Frequently Asked Questions

Is the HEAD Competition an in-person event?

Yes. The competition started as an in-person event. The HEAD Competition was temporarily moved online in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, in-person competition resumed for the 2023 HEAD Competition and continues to be an in-person competition requiring attendance for most teams.

Do ALL teams qualify for the Phase I Poster Showcase?

No. Prior editions of the HEAD Competition had all team submissions being presented in the poster showcase. However, due to the success and growth of the competition, only the top 20 posters as determined by preliminary judge scoring will be invited to attend the poster showcase.

Do ALL teams qualify for the Phase II Datathon?

No. During the Poster Showcase judges will further review the posters and ask questions of the student teams. The top 8 teams, as determined by judge scoring, will be invited to participate in the Phase II Datathon.

Do I need to be enrolled in an Analytics program to compete?

No. All we ask is that you be enrolled in post-secondary education of some kind and not be completing a doctoral education. While analytics students may be more familiar with preparing data for analysis and visualization, any student may participate.

Do I need to know how to program to compete?

No. There is no programming required for this competition. Some competitors knowledgeable in programming may employ their skills in manipulating data and preparing visualizations, but it is not required.

Do I need to bring my own technology to the competition?

Yes. It is expected that competitors bring their own laptops or any other software tools required to compete. Mohawk College will provide internet access via Wi-Fi, and projectors/computer access for presentations, but you will need to provide all the other tools you intend to use.

Why do you charge a registration fee?

We charge a nominal team fee to recoup costs for the event. The fee covers a team of 2 to 4 students plus a faculty mentor. Our expenses for a team include printing posters, parking, snacks, and refreshments for two days. The fee is subsidized from the true cost of expenses.

There is no fee for registration in 2024.

The registration fee should not be a deterrent to participation. If any team finds the fee cost-prohibitive they should reach out to organizers to see if sponsorship or other opportunities exist to cover the cost.

Are hotel accommodations included?

No. If you are traveling from a distance several hotels nearby can accommodate you. We can direct you to these hotels, but you will need to book and cover your related expenses for these accommodations.

Do Mohawk students get preferential treatment?

No. All students are treated the same, no matter the school or level of education they are completing. The judges are independent, coming from a variety of educational and professional institutions.

Do faculty mentors need to attend the competition?

No. We understand the faculty may have other obligations and restrictions on their time. However, we encourage faculty engagement to come and will provide networking and other participation opportunities specifically for faculty.

Do all team members need to be present?

Yes and No. All members of the team need to register and attend at least one of their team presentations during the competition. However, if a team member cannot attend a particular aspect of the competition, that is acceptable as long as the team is represented. If a team member is unable to attend the event at all due to unforeseen circumstances, contact the organization committee immediately so adjustments can be made.