About MDST

The Michigan Data Science Team (MDST) is a club at the University of Michigan which brings together students of various disciplines through competitions structured around finding patterns in data. Sometimes we compete in public competitions online and sometimes we compete in challenges we create for ourselves. We also partner with other organizations to try and help people with their data problems. Sometimes we even make a challenge out of that!

Current Board

Eric Schwartz, Ph.D., Faculty Co-Advisor


Professor Eric Schwartz’s expertise focuses on predicting customer behavior, understanding its drivers, and examining how firms actively manage their customer relationships through interactive marketing. His research in customer analytics stretches managerial applications, including online display advertising, email marketing, video consumption, and word-of-mouth.

Jenna Wiens, Ph.D., Faculty Co-Advisor

Jenna Wiens is an Assistant Professor in Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) at the University of Michigan. Her primary research interests lie at the intersection of machine learning and healthcare. The overarching goal of her research agenda is to develop the computational methods needed to help organize, process, and transform clinical data into actionable knowledge.

Danai Koutra, Ph.D., Faculty Mentor

Name: Danai Koutra Uniqname: dkoutra Department: EECS Photo: Joseph Xu, Michigan Engineering Communications & Marketing www.engin.umich.edu


Danai Koutra is an Assistant Professor in Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) at the University of Michigan. Danai’s research focuses mathematically formulating interesting problems for exploring large-scale networks, and solving them with fast, scalable and principled methods. Applications of her work include exploration of scientific data, anomaly detection, and re-identification.

Jonathan Stroud, Organizational Chair, Founder


Jonathan is a first year Ph.D. student in the department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE). His research interests are in Machine Learning and Computer Vision, including deep learning, structured prediction, and knowledge representation.

Arya Farahi, Team Captain A


Arya obtained his undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering and Physics. He is currently seeking a PhD in Physics at the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor. His main area of research is Clusters of Galaxies and Large-Scale Structures in the Universe, with emphasis on multiwavelength clusters detection algorithms. He is working on large-scale simulations to characterizing X-Ray and optical cluster finders. As Team Captain A, Arya helps in leading high-impact projects and leads a small group of advanced team members on public Kaggle challenges.

Josh Gardner, Team Captain B

Josh is a dual-masters student in Information and Applied Statistics. His research focuses on predictive modeling in education, seeking to understand and model the behavior of students in digital and on-campus environments. As Team Captain B, Josh coordinates the MDST tutorial series on introductory machine learning and data science concepts and skills.

Allie Cell, Recruitment Chair and Communications Chair

Allie is a senior studying data science through the College of Engineering. On campus, she is also a member of Phi Sigma Rho, the club running team (MRun), and the Statistics Online Computational Resource Analytical Toolbox (SOCRAT) Multidisciplinary Design Project. As Recruitment Chair, Allie leads efforts to recruit and engage new members, pair new members to projects, and retain members by ensuring MDST is a socially as well as intellectually stimulating organization. As Communications Chair, Allie spreads awareness of member accomplishments through blog posts and facilitates industrial and academic relationships. He also manages the website, email lists, and social accounts, and responding to any inquiries across those mediums.

Jared Webb, Data Manager


Jared Webb obtained his undergraduate degree in Applied Math and is currently seeking his Ph.D. in Applied Math, both from Brigham Young University. As a mathematician, Jared  is interested in the theoretical properties of neural networks. As a data scientist, Jared aims to use machine learning as tool to help solve social problems.

Active Members

Patrick Belancourt
Josh Bochu
Allie Cell
Lakshay Chauhan
Alex Chojnacki
Chengyu Dai
Tapan Dangarwala
Arya Farahi
Pradyumna Gadepally
Josh Gardner
Michael Kovalcik
Rohit Mogalayapalli
Jawad Mroueh
Hongyu Pang
Akash Rastogi
Adam Rauh
Max Smith
Xinlin Song
Jonathan Stroud
Xinyu Tan
Colin Tan
Samuel Tenka
Junhao Wang
Jared Webb
Han Zhang
Daniel Zhang