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Growing Talent in Data Science for Social Impact

As the data science industry continues to progress and grow, NC State students are given the opportunity to explore various fields of research while growing their data science skills. The Capacity Accelerator Network (CAN) initiative through brings students from all over the country to collaborate on datasets tied to social impact via the Data Science Institute at the University of Chicago, Summer Lab. The goal of this program is to bring students from varying backgrounds, disciplines, and skill sets to expose them to potential career opportunities focused on social impact within different industries.

In collaboration with, the Data Science Academy (DSA) sent Jasmine Hope to the 2022 Summer Lab. Among the forty-nine participants from various parts of the country with varying degrees of data science skills, Hope worked on a data set focused on possible racial profiling within Chicago traffic stops. At the end of the program, Hope and her team presented their findings on the Veil of Darkness and the impact it had on Chicago traffic stops. 

“It was a great experience overall. If you feel like you’re not skilled enough or don’t have the right knowledge, just apply because they will give you the tools to be successful!” Hope recalled. 

Students interested in data science but not quite sure of its applications will be exposed to various topics, potential career fields, and networking opportunities when attending the Summer Lab. During the program, attendees are provided training, research papers related to the topic provided, and mentors with data science expertise to help them analyze data and prepare final presentations. Since its origin, the Summer Lab program has acted on its commitment to broadening participation in data science by recruiting and welcoming students from all backgrounds. 

Hope had always wanted to work in a data science field, but this program helped her identify many career paths that she hadn’t considered with non-profit entities. The skills developed during the Summer Lab have helped shape her resume and guide her to potential new opportunities within data science. 

This summer we will send a team of students, who will again join a cohort from across the US.  This program is just one of the partnerships that enables the Data Science Academy to provide students of all levels with opportunities to participate in internships and data challenges. Sign up for our quarterly newsletter to stay up to date on all of the potential data science opportunities and news.