The Eric & Wendy Schmidt Data Science for Social Good Summer Fellowship trains aspiring data scientists with computer science, statistics, and quantitative social science backgrounds to solve real-world problems with high social impact. In 2013, the fellowship's first year, 40 graduate and advanced undergraduate students worked with more than 20 government agencies and non-profit organizations on 12 projects tackling problems in health care, energy, education, disaster relief, transportation, and city services.
Fellows worked in small teams led by experienced mentors from academic and industry, learning and applying technical data analytics skills in order to find solutions to high impact social problems. These problems were collaboratively scoped with government and non-profit partners—including the City of Chicago, Cook County Land Bank, the Cook County Sheriff, Ushahidi, Qatar Computing Research Institute, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Environmental Defense Fund, NorthShore University HealthSystem, Nurse-Family Partnership, and the Case Foundation—who contributed data and expertise to the projects. The teams developed prototypes for reducing bus crowding, identifying students at risk of missing college opportunities, predicting cardiac arrests in hospital patients, and other applications that will help the project partners do more with their data in the future.