Data Science for Social Good Project Midterms


Last week the four project teams from our Data Science for Social Good summer program gathered in the WRF Data Science Studio to present project updates to eScience’s Executive Committee and other invited guests. It was a midterm, of sorts, to see how everything and everyone was coming along.

Based on previous eScience incubator programs, as well as programs at the University of Chicagoand Georgia Tech, the goal of the ten-week summer program is to identify organizations devoted to social good and use data science to increase each organization’s reach and impact. It’s also an opportunity to train data scientists.

Each project team consists four undergraduate and graduate students, a project lead from each organization to serve as domain experts, and an eScience data or research scientist. This year’s program is also providing internship opportunities for high schools students from the Alliances for Learning and Vision for Underrepresented Americans (ALVA).

Along with focusing on their respective projects, students are spending time participating in tutorials lead by eScience staff, as well as talks and tutorials presented by outside speakers, including Socrata, Dato, and the City of Seattle. Students are also taking part in a weekly journal club whose reading focuses on data science. And we’re pleased to announce that each project has finally launched their respective blogs, which are designed to share students’ thoughts about the challenges and victories they’re encountering along the way.

As each project’s midterm presentation time was limited, the slides came fast and furious. The takeaway for all in attendance was that, even though each team has faced hurdles surrounding the purity of data and how best to write algorithms to clean, organize, and utilize it, all four projects have made significant progress over the first half of the program and each should be (and were) loudly congratulated on what they’ve accomplished to date. Bravo, everyone!

You can learn more about the projects and organizations involved with this year’s DSSG program by clicking here.

And you can follow each of the project’s respective blogs at the links below.

Predictors of Permanent Housing for Homeless Families in King, Snohomish, & Pierce County:

Assessing Community Well-Being Through Open Data and Social Media:

Open Sidewalk Graph for Accessible Trip Planning:

King County Metro Paratransit: