Skip to Content
SBMI Horizontal Logo

SBMI hosts the first Houston COVID-19 Virtual DATATHON

The UTHealth School of Biomedical Informatics (SBMI) hosted the first virtual DATATHON on August 25, 2020.  The Houston COVID-19 DATATHON invited Houston-area contestants to participate in predicting the local COVID-19 infection and mortality trends in the eight counties within the greater Houston area. The event successfully concluded with a virtual awards ceremony on September 22, where the winners presented their best methods that were used for prediction.

COVID-19 Virtual DATATHON Banner

The three-week competition began with 33 registrants and in Round 1, 13 participants successfully submitted their solutions. In Round 2, 11 participants successfully submitted their answers.  After an intense round of evaluation by the DATATHON team of judges, the following participants were announced as the winners.

  • Gulf Coast Consortia First Prize: Bai Lin (University of Houston)
  • Second Prize: Michail Koumpanakis (Computational Biomedicine Lab, University of Houston) and Sergi Grau Dalmau (non-student)
  • Third prize: Theodoros Tavoulareas (Computational Biomedicine Lab, University of Houston)


Special Awards were given to the top students from Rice University and UTHealth

  • Rice Student Award: lrpan Yierpan
  • UTHealth Student Award: Yuanxin Wang


During the event, weekly seminars were held, and invited SBMI faculty gave presentations to encourage participants to interact with each other. SBMI would like to thank its faculty members (Drs. Robert Murphy, Elmer V. Bernstam, Todd Johnson) and the session organizer (Marijane deTranaltes) for hosting these events.

The Houston COVID-19 DATATHON was sponsored by Rice University, UTHealth School of Biomedical Informatics, the Gulf Coast Consortia (GCC) and GCC Cluster AI in Healthcare. SBMI, and the DATATHON planning team, would like to thank the GCC)for providing funding not only for the first prize, but also for the purchase and mailing of event items.

The event was co-organized by faculty from the University of Houston (Dr. Ioannis A. Kakadiaris), Texas Children’s Hospital (Dr. Ananth V. Annapragada), Rice University (Drs. Devika Subramanian, Genevera Allen), and UTHealth (Drs. Shayan Shams, Yejin Kim, Kai Zhang, Assaf Gottlieb, Xiaoqian Jiang). Each individual spent a considerable amount of time and effort making this a successful event. SBMI is grateful for everyone’s participation and dedication to make this a very successful event! 

Plans are already underway for the next Virtual DATATHON to be held later this fall.

published on 09/30/2020 at 11:36 a.m.


site var = sbmi