Redefining Which Problems Matter


The first few weeks of the fellowship focused on defining our problems -- talking to our partners, understanding their problems and data , brainstorming technical strategies, and scoping out proposed solutions. But alongside defining our problems, we have also been redefining what a problem is. Data Science for Social Good fellows come from a wide [...]

Redefining Which Problems Matter2018-05-12T14:09:31-05:00

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 to solve. Many of the governments and nonprofit organizations we've talked to are excited about using data to make better decisions. But most aren't quite sure where to start, while others pitch lots of problems [...]

Training Data Scientists: Problem-solving2018-05-12T14:09:31-05:00

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 other data science tools. The idea was to give everyone a shared sense of what's out there so they can collaborate and teach other over the summer. We've invited a few of our fellows to [...]

Fellow Roundtable: Learning New Data Science Tools2018-05-12T14:09:32-05:00

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 week one of the program. We've brought thirty six fellows with diverse backgrounds and perspectives to Chicago. So let's hear from a few more voices about how things are going so far. For our first [...]

Fellow Roundtable: Reflections on the Start of the Fellowship2018-05-12T14:09:33-05:00

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 30-day mortality rates after a heart attack, heart failure or pneumonia, and start crunching numbers. But say Hospital A is in a low-income neighborhood with high rates of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and other chronic conditions. [...]

The Dark Matter of Public Policy Data (Part 1)2018-05-12T14:09:33-05:00

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 of this ongoing struggle is complex and steeped in political controversy, but some believe that careful analysis of the past may help the Mexican government curb the violence. This was the guiding maxim for Andrea [...]

Fellow profile: Andrea Fernández Conde2018-05-12T14:09:34-05:00

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 series. O’Connor is an urban strategist at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill who formerly headed a business development nonprofit called World Business Chicago. On top of that, he’s a native Chicagoan as well as a local [...]

Welcome to Chicago: Who are you, and what are you looking for?2018-05-12T14:09:35-05:00

Training Data Scientists: Tools


Our goals for the fellowship are to train more data scientists and to get them working on problems that really matter. Lots of folks have been asking about how we're doing that. Data scientists are a hybrid group with computer science, statistics, machine learning, data mining, and database skills. These skills take years to learn [...]

Training Data Scientists: Tools2018-05-12T14:09:36-05:00

The Fellows Arrive


They're here! Despite canceled flights, eleventh hour visas, stolen laptops, hellish final exams, and a last minute internet installation, our inaugural fellows poured into our new office this morning. We spent our first day getting to know the program, and each other. Program director Rayid Ghani kicked things off by welcoming mentors, staff, and fellows. [...]

The Fellows Arrive2018-05-12T14:09:36-05:00