Konstantin Tretyakov, Research Fellow in Bioinformatics at the University of Tartu, won the third place at the international competition of big data analytics TEXATA among more than 2000 competitors.

TEXATA is an innovative and challenging international competition for students and professionals that allows the participants to develop and test their big data analytics skills. First, competitors undertake two online qualification rounds. The top 12 progress to a live finals event held in Austin, Texas.

One of the 12 finalists was Tretyakov, who is currently writing his doctoral thesis at the University of Tartu. In the first online round, with more than 2000 participants across the world, Tretyakov had four hours to answer 50 multiple-choice questions and solve ten practical case studies using the parallel computing technology Hadoop.

In the second online round with 200 best competitors, the participants again had four hours to answer ten riddle-like questions and solve the main case study. The latter included approximately 60GB of Thomson-Reuters text data and a general direction for the solution.

“In my solution I concluded that the signal that is searched for actually does not exist, but probably thanks to a reasonable and practical approach I was selected to be one of the 12 people at the final event in Austin,” said the researcher.

At the final event, the competitors had to work on forum discussions of Cisco Support. “In my solution I realised the prototype of related discussion search and tagging of discussions,” said Tretyakov.

At the end, each finalist had three minutes to present their solution. After this, the competitors had 10 minutes to privately explain the technical details to one member of the jury. “Based on their opinion, each member of the jury gave points in several categories, evaluating, for instance, the practicality, the value, the quality of implementation, the use of technologies, etc. This is how the winner was decided,” said the winner of the third place and the “Top Student” award.

Head of the Institute of Computer Science Professor Jaak Vilo added that big data analytics requires good and wide-ranging knowledge of several topics at the same time: algorithms, data mining, machine learning, visualisation and fields of application.

“Often, methods can be transferred from one field of application to another, which has allowed Tretyakov to demonstrate his versatile skills. In the field of big data analytics, the University of Tartu has made considerable efforts in the recent years: in several research groups, in teaching as well as in cooperation with enterprises. For instance, the Software Technology and Applications Competence Centre focuses more and more on creating data analytics solutions. Thanks to that, Tretyakov has had a sufficiently wide-ranging preparation,” said Vilo.

Author: Virge Tamme, UT
Link to the original article: http://www.ut.ee/en/news/ut-researcher-came-third-international-data-analytics-competition