From Kenya and Mexico to Syracuse and Tulsa, data in the hands of people with skills, expertise, and compassion can produce genuine benefits. For the 2016 edition of the Eric & Wendy Schmidt Data Science for Social Good (DSSG) Summer Fellowship, 42 fellows from around the world will work with partners in these locales and beyond on tackling challenges in education, policing, social services, criminal justice, and other vital real-world topics.


As the Array of Things takes its final steps toward its public launch later this summer, it has locked in two new relationships that will support its research and education goals. Through an Innovation Generation grant from Motorola Solutions, the Array of Things (AoT) team will expand the high school curriculum built around the urban sensing project last year at Lane Tech High School, enabling more students to learn about technology, programming, and other important skills through the platform. Meanwhile, a new agreement with AT&T establishes the company as the wireless provider for the AoT nodes, transmitting terabytes of data to storage.


Using data to better understand and improve cities is no longer a revolutionary new idea. Cities across the world now release data publicly and use data internally to drive better services, social scientists increasingly use “big” data and computation to study urban environments, and civic hacking groups create data-driven websites and apps to inform and benefit communities. But in many ways, these are just the low-hanging fruit of urban data science, which remains a young field with more promise than results.


Urban Center for Computation and Data

The Urban Center for Computation and Data unites scientists from the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory with educators, architects and government officials to capitalize upon the growing availability of city datasets and the emergence of urban sensor networks. The interdisciplinary collaboration will analyze and integrate those data sources and build complex computer models that can anticipate the impact of policy decisions, investments, urban development or other interventions on a city and its residents.

Knowledge Lab logo

Knowledge does not arise from the simple accumulation of facts. Rather, it is a complex, dynamic system, and its emergent outcomes - including scientific consensus - are unpredictable. The complexity of knowledge creation has exploded with the growing number of participating scientists and citizens. If human knowledge is to grow efficiently, we need a deeper understanding of the processes by which knowledge is conceived, validated, shared and reinforced. We need to understand the limits of knowledge in relation to these processes. In short, we need knowledge about knowledge.

A collaboration between the Harris School of Public Policy and the Computation Institute, the Center for Data Science and Public Policy brings together data science and public policy experts. Its mission is to conduct research and create computational and data-driven solutions to large-scale social problems in areas such as healthcare, education, sustainability, and community development.

The Center's goals include:

Researcher Spotlight