Announcing the 5th Annual WiDS Datathon 2022 Challenge

The 5th Annual Women in Data Science (WiDS) Datathon will launch in January, organized by Stanford University, Harvard University IACS, and the WiDS Datathon Committee, addressing an important way to mitigate the effects of climate change with a focus on energy efficiency. The WiDS Datathon Committee is partnering with experts from many disciplines at Climate Change AI, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and MIT Critical Data.
“The WiDS Datathon has consistently featured a social impact challenge,” said Karen Matthys, Co-Director of the WiDS initiative at Stanford University. “This esteemed group of collaborators created a challenge related to one of the most critical issues of our time: climate change.”
Background on the challenge
Climate change is a globally relevant, urgent, and multi-faceted issue heavily impacted by energy policy and infrastructure. Addressing climate change involves mitigating greenhouse gas emissions.
According to a report issued by the International Energy Agency (IEA), the lifecycle of buildings from construction to demolition were responsible for 37% of global energy-related and process-related CO2 emissions in 2020. Yet it is possible to drastically reduce the energy consumption of buildings, which can also yield cost savings and cleaner air for occupants.
The dataset and challenge
The WiDS Datathon dataset was created by Climate Change AI (CCAI) and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). Participants will analyze differences in building energy efficiency, creating models to predict building energy consumption.
“We see building retrofitting as low-hanging fruit to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Nikola Milojević-Dupont, Chair of the Content Committee at Climate Change AI. “Predicting energy consumption of buildings helps identify retrofitting approaches that can ultimately reduce emissions.”
Who can participate in the datathon
The dataset and challenge will be accessible to both beginners and experienced participants. “We work very hard to design the challenge so that all participants feel they have something substantial to work on,” said Sharada Kalanidhi, Co-Chair of the WiDS Datathon. 
The WiDS Datathon aims to provide women with hands-on experiences addressing real-world problems and hone their data science skills in a supportive environment. Toward these ends, the WiDS Datathon is open to individuals or teams of up to 4; at least half of each team must be individuals who identify as women. Students, faculty, government workers, members of NGOs, or industry members can sign up now to participate in the challenge. 
The WiDS Datathon will run from early January to late February 2022 on Kaggle, an online community of data scientists. Winners will be announced at the WiDS Worldwide Conference held in-person, and online, on March 7, 2022. Participants can register now to attend the WiDS Worldwide conference.
Judy Logan
+1 650-450-0278
Source: Women in Data Science (WiDS) at Stanford University