Applied experiential learning is a core component of the DSI educational mission. The Data Science Clinic provides students with projects that transcend the traditional classroom experience. The Clinic is a project-based course where students work in teams as data scientists with real-world clients under the supervision of mentor instructors. To do this we partner with industry, social impact, civic organizations and research groups for 1 or 2 academic quarters on data science projects. As part of their training, students will be tasked with producing key deliverables, such as data analysis, open source software, as well as final client presentations and research reports.
Each project is assigned a team of 2 to 5 students and a mentor. Mentors are assigned to each project to ensure projects are structured with frequent milestones and generate tangible results. Teams consist of undergraduate juniors and seniors or masters students drawing largely from data science, computer science, public policy, statistics, economics and additional appropriate domains of study. Students work with real-world (imperfect) datasets, apply models and algorithms to data, navigate security and privacy issues, communicate results to a diverse set of stakeholders, and translate information into actionable insight. Each team of students meet weekly with one or more of the course leadership team in an extended scrum format to review the past week’s progress, address challenges and questions, reflect on overall team progress and update the timeline and goals of the weeks ahead. Each student works 10-15 hours a week on the Clinic project.
We work with our Clinic partners to scope projects, outline deliverables and place student teams onto these projects. Partners can expect the students to work diligently and take ownership of the project. Clinic partners provide a project appraisal that impacts finals grades.
As needed, mentors and students will sign a non-disclosure agreement at the company’s request and all IP generated by the project is retained by the Clinic partner. Participation in the Clinic is limited to organizations in our Industry Affiliates Program, our research collaborators, government and nonprofit organizations, and 11th Hour Project grantees.
For more information on the Data Science Clinic or our Industry Affiliates Program, contact us.