Metis Alumni Win Honors at International Competition for Pandemic Response

NEW YORK--()--Metis, a leading provider of data science and analytics, is proud to announce that a group of eight recent graduates of its bootcamp were one of only a few teams to receive an honorable mention at XPrize’s global $500K Pandemic Response Challenge, which drew over 100 competing teams from around the world. In partnership with Cognizant, the four-month challenge focused on the development of data-driven AI systems to predict COVID-19 infection rates and prescribe Intervention Plans (IPs) that regional governments, communities, and organizations can implement to minimize harm when reopening their economies.

The team, dubbed Metis2020, built a website to help decision-makers from different geographic locations in a consistent way, aiding efforts to fight the pandemic. One of the strengths of the team’s predictor model was addressing the individualized regional qualities that lead to a full and effective prediction, utilizing a weighted MAE (Mean Absolute Error) that takes the population of a given region heavily into account. More specifics about the project can be found here.

The eight winning team members are Ridwan Alam, Vanessa Hu, Ryan Lewis, Ramon Martin, Neda Saleem, Brian Tam, Nick Wilders, and Andrew Zhou. For its excellence, the team received $3,000 in Amazon Web Services credits for cloud and compute services, courtesy of AWS, a supporting partner of the Pandemic Response Challenge.

“We really enjoyed the Metis bootcamp experience and learned a lot in a short period of time. We wanted to extend this experience a little longer as a team, which is a primary reason we decided to enter the Challenge. This kind of recognition is a fantastic capstone to that experience,” said Vanessa Hu, Metis2020’s team leader. “We also believe that our work was meaningful. For us to be able to use what we learned during the bootcamp and apply it to a real world experience and global crisis was gratifying.”

“We are incredibly proud of our alumni for placing in this prestigious international competition focused on fighting the pandemic, especially because the power of data science and talent of data scientists have been helping lead the way to defeat COVID-19, heal communities, and build back stronger than ever,” said Jason Moss, president and founder, Metis. “We always knew our students would go on to do great things. We look forward to seeing what they accomplish next.”

Moss adds that Metis graduates have gone on to work for such tech and media companies like Apple, Amazon, Facebook, BuzzFeed, Spotify, Airbnb, Grubhub, and IBM. Graduates work in other diversified sectors like financial services, education, healthcare, and consulting. Career support has always been a central component of the bootcamp experience, with services provided until alumni are hired. To build on these efforts, Metis recently added a dedicated Career Week, which is laser focused on helping graduates get hired through a series of workshops, 1:1 support, and mock interviews.

Metis, which has educated thousands of aspiring data scientists through a variety of its programs since its inception in 2013, recently launched several new live, online bootcamps and short immersive courses that make its programs more varied and affordable. In the coming weeks, the company will announce additional bootcamp offerings to provide additional flexibility for prospective students. Members of underrepresented demographic groups may be eligible to receive a $2,000-$3,000 scholarship toward their bootcamp tuition, as part of its commitment to foster a diverse data science community.

For more information about Metis, visit

About Metis

The mission of Kaplan's Metis business is to educate people to find value in data. Metis accelerates data science and analytics learning for individuals, companies, and institutions through online education, corporate training and immersive bootcamps. This includes upskilling and reskilling the employees of global organizations, enabling them to find value in data. Kaplan, Inc. is a leading global provider of educational and career services for individuals, schools, and businesses.


Press contact: Russell Schaffer,, 917.822.8190
Twitter: @thisismetis, Instagram: @thisismetis

Release Summary

Eight graduates of Metis's data science bootcamp were one of only a few teams to win honorable mention at XPrize’s $500K Pandemic Response Challenge.


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Press contact: Russell Schaffer,, 917.822.8190
Twitter: @thisismetis, Instagram: @thisismetis