University of Chicago Arete

We launch complex initiatives that enhance UChicago's research enterprise

Read About Our Projects
University of Chicago Alaina Harkness

Beyond ad clicks: using 'Big Data' for social good

This story comes from our friends at the Computation Institute (CI), be sure to check out their website

Another year of the Eric & Wendy Schmidt Data Science for Social Good summer fellowship is in the books, and like last year, the program culminated in a packed event where each project team presented the results of their work with non-profit and government partners. Attending this year's Data Fair at Chicago technology hub 1871 was Marketplace's David Gura, who also visited the Data Science for Social Good workspace to cover the program's origins in the 2012 Presidential race and the promising early returns of the 2014 projects.

The fellows set up shop in an unfinished office space in downtown Chicago, and started programming in Python and R.  Those are the hammer and hacksaw in a data scientist’s toolbox. The fellows made themselves at home. In the kitchen, behind a stack of boxes, there is coffee and a half-eaten pie, and tucked in a corner, there is a ping-pong table.

The outside groups – the Sunlight Foundation, WikiEnergy, Chicago Public Schools, to name a few – gave the fellows two things: problems to tackle and data. Lots and lots of data.

Learn more about the Data Science for Social Good fellowship at their website


~ Past Events ~

Scientist as Entrepreneur: Harnessing UChicago Research for the City of the Future

05 / 25   6:00 PM 1871 in the Merchandise Mart, Auditorium, 12th Floor (222 W. Merchandise Mart Plaza, Chicago)

Top researchers from UChicago will present on an issue facing our cities and then will discuss this work and other topics in a panel discussion.

Energy Breakthroughs: A Glimpse into the Future

05 / 24   5:15 PM Chicago Innovation Exchange Skydeck (5235 S. Harper Court, Chicago)

Hear from the innovators who are helping to bring emerging technologies from the lab to the marketplace through a series of TED-style talks that will present a glimpse into our energy future.

Understanding Innovation: New Insights from the Next Generation of Behavioral Science

05 / 25   3:00 PM Charles M. Harper Center, Room C-06, Concourse Level (5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue, Chicago)

Do you want to encourage more creative thinking in your business?  Would you like to better understand how people solve problems and develop ideas?  Are you curious how scientists study complex, human thought processes like this?  Come to "Understanding Innovation: New Insights from the Next Generation of Behavioral Science", presented by the Booth School of Business's Center for Decision Research, to learn about cutting-edge research on creativity and innovation.  Admission is FREE, and refreshments will be served.  All are welcome!