The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Data Science for the Common Good

Data Science for the Common Good is a summer program that trains aspiring data scientists to work on real-world problems that benefit the common good. Our teams of computer science Master's students work with nonprofit organizations and government agencies in areas such as environmental conservation, economic development, public health, and more.


Interested in being a sponsor? Click to learn about ways to support Data Science for the Common Good.

Interested in being a partner organization? Click for information on partnering with Data Science for the Common Good.


The 2019 Data Science for the Common Good projects are completed, with final presentations delivered in August. 


The Charles River Watershed Association (CRWA) works with government agencies and private citizens toward the restoration and protection of the Charles. Through their work, CRWA’s scientists inform policies that promote responsible  watershed management and a healthy river ecosystem. The CRWA team analyzed 25 years' worth of water quality data collected from the Charles River to identify patterns and trends in the levels of E. coli, phosphorus, and chlorophyll. Read more ...


As the population of Holyoke has changed over time, the Greater Holyoke YMCA (Holyoke Y) has sought to evolve with it. The Holyoke Y team analyzed membership and program participation data to predict membership churn and identify possible interventions. Read more ...



The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MADPH) promotes the health and well-being of all residents by ensuring access to high-quality public health and healthcare services, and by focusing on prevention, wellness, and health equity in all people. The MADPH team aggregated data from disparate sources to develop risk assessment scores at the city/town level. Read more ...



The Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) is the regional planning agency for the 101 cities and towns that make up Greater Boston. The MAPC team worked with Northeastern University professor Alan Clayton-Matthews to enhance a forecasting technique that can be used to project scenarios about the future population and the effects on housing and transportation needs.



The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is a global environmental nonprofit working to create a world where people and nature can thrive. The TNC team devised a tool using a computer-vision algorithm to automatically detect whether or not a photograph contains an animal. TNC can apply this tool to photographs captured by unmanned cameras place in the wild, in order to collect animal crossing data to better guard against animal-vehicle collisions on roadways.



The mission of Springfield Public Schools (SPS) is to graduate students who are college and career ready. The SPS team aggregated student data with college-enrollment data from a national clearinghouse to identify factors contributing to post-secondary school success. Read more ...