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1:15PM EST

"Data Science that Works With and For Our Communities"

moderated by: Jonathan Kropko, Assistant Professor, School of Data Science

Moderated by Jonthan Kropko, Assistant Professor, School of Data ScienceThere is a lot of good that can result from partnerships between researchers using data science and community members who can benefit from the output of that research. On the other hand, community involvement can lead to serious questions regarding ethics, and there's no guarantee that the project will make people's investment of time and resources worthwhile. This panel features data science and software engineering projects that work directly with local communities here in Charlottesville. We will discuss the projects and consider the question of how to run a community-oriented project that is ethical and successful.

Panelists & Projects:

  • Jiaxing “Joy” Qiu, MSDS Alum '20
    • Project: EDetectives: Automated detection of eating disorders in dieting forums
      • This project uses machine learning strategies to detect posts in dieting forums that have higher risk of eating disorders. 
      • We are currently looking for volunteers to help us classify posts for a better training dataset. 
  • Adam Lutz
    • Project: The Charlottesville Housing Hub: A Platform to Make Housing Navigation Easier
      • Housing navigation is the process of helping people with limited incomes find places to live they can afford, possibly with the help of a housing voucher. Navigation also includes helping people with complex backgrounds find places that will accept them as tenants. We are building an electronic system for the internal and exclusive use of credentialed housing navigators that provides navigators with an up-to-date and comprehensive list of the available rentals in the Charlottesville area, along with the various screening policies employed by landlords.
  • Christof Ferhman,  UVA PhD Student in Quantitative Psychology  &  Lucas Lyons, Systems Performance Analyst,  Charlottesville Fire Department
    • Project: Reaching for the Stars and Landing on the Moon: Improving Local Government Open Data
      • Every hero’s journey features dramatic obstacles and overcoming them is the meat of any plot.  The collaborative journey between Code for Cville and the Charlottesville Fire Department in 2020 was no exception.  The group’s work took them into uncharted territory of sewing together disparate real estate datasets from Charlottesville’s open data portal to pave the way for future community-tech collaborations to sail to further shores and sidestep this common obstacle.  Join this session to learn how adjusting project goals and scope leads to new realms of victory, how tabular and geospatial data (without primary keys!) can be married in bliss, and how a mere R script can change the course of a community’s efforts to understand and address risk. 
  • Abigail Cox, Program Associate, Smart Cville
    • Project: The Center for Civic Innovation
      • The Center for Civic Innovation is a community-based organization located in Charlottesville where community residents, local governments, and University of Virginia students and faculty tackle some of our region’s biggest challenges. Using creative problem-solving methods, technology, and data, we support civic innovation that makes our community a better place to live and work. Our work includes the Civic Innovation Fellowship Program and Data Collaboratives.