UK Department of Statistics Makes a Difference: Using Statistics to Score the Concours d'Elegance Car Show

Since inception the Keeneland Concours d'Elegance has benefited the Kentucky Children's Hospital.

And the Department of Statistics in the UK College of Arts and Sciences once again assisted in scoring the results.  The UK graduate students and professors kept real-time track of winners at last Saturday’s car show (7/15).

Associate professor of statistics Connie Wood (pictured below; left) initiated the service project between UK and the car show four years ago.  "I was talking with one of the core members and he was showing me what they were doing and I said, 'This is something we could help with.' We are statisticians. That's what we do," Wood said. "And it is a marvelous experience for our students to actually get experience collecting data, entering data, analyzing data and to actually see why you have to clean data."


The tasks for the UK graduate students and professors were varied. Scorecards from three judges were collected for every car and brought to the Keeneland Library, where they were checked for accuracy. Results were then entered into the database.  Once all entries were collected and entered into the database for each category, winners were determined and announced at the award ceremony.  

Sarah Janse, a graduate student in the department who entered results and helped analyze the winners had the following to say about the service project, “The car show is a lot of fun, but also a great chance for us to get experience working with real-world data. It's important that the data is double checked and analyzed correctly in order to ensure accurate results. This opportunity is a unique experience in that we are involved throughout the entire process of data collection, cleaning, entering, and analysis."

Wood, Arnold Stromberg, Katherine Thompson and Anushka Karkelanova along with 21  graduate statistics students and 7 volunteers (family/friends) participated in this year's service project.

“We are proud to be a part of the Concourse d'Elegance,” said Wood.  “It's a great opportunity for our students and the department to give back to a charity benefiting the children of the Commonwealth."

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