By Rayid Ghani

Due to a lot of interest from other universities (and cities) in running similar programs next summer, we are conducting a workshop to recap what we learned over the summer and to help others organize similar programs in the future.

This workshop is meant to be small, focused, and targeted at groups who are seriously interested in organizing a similar fellowship program within the next year.

The University of Chicago launched the Eric & Wendy Schmidt “Data Science for Social Good” Summer Fellowship in 2013 to give aspiring young data scientists the opportunities, skills, and experience to tackle real-world problems with high social impact. In the first year of the program, approximately 600 applicants with Computer Science, Statistics, Economics, and Public Policy backgrounds from 200 universities around the world competed for 36 positions. The selected fellows, mostly graduate students and some advanced undergrads, worked with mentors from academia, industry, and the Obama Campaign analytics team in downtown Chicago on projects with non-profit and government partners in areas such as education, healthcare, energy, disaster relief, city services, public transit, and public safety.

The result of the summer program was a better trained group of data scientists with an increased interest in working on social good problems, better informed non-profits and government organizations around working on data and analytics related problems, and software/analytical tools and prototypes useful both for the partner organizations as well as other similar organizations around the world.

We designed projects that helped the fellows learn how to solve social problems as well as learn how to apply their technical skills to real-world problems. We also focused on helping our project partners solve their problems as well as learn how to engage and interact with data scientists.

Due to a lot of interest from other universities (and cities) in running similar programs next summer, we are conducting a workshop to recap what we learned over the summer and to help others organize similar programs in the future.

If you are interested in attending this workshop on November 14-15, 2013 in Chicago, please email us at datasciencefellowship@ci.uchicago.edu with details about you, your organization, and your plans to organize a similar fellowship and how we can help. More information about the Eric & Wendy Schmidt “Data Science for Social Good” Summer Fellowship is available at http://dssg.uchicago.edu. We will tentatively begin with dinner on Nov 14th and end by 4pm on Nov 15th.

Rayid Ghani

Computation Institute & Harris School of Public Policy

University of Chicago

rayid@uchicago.edu