UA Student Team Wins Dow Big Data Challenge

  • April 27th, 2016
McDermott (left) and Cassidey pose for a photograph after winning the Dow Big Data Challenge.
McDermott (left) and Cassidey pose for a photograph after winning the Dow Big Data Challenge.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — A University of Alabama student team from the Culverhouse College of Commerce recently won first place in the 2016 Dow Big Data Challenge.

Team members Bryant Cassidey, of Mobile, and Ford McDermott, of Atlanta, are master’s students in operations management, specializing in decision analytics at Culverhouse. They competed with some 20 teams composed of up to two graduate students and one undergraduate student.

Dow Chemical formulated a problem from their daily operations and provided the data to the teams in the competition. The problem represented a Dow business segment either in industrial engineering, operations research, supply chain or management sciences. The students analyzed the data and then developed solutions. They presented their solutions to Dow executives for judging.

“We are proud of Bryant and Ford,” said Dr. Burcu Keskin, UA associate professor of operations management. “This is the second year that a Culverhouse team has placed in this competition. The success of our students is evidence of the quality of our analytics program at Culverhouse.”

The Culverhouse team placed second in last year’s Dow Challenge.


Edith Parten, UA media relations,, 205/348-8318

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