The Information Challenge Initiative was built upon the belief that providing unrestricted access to data fosters innovation, transparency, and civic engagement. Through Information Challenge (IC) activities designed to inspire creativity and analytical prowess, participants are given a platform to develop their skills with guidance and feedback from expert mentors and judges, and feel empowered to pursue their information and data visions.
Student teams work together with a common goal that fosters community between team members and their mentor. The showcase event on the final day provides a chance for student teams to display their accomplishments and to view the projects developed by other teams. The inclusion of datasets, challenges, mentors, judges, volunteers, and funding from the academic community, the local communities, federal agencies, and industry nurtures leadership, service, networking, and social exchange across multiple dimensions.
Information Challenges for university and college students are hosted by The College of Information Studies, but are open to all University of Maryland students, in addition to invited academic institutions, such as the United States Naval Academy and Montgomery College. Students at all levels, including undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students, are invited to participate.
Information Challenges for high school students are presented as UMD Summer Camps and hosted annually in July. This week-long day-camp offers high school students an opportunity to learn about data science and teamwork, and a chance to experience life on a college campus.
Students of all levels are invited to participate in Information Challenge events. Prior data science knowledge is not required. Students who are creative and enjoy a challenge are drawn to the IC activities and come prepared to learn and experience activities that will enhance their learning about data, teamwork, creativity, and analytical thinking to solve the problems. Our team composition guidelines also encourage collaboration between students at different points of their academic careers.
When you give to the Information Challenge Initiative, you will be providing support for the IC events, both during the academic year and over the summer, as students learn about cybersecurity, data visualization, and user-centered design while seeking solutions to critical practical and societal problems.