Students Using Data for Social Good

at Carnegie Mellon University

A New Semester with SUDS!

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Welcome back for another great semester with SUDS! We had a great fall semester, and want to finish off the year strong with more data projects, workshops, and speakers. If you’re new to SUDS and want to meet other data enthusiasts who are passionate about doing good with data, please come to our General Body Meeting on Wednesday, January 31st in Hamburg Hall Room 1206 at 6pm (Click to RSVP!)

With a great semester ahead of us, we want to share our plans for the spring (including new projects!), but we also want to celebrate what we accomplished in the fall. In that spirit, please take the time to read the reflection Chris Worley, our outgoing Director, left for us as we look ahead to spring:

About SUDS

Students for Urban Data Systems (SUDS) partners with organizations in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County that are dedicated to social good, and we lend our data skills to their mission. In sum, we connect our members with opportunities to do good with data.

We value enthusiasm and effort before skill set. Data projects are about helping members develop their skills in data analysis, visualization, machine learning, and project management. We bring students from across the seven colleges at CMU together.

One of the most important parts of the SUDS experience is mentorship. Each Data Project team has experienced members and leaders that work to build skills of other members.

Data Projects

The most exciting thing about SUDS is that it brings together community organizations that have data needs and match them with a team of students who are interested in helping out. Last Fall, we began three new Data Projects:

  1. Remake Learning – Develop an interactive map of educational organizations in the Pittsburgh region and the populations they serve.
  2. Just Harvest – Understand fresh food access in Pittsburgh by examining transaction data from 300 local fresh food markets.
  3. Metro21 and Pittsburgh Fire Bureau – Improve and extend Fire Risk Models to guide fire risk reduction efforts, like property inspections and safety education. 

What’s Next

We look forward to what 2018 brings. SUDS members enjoy contributing to the Open Data and Civic Technology community in Pittsburgh, and have lined up new Data Projects for the spring.

In two short years, we have grown from the original group of five students to a network of 50+ regular members, with hundreds of students participating in our activities. Obviously, our founders tapped into something that excited students across the CMU community. Today, students from all academic disciplines and skill levels participate in SUDS projects and events.

We look forward to seeing you!

 

Author: Jason Griess

Assistant Director of Digital Strategy

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