Data Science Projects for Social Good

We aim to educate Cooper Union students to solve real world, data-oriented problems in education, equality, justice, health, public safety, economic development or other areas. By partnering with nonprofits, social enterprises or government agencies, students will learn to apply data science, machine learning, and data visualization techniques to problems that have significant social impact. Through this effort, we hope to fulfill part of Peter Cooper’s vision, to instill into students a sense of social justice that will translate into action.

Under the guidance of faculty members with experience in data science and graphic design the students will work with clients to identify a project and implement a prototype solution. In the course of this work students will gain practical skills in designing solutions, collaboration with partners and communicating results that will prepare them for a wide range of careers. At the end of the semester, solutions will be delivered to all clients, such as analyses, applications and code, and a formal presentation. Additionally, these projects will be featured at the Cooper Union End of Year Show, an exhibition of the art, architecture, and engineering schools that showcases student work to the Cooper Union community and the city of New York.

Example Projects

Mapping and visualization of food insecurity and identification of “food islands”, connected regions in NYC where multiple food sources are available to people in need.

Analysis on the effect of commute times on the persistence of participants in a job placement program

Analysis on the employment category transitions made from pre-incarceration to post-incarceration

Identification of key predictors of tenant at risk of eviction

Mapping and analysis of neighborhoods with high amounts of evictions, contrasted with neighborhoods with high amounts of landlord complaints

Analysis of wait times for government aid

Mapping of distribution of government aid to different NYC neighborhoods

Example Deliverables

Detailed statistical analyses with accompanying reports, written for technical and non technical audiences

Data visualizations, graphic design such as infographics and maps

Client facing interactive data dashboards

Artworks inspired by data such as sculptures, silk screen, audio and video

Code base for all analyses, visualization, dashboards

For more detailed examples, please refer to the spring 2019 offering or the spring 2018 offering