Kaggle Competition Training: A Student Testimonial

August 17, 2020 (San Francisco)

Andy Zhu, a rising high school sophomore from our Kaggle Competition Program, shared his experiences with participating in the program and the Kaggle competition. He has prior experience in Javascript, and his goals for the program focused on learning other coding languages like R and Python.

Did you have experience in coding, data science or machine learning?

“I have taken CS classes at my school and also outside the school. I have the most experience in Javascript before I joined this program. I had made many games and simple apps with Javascript.”

Why did you want to sign up for Harmony Plus’s Kaggle Junior program?

“I wanted to sign up for Harmony Plus’s Kaggle Junior program because I wanted to learn more about other computer science fields that I don’t know.”

Tell us about the competition you participated in. How did you do?

“I worked on a competition that is called House Prices: Advanced Regression Techniques. This Kaggle competition’s purpose is to build a new skill and expand our skillset on machine learning. The data provided by the competition are in two sets, one is train.csv, and one is test.csv. These two data sets give the type of dwelling involved in the sale, the general zoning classification of the sale, the measuring of the different parts of the houses, the material of different parts of the houses, the quality of different parts of the houses, and many more. This final goal of the competition is to predict the final price of each home. We used creative feature engineering, and advanced regression techniques to accomplish the prediction. The final placement that I got is 201st place out of 5192 teams, I got into the top 4% and was super happy about it.”

What’s the most important thing you learn from Kaggle Junior program?

“The most valuable things that I learned from the Kaggle Junior program are the R language, feature engineering, and building advanced regression models using R and Python.”

In the first class, during the “Ask and Offer”, you answered the question by saying that you wanted to learn more about Python and R. If the same question was asked again, what would be your answer now? How would you assess your progress?

“I remembered that my goal from joining this Kaggle Junior program was to learn about R and get better in Python. I am sure that I accomplished my goal very well. If I were asked again about what goal I have for this program, I will say I want to dive deeper in and learn more advanced skills in Python and R.”

Students like Andy continue to pursue the limits of computer science, and the Kaggle competition is one such platform that allows him to show what he’s learned. With the guidance from our experienced coach Dr. Zhang, Andy will move forward with us to join our advanced program and work on more challenging real-world competitions.

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