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UW Data Science for Social Good
Presenters: Sarah Stone and Anissa Tanweer, University of Washington
Abstract: Launched in Summer 2015, the UW Data Science for Social Good (DSSG) program partners eScience Data Scientists and Student Fellows from across the country with Project Leads from academia, government, and the private sector to find data-driven solutions to pressing societal challenges. Previous projects (15 over the past 4 summers) have involved data analysis and visualization on topics such as transportation, public health, sustainable urban planning, homelessness, and disaster response. Several projects have led to long-term collaborations and funding opportunities. Integrated project-based discussions and training around data science ethics, human-centered design and stakeholder collaboration are keystones of our DSSG program. Differences in prior experience and training among student fellows can pose a challenge, but often become a strength in the context of project work. Our experience running this program supports the notion that DSSG programs can both effectively impact social good and provide "real world" data science training for students from diverse disciplinary backgrounds.