Are you familiar with Kaggle? It’s a website for hosting online data-analysis contests, like smaller-scale versions of the Netflix Prize contest.
The U.S. Census Bureau is now hosting a Kaggle contest, asking statisticians and data scientists to help predict mail return rates on surveys and census forms (more info at census.gov and kaggle.com). The ability to predict return rates will help the Census Bureau target its outreach efforts and interview followup (phone calls and door-to-door interviews) more efficiently. So you could win a prize and make the government more efficient, all at the same time! 🙂
The contest ends on Nov 1st, so you still have 40 days to compete.
If you prefer making videos to crunching numbers, there’s also a video contest to promote the International Year of Statistics for 2013. Help people see how statistics makes the world better, impacts current events, or gives you a fun career, and you may win a prize and be featured on their website all next year. There are special prizes among non-English-language videos and among entrants under 18 years old.
Submissions are open until Oct 31st, just a day before the Census Challenge.