Innovative Data Mining Application Award 2013 Winners Announcement

HKU Master's students counter real-life data problems using SAS® software

Business analytics leader SAS Institute (HK) and the Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science of University of Hong Kong announced today the three winning teams of the Data Mining Application Award at the award ceremony jointly held at the University of Hong Kong. This is the 8th consecutive year the world largest privately owned software company sponsored the local University with the data mining award. The Innovative Data Mining Application Award 2013 was attended by the department head, course instructors, program students and SAS executives. Students from the Master’s program of the Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science were invited to submit their proposals early in the year that could solve real-life problem with scientific analytic tools.  Students had spent two months retrieving information from different sources and utilizing the powerful data-mining tools in practice to address different real time issues in today’s vast diversified environment.  The champion, consisting of Zhou Xueling, Huang Beishan and Jin Jun, discovered together the accurate model that could recognize an image on a webpage and interpret whether it is an advertisement, which might have numerous real life applications for business and public. The first runner-up, with Li Qinglong, Liu Hongyuan, Ni Mengzhu and Zhang Chi, had set up a hypothesis by using text mining techniques to validate whether Sina Weibo financial blogs could predict the stock market performance.  This is an early prototype of Social Media Analytics and Text Mining technology, which would be expected impact the future business environment.   The second runner-up, made up of Au Chin Man, Chan Ching Cheung, Lam Fung Chun Joe and Yik Siu Hang, determined to find out the winning factors that affect the financial returns of movies, which might help producers in the movie industry to decide what kind of film to be produced in future.  All these winning projects proved the power of analytics and valuable insights we could get from analytics. 

"It is certainly a great honor for SAS to partner with the department of the University of Hong Kong continuously on such an innovative and creative program to motivate our local talents develop their analytical mind and utilize today’s technology to resolve real life problems.  We are very amazed on the impressive findings through the course projects by using SAS Software for advance analytics by all these young talents,” said Stanley Lam, Managing Director of SAS Hong Kong.

"It is a real challenge for statisticians to come up with new techniques that can make good sense of the data available," said Professor W. K. Li, the Head and Chair of Statistics of the University of Hong Kong Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science.

Li continued, "in this regard, the data mining course is one of the key courses designed to equip our students with state-of-the-art solutions to our big data world. I am glad that our educational objective is recognized by the world class company like SAS Institute, and that the department is grateful to SAS HK for sponsoring prizes for the course projects for so many years."

As the world largest privately held company, SAS Institute is built completely on the foundation of mathematical and statistical skills and knowledge.  It helped largest enterprises in the world to tackle analytic problems and also assisted banks, government and other corporations to derive the best decisions based on scientific analysis of data.  The big data wave would drive demand for analytical power to the next level, which SAS is striving to stay in the leading position and help their customers to master the big data analytics. It is extremely important that the younger generation could have the opportunity to strengthen this important knowledge and skills in this subject area, and provide the talented resources to help enterprises to continue their success with the power to know.

Lam added, “Education is not just SAS’ corporate social responsibility program, but also SAS’ belief in helping customers to leverage the best developed analytical tools with skilled resources.  In most developed countries, educators are seeing young students moving away from science and technology subject, which is becoming a threat to the world’s scientific development.   SAS is endeavored to encourage students to develop their career aspirations in the very important and growing discipline - analytics and data science. With the world class education course offered by the department of Statistics and Actuarial Science at HKU, we believe the students can equip themselves with knowledge and skills. With hands-on project experience like this data mining project competition, students could gain unique opportunity to practice their skill sets solving real life business problems and also position themselves for their future development in the analytics industry.”

Since 2003, the Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science of the University of Hong Kong has been offering Data Mining Techniques course for the Master of Statistics Program. Students are taught with real-life examples so that they could apply the acquired knowledge onto their workplace in the future. By the end of each academic year, a group project is assigned to groups of students, with objective to let them demonstrate the data mining skills with the SAS tools. The Innovative Data Mining Application Award was jointly presented to recognize the talented students' project in this SAS Enterprise Miner course since 2006.

Winning team of first place, second place and third place was awarded a total of HKD5,000, HKD3,000 and HKD2,000 cash prizes respectively under the sponsorship of SAS.

About SAS

SAS is the leader in analytics. Through innovative analytics, business intelligence and data management software and services, SAS helps customers at more than 75,000 sites make better decisions faster. Since 1976, SAS has been giving customers around the world THE POWER TO KNOW®.


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