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 ways of using modern technology to support their mission, allowing them to gather more information about the areas they protect and better argue to decision-makers and local residents why they are worth protecting. The Tropical [...]

Heatmaps for Habitats: Enriching Conservation Sensor Data2018-05-12T14:08:23-05:00

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 bright and sunny Saturday morning, twenty fellows got together to take a short break and work together on some less serious projects, in an event called The Data Science for Social “Evil” Mob Madness Hackathon, [...]

A Hackathon For (But Mostly Against) ‘Evil’2018-05-12T14:08:24-05:00

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 converts raw data into predictions, classifications, or other insights. At DSSG, whether teams are focused on identifying struggling high school students, teasing air conditioner usage out of meter data, or spotting corrupt bidding practices, an [...]

DSSG Models Hit The Runway2018-05-12T14:08:25-05:00

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 difficult to predict how many students will enroll in a given year, and inaccurate predictions can result in last-minute money shuffles, staff changes, and wasted educational time. Because budget allocations are made in the spring, [...]

Anticipating Back to School Numbers, Before Summer Vacation2018-05-12T14:08:27-05:00

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 future of energy management. Replacing standard meters that are read in person once a month, smart meters transmit information directly to utility companies and collect higher quality data at short intervals of time. For utility [...]

Making Smart Meters Smarter2018-05-12T14:08:28-05:00

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 corruption in World Bank contracts. Predicting where Chicago children are most at risk for lead poisoning. Identifying struggling high school students who need additional guidance. Reducing maternal mortality in Mexico. This summer, 48 fellows from [...]

UChicago Program Trains Data Scientists To Make A Difference2018-05-12T14:08:28-05:00

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 how it went. The event was a standard Enroll America information session, with a volunteer sitting behind a table at a library, handing out information to passersby, and getting their contact information in turn. Here [...]

Warm Calls and Persuadability: Enroll America2018-05-12T14:08:29-05:00

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. Projects vary widely in scale and scope, ranging from developing hydropower systems to rehabilitating coral reefs to improving roads, health, education and agriculture systems. Contractors on these projects are typically hired through a competitive bidding [...]

Clean Development: Data Mining for Corruption Risks2018-05-12T14:08:30-05:00

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 faces a legacy of urban planning dominated by suburban growth and automobile transportation. Since 1970, the City of Memphis’s population has grown by 4 percent while the geographic area has increased by 55 percent, leaving [...]

Battling Blight in The Bluff City2018-05-12T14:08:31-05:00

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 budget items allocated to specific people, places, or projects are alternately described as a subversion of democracy or an important negotiation tool to smooth the passage of controversial legislation. But despite the attention earmarks attract, [...]

Shining a Light on Earmarks2018-05-12T14:08:32-05:00