Building the wide open future of data science requires bringing new students into the fold today. And at the University of Chicago, for the third consecutive year, the Center for Data an Computing (CDAC) Summer Lab serves as one of those gateways. Welcoming 55 high school, undergraduate, and master’s students to serve as research assistants on projects with more than 39 mentors and adding a new “social impact” track, it’s the largest year yet for the program designed to train and inspire the next generation of interdisciplinary computational and data scientists.
For ten weeks, students will work with their mentors building new wearable devices and robots, creating privacy and security protections from machine learning systems and online data trackers, and studying the quality of broadband access in Chicago communities. They will work with sociologists, astronomers, molecular engineers, and physicists on projects that blend data and computer science with scientific exploration and real-world applications. Social impact projects will partner with non-profit organizations collecting oceanographic data, monitoring human rights violations, and investigating international finance.
“At the University of Chicago, our goal is to define the field of data science so that it can fully reach its potential for enabling world-changing research and applications,” said David Uminsky, executive director of data science initiatives at UChicago. “The Summer Lab program is an integral part of that mission. We want to foster an inclusive research environment where students from all backgrounds gain hands-on research experience and build critical data science skills, creating a future generation of data scientists representative of the world we hope the field will positively impact.”