DS 4 Good Initiative
Boston University has long engaged students, faculty, and the community through educational and research programs that leverage technology to address societal challenges. These programs are critical for the development of academic and career pathways in support of the nascent field of Public Interest Technology (PIT) – or tech for social good. Given the extent to which computational and data‐driven processes are weaved into all aspects of our society, economy, and public discourse, these PIT efforts are increasingly leveraging the curricular offerings and research capacities in computing and data sciences at BU.
To that end, under the banner of “Data Science for Good” (DS4G), the Faculty of Computing & Data Sciences (CDS) took a leading role in spearheading BU’s joining of the Public Interest Technology University Network (PIT-UN) — a consortium of 36 universities and funders who are committed to building and growing a new generation of civic-minded technologists. Through the development of curricula, research agendas, and experiential learning programs, PIT-UN institutions pursue a range of innovative tactics to produce graduates with multiple fluencies at the intersection of technology and policy.
The goal of the DS4G Initiative at BU is to provide the infrastructure and visibility needed to expand BU’s research, programs and curricula around civic-minded technology. As the convener and accelerator of the PIT work of BU faculty and students, DS4G leverages the expertise of BU’s 17 schools and colleges.
To engage undergraduate and graduate students in experiential learning endeavors, CDS is building on a highly successful range of BU Spark! programs that harness computing and data science for the greater good, in collaboration with a growing number of partners from inside BU and from the outside, including public-sector and non-profit organizations focused on tackling civic-minded technology challenges.
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