High school stats competitors cast a wide net of inquiry

2023 High school stats competition.

Published June 1, 2023


Sleep…sneakers…sports…sugar: No matter what piques your interest, one of the teams competing in this year’s UB Statistics Program Competition probably looked at it statistically.

Some 40 high school students—the largest group ever--traveled to the School of Public Health and Health Professions (SPHHP) last week for the annual competition sponsored by the Department of Biostatistics. The teams of juniors and seniors from Amherst High School, Grand Island High School, Nichols School and Royalton-Hartland High School presented posters that analyzed an assigned data set they prepared before the competition with the help of faculty members at their schools.

Teams presented their work on posters they created. Judges from SPHHP ranked the teams’ work based on their poster designs, use of statistical methods, clarity of message and creativity. The winning teams received prizes and plaques to commemorate their participation and achievement.

The winners:

  • Taking first place: Grand Island High School’s team “Approximately Normal,” comprising  Lauren Coombs, Elizabeth Carpenter, Berin Celik and Logan Fox, led by teacher Natalie Gallagher. Their project, “Testing Times: Online vs. Paper,” looked at whether the format of a test affects how long someone takes to complete it.
  • Amherst High School’s team, “Sugar,” took second place. The team was made up of students Marguerite Fabian, Victoria Radomski, Jenny Hua and Tara Deboth, led by teacher Kim King. Their project, “Does Sugar Make You Dumber?”, looked at whether a relationship exists between the amount of sugar ingested and intelligence.
  • In third place: “Standard Deviants,” another team from Grand Island High School led by Natalie Gallaher. Students Erick Wittmann, Wynonna Roberts, Christian Giddings and Alana Miano presented their project, a survey trying to answer the question “Can People Tell AI Art from Real Art?” 

The growth in the field and the increasing demand for statistics experts in the job market led SPHHP in 2017 to offer the undergraduate program in statistics. The first UB Statistics Program Competition ran in 2019.

To learn more about the Department of Biostatistics and the programs it offers, visit its website.

To view more photos of the event, visit UBNow.