20
Aug
2013

Finding a better way to fight cancer doesn't always mean discovering a new drug or surgical technique. Sometimes just defining the disease in greater detail can make a big difference. A more specific diagnosis may allow a physician to better tailor a patient's treatment, using available therapies proven to work better on a specific subtype of disease or avoiding unnecessary complications for less aggressive cases.

"Finding better ways to stratify kids when they present and decide who needs more therapy and who needs less therapy is one of the ways in which we've gotten much better at treating pediatric cancer," said Samuel Volchenboum, Computation Institute Fellow, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Comer Children's Hospital and Director of the UChicago Center for Research Informatics. "For example, kids can be put in one of several different groups for leukemia, and each group has its own treatment course."

13
Aug
2013

Rapid urbanization around the world is leading to the construction of real estate developments at a scale and pace far beyond human experience. Among these efforts is Chicago Lakeside Development, a 600-acre development on the coast of Lake Michigan on the city's South Side that will eventually be home to 50,000 people and millions of square feet of retail, commercial and public space.

Planning for Chicago Lakeside will necessitate augmenting traditional tools with data and scientific computation, allowing developers to model the complex interplay between energy, waste and water infrastructures. To address this need, a collaboration between the University of Chicago, Argonne National Laboratory, the Computation Institute, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and McCaffery Interests will develop a prototype computational framework for Chicago Lakeside Development, called LakeSim.

02
Aug
2013

As the Data Science for Social Good fellowship enters its final month, many of the projects with nonprofit organizations and government agencies are picking up momentum. At the DSSG website, we're posting regular updates on the fellows' progress: how they determined the right problem to solve, what analytic and software tools they're using to attack those problems, and what they have learned along the way. Some of the articles even offer a glimpse at early results and prototypes developed by the team over the first two months. Here's a sampling of those progress reports.

 

Cook County Land Bank: The Problem

The Cook County Land Bank Authority was recently established earlier this year as a new government agency charged with acquiring and redeveloping vacant and abandoned properties. DSSG fellows are working with The Institute for Housing Studies at DePaul University to developed a tool—a sort of "Trulia for abandoned properties"—that will help the agency determine which properties to purchase in order to produce the greatest benefit for the surrounding community.