The Eric & Wendy Schmidt Data Science for Social Good fellowship is a University of Chicago summer program for aspiring data scientists to work on data mining, machine learning, big data, and data science projects with social impact. Working closely with governments and nonprofits, fellows take on real-world problems in education, health, energy, transportation, and more. For three months in Chicago they apply their coding and analytics skills, collaborate in a fast-paced atmosphere, and learn from mentors coming from industry, academia, and the Obama campaign.
The 2013 program brought thirty six aspiring data scientists from across the country to Chicago. They were graduate and undergraduate students from quantitative and computational fields - from computer science to machine learning to statistics to public policy. From June to September, they worked in small teams on an analytics project for a nonprofit, local government, or federal agency. Fellows worked on high impact problems, analyzed dozens of datasets, and learned from decision-makers on the front lines of public policy. Each team was led by full-time mentors who served as project leaders, techincal advisors, helped the fellows brainstorm ideas, and managed the relationship between the team of fellows and the project partners.