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Stanford Data Science (SDS) is seeking student fellows and project partners for the Data Science for Social Good (DSSG) summer 2022 fellowship! The program is 8 weeks long (June 12-August 12, 2022), and its goal is "to create a unique, world-class data science learning experience for student fellows while making progress on real-world problems with social impact." I participated last summer and learned a lot about data science, academic research, and what social impact in data science looks like. I'd like to see more EA-aligned students and orgs involved in this program!


Example projects

Past projects have included:

  • Identifying CAFO characteristics using satellite imagery: With help from Stanford Law School’s Regulation, Evaluation, and Governance Lab, student fellows leveraged state-of-the-art advances in machine learning, artificial intelligence, and causal inference to design and evaluate programs, policies and technologies that modernize government regulations of wastewater polluters.
  • Building a network of land ownership in Kenya: Student fellows partnered with Code for Africa to build a database of networks of corporations and persons involved in land transfer and ownership to help journalists in Kenya in fighting corruption and promote good governance of land resources.
  • Improving predictions for targeted human trafficking investigations in Brazil: In collaboration with the Human Trafficking Data Lab at Stanford and the Brazilian Federal Labor Prosecution Office, student fellows used data science tools to build the Intuition Engine – an ensemble predictive model combining regression models, spatial data science, natural language processing, deep learning and network analyses to better detect the risk of trafficking.

Get involved

As stated before, SDS is looking for people and orgs for the following roles:

Student fellows (current students)

You'll work in a team of about 3 student fellows on a data science project curated by SDS, which your team will present at the end of the 8th week. Your team will have a faculty mentor (usually a Stanford professor with knowledge about the project's domain area) and a technical mentor (usually a PhD student). During the program, we had several guest speakers from academia and industry who talked about how they were using data science to address real-world societal issues. The program emphasized best practices in data science such as reproducibility and interpretability.

Since the DSSG program is run by university PhD students and postdocs, I found it to be a fairly academic environment, so I think it's a good stepping stone for those interested in doing academic research in the future. Student fellows receive a stipend for successful participation.

Apply here by February 14, 2022 at 11:59pm PT.

Student fellows should be:

  • Hungry to learn and grow in the following areas: team data science, working with a project partner, statistics, reproducibility, and programming for data science
  • A current undergraduate (currently enrolled seniors/juniors) or graduate student (Masters) at an accredited US based university or college
  • Proficient in a programming language such as Python or R.
  • Committed to being present at all meetings during the entire duration of the summer program (40 hrs/week). The 2022 program is virtual (via Zoom) due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.

The program will interview select applicants and make final decisions by mid-April. Applicants should provide the contact information of a faculty member who could comment on their data science skills and knowledge. The program may request recommendation letters for selected applicants.

More information is available at the FAQ page. You can also ask me about my experience in the program.

Project partners (organizations)

If you have an idea for a data science project for social good that could be conducted by a team of students over 8 weeks, and a dataset that could be used for the project, please fill out this form. More information from the program director:

Do you have a question in mind and a dataset that might help answer it? Would you be willing to help students learning data science to try solving a specific problem involving such a data set?

Stanford Data Science (SDS) supports a number of educational initiatives that aim to grow the participants’ abilities to analyze data, engage in cross disciplinary collaboration, and effectively communicate questions and findings across fields. Data Science for Good Summer Fellowship is an eight-week program during which teams of 3-4 participants work each on a different dataset, trying to answer a question posed by an investigator; news items are on the Stanford Data Science website.

All of these programs rely on the use of datasets and on collaboration with domain scientists that either collected the data or are interested in its analysis. We recognize that the projects and data may be varied, involving different levels of complexity, novelty and privacy. Therefore, we provide mentors and resources to guide students throughout the duration of the programs.

We hope to have 2-3 projects during the DSSG 2022 program. If you have a dataset and a question that could benefit from the work of such students in our programs, we would be happy to discuss details to see if any of these initiatives might be a good fit.

Thanks in advance!





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