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ETH Zürich & KNIME collaborate on student soccer analytics challenge

September 25, 2023
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The Social Networks Lab at ETH Zürich (Zurich, Switzerland) and KNIME, the open source data science company, today announced the launch of the “Soccer Analytics Student Challenge” for students at ETH.


Registration is as of today, September 25, 2023, to all students enrolled at ETH. The task of the challenge is to compare the men’s and women’s game with data and will be introduced during a public kickoff workshop on October 16, 2023, in the ETH main building. Speakers include Kevin Ehmes from the Swiss Football Association (SFV/ASF/ASB), Carlos Gomez-Gonzalez from the University of Zurich, and Gabriele Nocco previously working as data scientist at AS Roma. Projects must be submitted by November 20th, 2023. Evaluations and winning teams will be announced on November 24, 2023.

KNIME’s open-source low code data science software, KNIME Analytics Platform, has been selected as the tool of choice for the challenge, thanks to its versatility, coverage, and accessibility. The low code user interface allows even non-programmers to handle data analytics. No previous programming experience is required.

The jury panel is composed of Ulrik Brandes (ETH professor teaching a course on soccer analytics), Rosaria Silipo (head of data science evangelism at KNIME), Sanket Joshi (data scientist at KNIME), and Kevin Ehmes (head of match analysis and development at SFV). They will jointly assess the projects based on fitness for the task and explainability of the solution to identify the winning teams.

This collaboration is part of the KNIME Gamification Program, established by KNIME Educators Alliance, aimed at introducing gamification elements, e.g., competitions, learnathons, and hackathons, within data literacy study curricula. This student challenge follows previous student challenges held at University LUISS in Rome (with Prof. Francisco Villarroel), at University of Köln (with Prof. Tobias Schlüter), at University Milano-Bicocca (with Prof. Fabio Stella), at Virginia Commonwealth University (with Prof. Shanaka).

This challenge was inspired by the popularity of Soccer Analytics lectures at ETH Zürich. KNIME will provide training, professional practical expertise, as well as awards and certificates for the winning teams.

KNIME’s free, open low-code/no-code platform, together with its vibrant data science community, enables both KNIME experts and academics to bring advanced data science techniques to future business and data professionals.

Awards for the student challenge (among others):

  • The top three winning teams will be granted the opportunity to publicly present their projects during the hybrid Data Connect Zurich event in 2024 organized by the Swiss KNIME community.
  • The members of the top winning team will be granted a paid internship at one of the KNIME offices in Europe.

“This is our chance to combine our two passions: soccer and data science! It is a great opportunity to show that data science can enter all aspects of life, including hobbies and professional sports,” said Rosaria Silipo, Head of Data Science Evangelism, KNIME.

About KNIME: KNIME software bridges the worlds of dashboards and advanced analytics through an intuitive interface, appropriate for anybody working with data. It empowers more business experts to be self-sufficient and more data experts to push the business to the bleeding edge of modern data science, integrating the latest AI and machine learning techniques. KNIME is distinct in its open approach, which ensures easy adoption and future-proof access to new technologies.

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