Program Overview

The UW eScience Institute is excited to announce its second offering of the Data Science for Social Good summer program.

We invite short proposals (1-2 pages) for 10-week data-intensive research projects requiring collaboration in scalable data management, statistical analysis and machine learning, open source software development, cloud and cluster computing, and/or visualization.  Accepted projects will be undertaken by a team of four interdisciplinary students and co-led by the proposal PI and a Data Scientist in the eScience Institute (see Project Teams below).

We are inviting proposals that have an applied social good dimension and converge around the theme of urban science and analytics. This program is inspired by similar endeavors at the University of Chicago and Georgia Tech, and is delivered as part of our Data Science Incubator program. The projects on those websites and especially the projects from our inaugural DSSG held last year may serve as useful inspiration.

We hope to solicit proposals from researchers working broadly on questions related to social science, human services, public policy, urban planning, and urban informatics.  We welcome proposals submitted by academic researchers, public agencies, non-profit entities, and industry.

In reviewing the proposals, we will be looking for projects with well-defined deliverables that clearly articulate how the DSSG can help advance your project.

This program is sponsored in part by grants from Microsoft and an emerging campus-wide initiative at UW called Urban@UW.


Important Dates

March 16th, 10am: 1-hour information session, Data Science Studio Meeting Room

[click here to review information session slides]

DEADLINE EXTENDED – April 4th: Proposals due

April 25th: Notification

Week of June 6th: pre-launch Meetings with Project Leads

June 13: Kickoff meeting

August 19th: Final day of the program


Project Teams

DSSG projects will be executed by a team consisting of an external Project Lead (typically the author(s) of the proposal), one or more Data Scientists from the eScience Institute, and four students (graduate and advanced undergraduate) who will be selected and paid by the eScience Institute.

The Project Lead is expected to submit the project proposal. Together with the Data Scientists, the Project Leads will co-manage the student teams. The Project Lead will bear primary responsibility for project design and execution throughout the summer. The Data Scientists will provide guidance on methods, technologies, and best practices in extracting knowledge from large, noisy, and/or heterogeneous datasets, as well as general software engineering. Student responsibilities will vary from project to project, but their role may include developing code, selecting methods, conducting analyses, contributing to design, and incorporating stakeholder perspectives into the project. The project team may also include external mentors and stakeholders as appropriate.

In addition to their direct contributions to projects, students and Project Leads will have the opportunity to participate in a number of technical tutorials and research talks.


Time Commitments

The DSSG will take place from June 13th and August 19th, 2016. Project leads and Data Scientists will be expected to spend the equivalent of two days per week (16 hours) in the Data Science Studio (DSS) working face-to-face with their team members. Students will be employed full-time throughout the summer, and will be expected to work in the DSS during business hours Monday-Friday.


Proposal Submission

Project proposal submissions closed April 4th.

More information and previous project examples can be found here.