Data Science Corps to Improve the Quality of Life in Urban Areas

Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance   (Baltimore)


The Data Science Corps is a collaborative effort with UMBC as the coordinating as well as implementing organization and the University of Baltimore (UB), Towson University, and Bowie State University as implementing organizations. BNIA-JFI is part of a team of experts with multidisciplinary academic expertise and complementary training experiences in parallel computing, data science, big data, cybersecurity, virtual reality, geospatial data analysis, and urban and regional planning. BNIA-JFI is supporting integration of real-world data science projects by 1) recruiting and introducing data science tools and techniques to undergraduate students at UB; 2) accelerating the adoption of advanced data science techniques, such as geospatial analysis for projects in urban communities through community-based real-world projects.

Students will be trained on data processing best practices for analysis, geographic information systems, effective and ethical data visualization techniques for applications that help communities in Baltimore understand the current impacts of the COVID19 pandemic. Students will participate in both learning modeils and work on community-based real-world projects. Examples of projects include: 

1) Analyze databases regarding internet speeds by neighborhood
2) Create a web scraper to collect routinely updated data on websites that don’t have an open data API
3) Review real time service of new bus schedules and see if different neighborhoods are
experiencing service disruptions
4) Analyze city budgets for youth related spending and programs

Over the summer, Fall 2020 Data Science Corps Interns worked on various projects and presented on their work at Baltimore Data Week. A description of the projects and a recording of their Ignite Session from Data Week can be found here