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University team wins Tracfone Trachack Challenge

University students win first and second awardchallenge to enable connectivity for low-income households during pandemic 

03 | 05 | 2022

Students from Master's Degree in Big Data Science win first and second awardin the latest Challenge 22.2 from TracFone Wireless, Inc., a subsidiary of América Móvil and the largest mobile operator in the Americas.

The challenge, which also involved students from the University of New South Wales (Australia), involved using Machine Learning techniques to predict which customers might meet the requirementsfor the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, which provides broadband services and connectivity to low-income households to keep them connected during the pandemic.

Laura Rodríguez, Computer Engineer and student at Master's Degreeof the University, affirms that the diversity of profiles in the team was a strength in the competition, because it allowed them to combine different visions of the same problem. A point that Gerardo Ruano, Risk Analyst, agrees with, who highlights the commitment and the constant and organised workof group.

Another member, Jaime Blanco, Data Scientist, underlines the value of the tools and skills developed in the Master's Degree programme: "I would highlight the subjectpreparation and cleaning of data, because the correct feature engineering was what allowed us to reach the solution".

"It was a tough work, but it was worth it," said Sergio Martín, Financial Guarantees Specialist, and Daniel Fernández de Castillo, Risk Analyst. The challengetackled a real problem with real data; a very enriching experience, according to the team, who in addition to being students at Master's Degreeare also BBVA professionals.

For five weeks, students from different universities compete with goalto come up with solutions in Science of the data projects. This edition of the challenge (from degree scroll: Predicting Eligibility for the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program) is aligned with TracFone's social initiative 'Coverage & Access for All!', which aims to help households with little or no income stay connected.