Making Data Matter - Bass Connections project at Duke University

Making Data Matter - Bass Connections project at Duke University

The Making Data Matter project is part of the Information, Society & Culture theme of Bass Connections at Duke University

Bass Connections

Bass Connections is a new university-wide initiative launched by a $50 million gift from Anne and Robert Bass. It will provide students with greater exposure to inquiry across the disciplines, partnership with unlikely fellow thinkers, sustained mentorship in teams, and the chance to experience the intersections of the academy and the real world.

Information, Society & Culture theme

Access to unprecedented amounts of information is creating new opportunities for Duke students and faculty, working together in multidisciplinary teams, to actively engage with and to change the world around them. At the same time, the unprecedented availability of personal information published by smartphones, web browsers and social media is exposing society to new risks. Bass Connections in Information, Society & Culture will combine coursework, co-curricular experiences and integrated project teams to explore the evolution of society and culture through the lens of information, using the latest computational methods to understand society’s most pressing problems in new and creative ways. Information, Society & Culture is lead by the Dean of Natural Sciences and Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering, Robert Calderbank. Click here for more information about the Information, Society & Culture theme for Bass Connections.

Making Data Matter project

Project Description: Participate in a student- and citizen-led crowdsourcing project that will create access and collaborative opportunities around historically and socially-significant heterogeneous datasets rooted in urban renewal housing records of the Southside neighborhood in Asheville, NC, a historically African-American community. In the Making Data Matter project, the project team will focus on designing new tools and methods for social engagement, use primary sources and big data to inform ethical urban planning, and work as a collaborative, interdisciplinary team on active research. For more information about Making Data Matter, see our Powerpoint.

Learning objectives: Understanding “big data” in a transformative real-world context while mastering and designing cutting-edge tools and methods.

In Making Data Matter, you will:

  • Create access to historically and socially significant large spatial and temporal heterogeneous datasets
  • Examine deep ethical issues as well as technical ones about big data
  • Develop new kinds of open source tools for better analysis of records, artifacts, maps, images, text and oral narratives
  • Work across the human and social sciences, the computational sciences, engineering, mathematics, urban and environmental planning, and with libraries, labs and community space
  • Scan and digitize primary sources and complete collection indexing
  • Co-create crowdsourced GIS software (learn more about the Big Board environment here)
  • Visualize and analyze digital maps
  • Understand urban growth policy

See the full description for the Making Data Matter project at Duke University here:

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