The Data Science for Social Good Summer Fellowship's 2016 Data Fest presented projects addressing problems in education, public health, policy, conservation, international development, social services, policing, and a broad range of other societal issues, proving the potential of data-driven methods for creating positive change.


Economics is a field where theories are easy to create, and very difficult to test. It’s impractical, if not impossible, to run a controlled experiment on a scale large enough to measure the true effect of policy on economies. Looking at historical data has problems as well, as economic statistics are often too coarse or unreliable to model or investigate macroeconomic theories.


This week in Chicago, the Array of Things team begins the first phase of the groundbreaking urban sensing project, installing the first of an eventual 500 nodes on city streets. By measuring data on air quality, climate, traffic and other urban features, these pilot nodes kick off an innovative partnership between the University of Chicago, Argonne National Laboratory, and the City of Chicago to better understand, serve, and improve cities.


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.

The Hack Arts Lab (HAL) provides an open-access laboratory for creative digital fabrication and visualization.  Thismakerspace-styled workshop is designed to support a breadth of activity ranging from undergraduate projects to faculty-led exploration.  

HAL resources include 3D printers, laser cutter, advanced graphics, and microcontroller workbenches, all offered at minimal cost.

Researcher Spotlight