from AIMS campuses across the continent are invited to come together on the virtual Zindi platform to develop machine learning and AI solutions to solve a real-world problem.

We strongly recommend that AIMS students prepare over the break (December to January) by completing the LinkedIn/Microsoft Data Analyst course, which will get you familiar with basic data analysis and exploration. Microsoft will offer the top 100 students in the hackathon vouchers to take the exam to become a certified Microsoft Data Analyst Associate.

So get your secret code from your university and sign-up today. Check out the LinkedIn Learning Data Analyst course here to sharpen your data skills over the holidays. The data will be posted and the competition will go live on 25 January 2021!

About the AIMS Data Science Hackathon

The AIMS Data Science Hackathon is a completely virtual hackathon. Students can work in teams of up to four people. The problem, dataset, discussion forum, and leaderboard will be open and available on the Zindi platform for the duration of the hackathon and students are welcome to work on the problem at their own pace.

Students will be challenged to build a machine learning model to solve a real world problem that affects Africa. The challenge will be accessible to beginners, but students will need some experience programming in R or Python.

How to prepare for AIMS Data Science Hackathon

  1. Add your university to your profile. Watch this YouTube video.
  2. Practice on a challenge such as Financial Inclusion in Africa and make your first Zindi submission. Watch this YouTube video.
  3. Make a team in preparation for UmojaHack. Watch this YouTube video.
  4. Complete the LinkedIn/Microsoft Data Analyst course to get familiar with basic data analysis and exploration.

About AIMS (aims.ac.za)

The African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) is Africa’s first network of centres of excellence in mathematical sciences. We enable the continent’s youth to shape the continent’s future through Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) education- training Africa’s next generation of leaders.

About Microsoft (microsoft.com)

This hackathon is sponsored by Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft). Microsoft enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Microsoft has operated in Africa for more than 25 years. In that time they have built strong partnerships across the continent, helped bridge gaps in infrastructure, connectivity and capability, and are working to empower countries in Africa to digitally transform while creating sustained societal impact. Earlier this year, Microsoft opened Africa’s first hyper-scale data centers in Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa. Most recently, the company also announced the opening of two Africa Development Centers in Nairobi and Lagos, where world-class African talent can create innovative solutions for local and global impact.

Rules

This is a private hackathon for currently enrolled AIMS and CMU Africa students only. If you are an AIMS or CMU Africa student, reach out to your professors or student leaders for the secret code.

CMU Africa: Kwadwo Agyapon-Ntra - kagyapon(at)andrew.cmu.edu or Yonah Byarugaba - ybyaruga(at)andrew.cmu.edu.

AIMS Ghana: Francis Oduro - francis(at)aims.edu.gh

AIMS Cameroon: Berthine Nyunga Mpinda - bmpinda(at)aimsammi.org

AIMS South Africa: Samuel Ofosu Mensah - samuelmensah(at)aims.ac.za

AIMS Senegal: Franck Kalala Mutombo - franckm(at)aims-senegal.org

AIMS Rwanda: Blaise Tchapnda blaise.tchapnda(at)aims.ac.rw

Teams and collaboration

You may participate in competitions as an individual or in a team of up to four people. When creating a team, the team must have a total submission count less than or equal to the maximum allowable submissions as of the formation date. A team will be allowed the maximum number of submissions for the competition, minus the total number of submissions among team members at team formation. Prizes are transferred only to the individual players or to the team leader.

Multiple accounts per user are not permitted, and neither is collaboration or membership across multiple teams. Individuals and their submissions originating from multiple accounts will be immediately disqualified from the platform.

Code must not be shared privately outside of a team. Any code that is shared, must be made available to all competition participants through the platform. (i.e. on the discussion boards).

The Zindi user who sets up a team is the default Team Leader. The Team Leader can invite other data scientists to their team. Invited data scientists can accept or reject invitations. Until a second data scientist accepts an invitation to join a team, the data scientist who initiated a team remains an individual on the leaderboard. No additional members may be added to teams within the final 5 days of the competition or the last hour of a hackathon, unless otherwise stated in the competition rules

A team can be disbanded if it has not yet made a submission. Once a submission is made individual members cannot leave the team.

All members in the team receive points associated with their ranking in the competition and there is no split or division of the points between team members.

Datasets and packages

The solution must use publicly-available, open-source packages only. Your models should not use any of the metadata provided.

You may use only the datasets provided for this competition. Automated machine learning tools such as automl are not permitted.

If the challenge is a computer vision challenge, image metadata (Image size, aspect ratio, pixel count, etc) may not be used in your submission.

You may use pretrained models as long as they are openly available to everyone.

You are allowed to access, use and share competition data for any commercial,. non-commercial, research or education purposes, under a CC-BY SA 4.0 license.

You must notify Zindi immediately upon learning of any unauthorised transmission of or unauthorised access to the competition data, and work with Zindi to rectify any unauthorised transmission or access.

Your solution must not infringe the rights of any third party and you must be legally entitled to assign ownership of all rights of copyright in and to the winning solution code to Zindi.

Submissions and winning

You may make a maximum of 10 submissions per day. Your highest-scoring solution on the private leaderboard at the end of the competition will be the one by which you are judged.

You can make a maximum of 300 submissions during this competition.

Zindi maintains a public leaderboard and a private leaderboard for each competition. The Public Leaderboard includes approximately 50% of the test dataset. While the competition is open, the Public Leaderboard will rank the submitted solutions by the accuracy score they achieve. Upon close of the competition, the Private Leaderboard, which covers the other 50% of the test dataset, will be made public and will constitute the final ranking for the competition.

Note that to count, your submission must first pass processing. If your submission fails during the processing step, it will not be counted and not receive a score; nor will it count against your daily submission limit. If you encounter problems with your submission file, your best course of action is to ask for advice on the Competition’s discussion forum.

If you are in the top 5 at the time the leaderboard closes, we will email you to request your code. On receipt of email, you will have 48 hours to respond and submit your code following the submission guidelines detailed below. Failure to respond will result in disqualification.

If your solution places 1st, 2nd, or 3rd on the final leaderboard, you will be required to submit your winning solution code to us for verification, and you thereby agree to assign all worldwide rights of copyright in and to such winning solution to Zindi.

If two solutions earn identical scores on the leaderboard, the tiebreaker will be the date and time in which the submission was made (the earlier solution will win).

If the error metric requires probabilities to be submitted, do not set thresholds (or round your probabilities) to improve your place on the leaderboard. In order to ensure that the client receives the best solution Zindi will need the raw probabilities. This will allow the clients to set thresholds to their own needs.

The winners will be paid via bank transfer, PayPal, or other international money transfer platform. International transfer fees will be deducted from the total prize amount, unless the prize money is under $500, in which case the international transfer fees will be covered by Zindi. In all cases, the winners are responsible for any other fees applied by their own bank or other institution for receiving the prize money. All taxes imposed on prizes are the sole responsibility of the winners. The top 3 winners or team leaders will be required to present Zindi with proof of identification, proof of residence and a letter from your bank confirming your banking details.

You acknowledge and agree that Zindi may, without any obligation to do so, remove or disqualify an individual, team, or account if Zindi believes that such individual, team, or account is in violation of these rules. Entry into this competition constitutes your acceptance of these official competition rules.

Zindi is committed to providing solutions of value to our clients and partners. To this end, we reserve the right to disqualify your submission on the grounds of usability or value. This includes but is not limited to the use of data leaks or any other practices that we deem to compromise the inherent value of your solution.

Zindi also reserves the right to disqualify you and/or your submissions from any competition if we believe that you violated the rules or violated the spirit of the competition or the platform in any other way. The disqualifications are irrespective of your position on the leaderboard and completely at the discretion of Zindi.

Please refer to the FAQs and Terms of Use for additional rules that may apply to this competition. We reserve the right to update these rules at any time.

Reproducibility of submitted code

  • If your submitted code does not reproduce your score on the leaderboard, we reserve the right to adjust your rank to the score generated by the code you submitted.
  • If your code does not run you will be dropped from the top 10. Please make sure your code runs before submitting your solution.
  • Always set the seed. Rerunning your model should always place you at the same position on the leaderboard. When running your solution, if randomness shifts you down the leaderboard we reserve the right to adjust your rank to the closest score that your submission reproduces.
  • We expect full documentation. This includes:
  • All data used
  • Output data and where they are stored
  • Explanation of features used
  • A requirements file with all packages and versions used
  • Your solution must include the original data provided by Zindi and validated external data (if allowed)
  • All editing of data must be done in a notebook (i.e. not manually in Excel)
  • Environment code to be run. (e.g. Google Colab or the specifications of your local machine)
  • Expected run time for each notebook. This will be useful to the review team for time and resource allocation.

Data standards:

  • Your submitted code must run on the original train, test, and other datasets provided.
  • If external data is allowed, external data must be freely and publicly available, including pre-trained models with standard libraries. If external data is allowed, any data used should be shared with Zindi to be approved and then shared on the discussion forum. Zindi will also make note of the external data available on the data page.
  • Packages:
  • You must submit a requirements file with all packages and versions used.
  • If a requirements file is not provided, solutions will be run on the most recent packages available.
  • Custom packages in your submission notebook will not be accepted.
  • You may only use tools available to everyone i.e. no paid services or free trials that require a credit card.

Consequences of breaking any rules of the competition or submission guidelines:

  • First offence: No prizes or points for 6 months (probation period). If you are caught cheating, all individuals involved in cheating will be disqualified from the challenge(s) you were caught in and you will be disqualified from winning any competitions or Zindi points for the next six months.
  • Second offence: Banned from the platform. If you are caught for a second time your Zindi account will be disabled and you will be disqualified from winning any competitions or Zindi points using any other account.
  • Teams with individuals who are caught cheating will not be eligible to win prizes or points in the competition in which the cheating occurred, regardless of the individuals’ knowledge of or participation in the offence.
  • Teams with individuals who have previously committed an offence will not be eligible for any prizes for any competitions during the 6-month probation period.

Monitoring of submissions

  • We will review the top 20 solutions of every competition when the competition ends.
  • We reserve the right to request code from any user at any time during a challenge. You will have 24 hours to submit your code following the rules for code review (see above). Zindi reserves the right not to explain our reasons for requesting code. If you do not submit your code within 24 hours you will be disqualified from winning any competitions or Zindi points for the next six months. If you fall under suspicion again and your code is requested and you fail to submit your code within 24 hours, your Zindi account will be disabled and you will be disqualified from winning any competitions or Zindi points with any other account.
Evaluation

The evaluation metric for this competition is Root Mean Squared Error.

For every row in the dataset, submission files should contain 2 columns: ID and Target

Your submission file should look like this (numbers to show format only):

ID           Target   
ID_AAcismbB  0.34   
ID_AAeBMsji  0.75    
ID_AAjFMjzy  0.19

If the error metric requires probabilities to be submitted, do not set thresholds (or round your probabilities) to improve your place on the leaderboard. In order to ensure that the client receives the best solution Zindi will need the raw probabilities. This will allow the clients to set thresholds to their own needs.

Prizes

In order to win, you must:

  • be currently enrolled as a student at one of the AIMS campuses or CMU Africa
  • have your affiliated university listed on your Zindi profile (Add your university to your profile. Watch this YouTube video.)

The top 100 students on the leaderboard will win a voucher to take the Microsoft Certification exam and become a Microsoft Certified Data Analyst Associate. Prepare for the exam for free here.

The top 3 winners on the leaderboard will receive.

  • 1st Place: $1,000 USD
  • 2nd Place: $750 USD
  • 3rd Place: $250 USD

Important to note: Only one team from each university will be allowed to win a prize. If more than one team from one university places in the top three, only the top team will win a prize and their university will also win only the one prize. The remaining prizes will be awarded to the next top team/university.

Timeline

The data will be made available on 25 January 2021. Until then we encourage you to prepare for the Microsoft certification.

Competition closes on 5 April 2021.

Final submissions must be received by 11:59 PM GMT.

We reserve the right to update the contest timeline if necessary.