11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
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The press for data science skills and programs, enrollment in university courses, and funding of programs and centers by major donors has intensified widespread interest in using algorithms, experiments, and data analytics in public policy. Data science programs and textbooks have wrestled with problems of privacy, how good research questions are defined, how issues of data validity might be addressed, and awareness of how data might be used. The distinctiveness of the new push for data analytics may rest in the claim that all data science can be 'translational, or useful at least as much in solving public problems more than in building fundamental understanding.
In this seminar, Dr. Henry Renski (Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning, and Associate Director ISSR, UMass Amherst) will moderate as Dr. Susan Sterett (University of Maryland) and Dr. Kelly Joyce (Drexel University) lay out some of the challenges of gathering and using big data to address small cities' priorities and challenges. Stressing the importance of collaboration and the assemblage of multi-disciplinary teams, they describe big data projects that went (unintentionally) wrong and ones that truly addressed cities' needs, and the theorizing about public problems implicit in each.