Introducing the Data@Work Research Hub and Funding Opportunity

With the rapid growth and adoption of technologies like artificial intelligence having uncertain and disparate effects on labor markets, the ...
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Data-Driven Inspections for Safer Housing in San Jose, California

The Multiple Housing team in San Jose’s Code Enforcement Office is tasked with protecting the occupants of properties with three ...
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Combining Data and Behavioral Science to Reduce Water Shut Offs

Behavioral science and psychology can help explain the underlying reasons for seemingly irrational behavior which cities aim to address, such ...
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Introducing pgdedupe!

Combining datasets and performing large aggregate analyses are powerful new ways to improve service across large populations. Critically important in ...
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Connecting the Dots for Better Outcomes

The most vulnerable individuals in society often struggle with long-lasting, multi-faceted challenges such as mental illness, substance abuse, chronic health ...
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Data Science for Social Good Fellowship Update

We wanted to share an update with you from the Data Science for Social Good Fellowship team. Based on the ...
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Preventive Care for the City’s Circulatory System

Around the world, cities are showing signs of old age. For urban areas, one of the first signs of advancing ...
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Police Project Update: Expanding and Implementing the Early Intervention System

In recent years, the issue of police violence and misconduct has repeatedly made headlines and inspired protests across the United ...
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Scoping Data Science (for Social Good) Projects

Resources in this post:  Blank Project Scoping Worksheet and a filled out Project Scoping Worksheet . Over the past several years, the University ...
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The Real World: DSSG

This is the true story of 42 strangers picked to live in a dorm, work together, and have their lives ...
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Sanergy: Smart scheduling to improve toilet collections in Kenya

Every year, some 1 million people die because they do not have access to hygienic sanitation. Among other problems, poor ...
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MVESC: Finding the Missing Students Who Don’t Graduate On Time

Over 1.2 million or 7.1% high school students drop out every year. Dropping out of high school is costly for ...
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CMPD: Behind the Headlines, Beneath the Data

It's usual for those of us here at Data Science for Social Good to want to see our projects thrown ...
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Tulsa Public Schools: Preparing Kids for the Third Grade Turning Point

Third grade is a turning point in learning, where students transition from learning to read to reading to learn. Thus, ...
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2016 Police Projects: Back to the Whiteboards

A crucial but often overlooked consideration when working with data is: what is the best way to organise it? The ...
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DSSG 2016 Week One: Convergence and Priorities

Data Science for Social Good is now four years old. If we were a toddler, we’d be learning our alphabet ...
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Introducing the Data Maturity Framework

In our four years of running the Data Science for Social Good Fellowship and the Center for Data Science and ...
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You say you want Transparency and Interpretability?

We keep hearing and saying that in order to implement and correctly use machine learning and predictive models , they ...
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Data Science For Social Good 2016 Applicants

Fellow applications for the 2016 Summer Fellowship are all in and we have been busy reviewing the 900 we received! As we ...
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Announcing Diogenes: all the Machine Learning code you’ll never have to write

At the Center for Data Science and Public Policy, we work on problems across different policy areas and develop machine ...
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The Greatest Technical Challenge of Our Day… Reading CSVs

Many data science projects follow the following workflow Define problem Get data Analyze the data (that may include building predictive ...
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2016 Applications are now open!

We're excited and happy to start the application process for 2016. Applications are now open for Fellows, Mentors, Project Managers, ...
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What Makes a Good DSSG Project?

Apply to be a Project Partner for 2017Data Science for Social Good is a summer program that requires year-round preparation ...
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Reducing Adverse Police Interactions

Over the past year, the nation has faced a series of highly publicized adverse interactions between the police and the ...
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EPA: Data-Driven Hazardous Waste Detection

What’s the problem? Hundreds of millions of tons of hazardous waste are generated every year. When this waste isn’t handled ...
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Our Knight News Challenge Submissions

This year’s Knight News Challenge asks, “How might we make data work for individuals and communities?” Data Science for Social ...
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College Persistence: Helping Students Beyond High School Graduation

A college education is one of the keys to economic security and prosperity in the United States. Bachelor’s degree holders ...
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An Ethical Checklist for Data Science

As data scientists, we often get lost in the techniques and methods of our trade. In doing so, we can ...
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Blight Prevention: Building Strong and Healthy Neighborhoods in Cincinnati

Many cities are working to prevent the negative impacts of vacant buildings caused by population loss. Cincinnati is one such ...
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World Bank Integrity Vice Presidency Project: Kickstarting Data Science

Are you hearing a lot of data-themed buzzwords lately? Are you wondering whether the use of data science can help ...
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Infonavit Project: Reducing Home Abandonment

Zumpango is a municipality of roughly 500,000 residents 50 kilometers from Mexico City, what might be considered an “exurb” in ...
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Police Project: Lessons From Charlotte

Police departments around the country have been in the spotlight recently because of several controversial, high-profile incidents. Tragic events in ...
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Sunlight Project: Text Re-Use in Scott Walker’s Abortion Bill

On Monday, Wisconsin governor and 2016 presidential candidate Scott Walker signed into law a bill banning non-emergency abortions past the ...
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Australian Conservation Foundation Project: Engage and Protect

Last year, in a move opposed by over 90% of Australian citizens, the Australian government under Prime Minister Tony Abbott ...
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IDHS Project: Better Birth Outcomes

An adverse birth can have devastating personal, financial, and even developmental consequences for both mother and child. Individuals born at ...
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Sunlight Project: Finding Legislative Plagiarism

In 2005, Florida implemented a new "Stand Your Ground" law, which legally protected the use of deadly force in self-defense ...
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Skilled Data Scientists Tackle Health, Education, Policy Challenges

Reducing infant mortality, improving graduation rates for high school and first-generation college students, preventing home abandonment, and identifying legislative plagiarism ...
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DSSG Team Finishes 2nd at Civic Hacking Event

Every year, the National Day of Civic Hacking unites people across the country for hackathons, meetups, and other events centered ...
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2015 Fellow Profiles: Elissa Redmiles & Esha Maharishi

Data Science for Social Good is organized around projects, fixed-length efforts designed to produce a practical solution or product at ...
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2015 Fellow Profiles: Amy Hepner & Kerstin Frailey

From the beginning, education has been one of the primary focus areas of Data Science for Social Good. In 2013, ...
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2015 Fellow Profiles: Ryan Kappedal and Talia Kaufmann

Building a data science for social good community means welcoming in people from all stages of their education and career ...
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2015 Fellow Profiles: Eduardo Blancas Reyes & Eugenia Giraudy

Data science is an increasingly global pursuit. During the first two years of Data Science for Social Good, we’ve welcomed ...
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Announcing the 2015 DSSG Fellows

Data can make a difference in the world. With the right people, tools, and partnerships, non-profits and governments can use ...
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Import: Safe Hallways, Successful Tests

Import is a new series of guest posts from friends, colleagues, and collaborators in the data science for social good ...
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Data Science For Social Good 2015 Applicants: Chapter 1

Fellow applications just closed for the 2015 Summer Fellowship and we were excited to see almost 800 people apply! As ...
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Data Science For Social Good 2014 Videos: Chapter 3

[Apply today for DSSG 2015!] The third video from our 2014 fellowship showcases the broad array of projects that DSSG ...
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Keep In Touch: Robust Retention Strategies for Health Leads

“It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.” - Mahatma Gandhi The Affordable Care ...
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Maternal Mortality in Mexico: Distilling Data into Policy Strategies

[Apply today for DSSG 2015!] Previously, we wrote about the problem facing Mexico and many other countries: maternal mortality. In ...
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Using Data for a More Transparent Government

[Apply today for DSSG 2015!] “The greatness of America lies not in being more enlightened than any other nation, but ...
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Data Science For Social Good 2014 Videos: Chapter 2

[Apply today for DSSG 2015!] In the second installment of our DSSG 2014 videos, we focus on the team that ...
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Early Warning Systems for Struggling Students

[Apply today for DSSG 2015!] In our previous post, we described the challenge faced by our partners at Montgomery County ...
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DSSG Reflections: A ‘Summer Camp’ With Impact

[Apply today for DSSG 2015!] The Data Science for Social Good Summer Fellowship (DSSG) is like summer camp for adults ...
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Easing the Distress of Neighborhoods with Data

[Apply today for DSSG 2015!] Rapid growth, followed by a period of suburbanization and instability, ending with a gradual rebirth ...
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Data Science For Social Good 2014 Videos: Chapter 1

On Monday, applications will open for fellows, mentors, project managers, and project partners for Data Science for Social Good 2015 ...
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Mining Data, Making a Difference

In June, it was just rows and rows of data: property assessments, school records, smart meter readings, contract bids, and ...
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Defining the Undefinable, Measuring the Unmeasurable

“When we enter our clients’ homes, we’re not just nurses, we’re also confidants and counselors,” said nurses from Nurse-Family Partnership’s ...
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Tracking the Paths of Homelessness

"We believe that ending homelessness is possible and that, in Chicago, everyone should have a home." - Chicago's Plan 2.0: ...
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Making our moms proud: Reducing Maternal Mortality in Mexico

Despite advances in prenatal and postnatal health care, maternal mortality remains a major medical problem around the world. According to ...
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Helping Schools with Interventions

"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." - Nelson Mandela In today’s world ...
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Heatmaps for Habitats: Enriching Conservation Sensor Data

Environmental causes typically work to preserve portions of the planet in their pre-human state. But conservation groups are increasingly finding ...
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A Hackathon For (But Mostly Against) ‘Evil’

It’s been a busy summer, with all of us working hard on complex and socially meaningful projects. So on a ...
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DSSG Models Hit The Runway

An essential step for nearly every data science project is to build a statistical model, an algorithm or analysis that ...
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Anticipating Back to School Numbers, Before Summer Vacation

In the Chicago Public Schools system, each school's budget depends on how many students enroll there. Unfortunately, it can be ...
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Making Smart Meters Smarter

What's So Smart About a Smart Meter? Smart meters are an integral unit of smart grids, technology hailed as the ...
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UChicago Program Trains Data Scientists To Make A Difference

Data Science for Social Good returns for 2014 with 48 fellows, 12 projects Media contact: Rob Mitchum, rmitchum@uchicago.edu Sniffing out ...
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Warm Calls and Persuadability: Enroll America

Last week, DSSG fellow Peter Landwehr went to one of Enroll America's tabling events at Richton Park, IL, and watched ...
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Clean Development: Data Mining for Corruption Risks

Every year, the World Bank Group lends billions of dollars to fund infrastructure and other development projects around the globe ...
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Battling Blight in The Bluff City

To most people, Memphis, Tennessee evokes images of Elvis, Beale Street, and BBQ. But like many American cities, Memphis also ...
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Shining a Light on Earmarks

Earmarks have been called “the best known, most notorious, and most misunderstood aspect of the congressional budgetary process.” These government ...
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2014 Projects, Part 4: Chicago Department of Public Health, Montgomery County Public Schools, Conservation International

It's hard to believe we're already a third of the way through the summer. During a foggy week where Chicago ...
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2014 Projects, Part 3: Memphis, Health Leads, Chicago Alliance to End Homelessness

The time for introductions is over at Data Science for Social Good. Joined at the start of the week by ...
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Why Doing Data Science with Non-Profits is Different from Industry

Republished from DSSG fellow Carl Shan's blog, where is he recapping the summer week-by-week. One of the non-profit partners my ...
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2014 Projects, Part 2: WikiEnergy, Enroll America/Get Covered Illinois, Nurse-Family Partnership

It was a busy week of working with and learning from our project partners, in person at the DSSG space ...
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2014 Projects, Part 1: World Bank Group, CPS, Harris School/Sunlight Foundation

In the second week of the fellowship, fellows and mentors have heard from a wide range of our project partners ...
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Fighting The Babel Effect with Bootcamp

As a young, rapidly-growing, and broad field, data science has a language problem. A self-described data scientist may prefer to ...
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Introductions and Definitions

"Data science is not a real field, it's just statistics done by people with weird hair." You might not expect ...
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Meet the 2014 DSSG Fellows

This year, we’ve expanded our fellow slots by a dozen, from 36 to 48. The fellows come from universities throughout ...
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Meet the 2014 DSSG Mentors

The Data Science for Social Good mentors are the core of the fellowship. As experienced data scientists from industry and ...
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Welcome to Data Science for Social Good 2014

Last year, it was just an idea: Bring three dozen students to Chicago and prepare them for a career using ...
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CDOT: Using Data to Shine a Light on the Impact of City Services

Street lights are one of many public services that residents take for granted. In addition to helping us avoid car ...
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Case Foundation: A Hairball to Help Non-Profits Untangle Strategy

Starting a new nonprofit is a difficult process. Besides choosing a mission, developing a strategy and hiring employees, a new ...
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Divvy Part 2: A Crystal Ball for Rebalancing

Empty and full stations pose a major problem in the Divvy system. After all, bike share really only needs two ...
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Cook County Land Bank Part 2: A Real Estate Finder for Vacant Properties

In a previous post, we asked how the Cook County Land Bank Authority ought to decide which vacant and abandoned ...
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Mesa Public Schools: Undermining Undermatching

This fall, more than 2 million American high school seniors will apply to college. A growing body of research tells ...
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QCRI: Tapping Twitter for Faster Disaster Relief

In October 2012, when Hurricane Sandy raged up the East Coast of the United States, many people in the path ...
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NorthShore: mining medical data to tackle the obesity crisis

Obesity is a rapidly growing epidemic in the US. More than a third of American adults are obese, and another ...
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Fellow Applications for Summer 2014 will be available December 1

Fellow Applications for Summer 2014 will be available December 1, 2013. Application Deadline is February 1, 2014. Watch this website ...
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Data Science for Social Good Summer Fellowship to return for 2014

Program seeks fellows, mentors and partners After a successful first summer, in which aspiring data scientists from around the world ...
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DSSG Fellowship Planning Workshop: Nov 14-15

Due to a lot of interest from other universities (and cities) in running similar programs next summer, we are conducting ...
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Divvy: Helping Chicago’s New Bike Share Find Its Balance

“Wow! What is that? Where’d you get it?,” the beach-going twentysomething asked me. I looked up from the map on ...
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CTA: Why Bus Crowding Happens and How Data Can Help

We've all been there: standing at an intersection, waiting for the bus to come. Passengers keep arriving at the stop, ...
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The Match Game: Measuring the National Impact of Nurse-Family Partnership

There are thousands of organizations around the country that are dedicated to helping people in need. Yet despite those good ...
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Fellow profile: Nathan Leiby

The core goal of the Data Science for Social Good fellowship is to connect technically skilled people to social problems ...
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The Dark Matter of Public Policy Data (Part 2): Statistical Solutions

Part one of this series talked about the “dark matter” of public policy data -- the invisible factors not present ...
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Ushahidi: Machine Learning for Human Rights

"2-car acc @ State & Lake, both drivers injred" That short, hastily typed text message or tweet contains a lot ...
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Cook County Land Bank, Part 1: The Problem

Boarded up buildings and overgrown lots have plagued Chicago's low-income neighborhoods for decades. Over the past five years, however, vacant ...
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Why Data Science Needs Openness

I cringe a little at the term data science. It conveys all the hype and false-promise you'd expect of an ...
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Between the Buzzwords, A Different Route for Tech

Last week's Techweek Chicago event had all the trappings of your typical tech conference. Sprawled out over a floor of ...
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Redefining Which Problems Matter

The first few weeks of the fellowship focused on defining our problems -- talking to our partners, understanding their problems ...
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Training Data Scientists: Problem-solving

Data science isn't just about creating algorithms, writing code, or visualizing data. The first step is finding the right problem ...
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Fellow Roundtable: Learning New Data Science Tools

We spent much of the first week of the fellowship getting fellows up to speed on git, python, R, and ...
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Fellow Roundtable: Reflections on the Start of the Fellowship

The Data Science for Social Good fellowship is just getting started. Fellow Skyler Whorton wrote a blog post reflecting on ...
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The Dark Matter of Public Policy Data (Part 1)

Imagine you are asked to compare patient outcomes at area hospitals. In minutes, you can pull the Medicare data for ...
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Fellow profile: Andrea Fernández Conde

In Mexico, drug cartels are locked in violent rivalries that profoundly affect the entire country and its population. The history ...
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Welcome to Chicago: Who are you, and what are you looking for?

This was the question asked of us by Paul O’Connor last Friday, at the first of our weekly lunch speaker ...
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Training Data Scientists: Tools

Our goals for the fellowship are to train more data scientists and to get them working on problems that really ...
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The Fellows Arrive

They're here! Despite canceled flights, eleventh hour visas, stolen laptops, hellish final exams, and a last minute internet installation, our ...
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The Fellowship and the Fellows

The data deluge As technology penetrates further into everyday life, we're creating lots of data. (We could quote all the ...
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