The Data for Good Exchange conference focused on applications of data science that benefit the public. This is strongly aligned with the mission of SUDS. Our objective for attending the conference was to learn more about how practitioners, academics, and others are using data analytics in creative ways to address public policy concerns.
The conference was attended by a cross-section of individuals in academic, government, the private sector, and nonprofits/NGOs. Most sessions were themed around a particular topic (ethics and fairness; novel data collection methods; public services; etc.) and presenters would discuss research they had done in the area or examples of implementation. Some of the most interesting talks we attended were on equity in 311 call reporting, creating a database of police killings, and patterns in civil asset forfeiture. There was also a poster session and reception at the end of the day.
One of the highlights was getting to see Shouvik Mani, Umang Bhatt, and Edgar Xi of Carnegie Mellon talk about their Intelligent Pothole Detection project. Shouvik is currently serving as in a Assistant Director for Data Projects role with SUDS and will be the Director of SUDS beginning in January 2018.