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The culminating experience in the Master’s in Applied Data Science program is a Capstone Project where you’ll put your knowledge and skills into practice. You will immerse yourself in a real business problem and will gain valuable, data driven insights using authentic data. Together with project sponsors, you will develop a data science solution to address organization problems, enhance analytics capabilities, and expand talent pools and employment opportunities. Leveraging the university’s rich research portfolio, you also have the option to join a research-focused team.

Selected Capstone Projects

COPD Readmission and Cost Reduction Assessment

UChicago Applied Data Science students built data models and evaluated them across different frameworks. They determined that the resulting model is capable of rank-ordering readmission risk, allowing for flexibility and giving air to apply interventions to prevent readmission.

An NFL Ticket Pricing Study: Optimizing Revenue Using Variable And Dynamic Pricing Methods

UChicago Applied Data Science students strategized a play for an NFL team to implement ticket pricing that responds to changing factors, allowing the team the chance to fill more seats.

Using Image Recognition to Identify Yoga Poses

UChicago Applied Data Science students stretched themselves to build an app that uses a one-step neural network to examine images of yoga poses and recognize the poses in order to provide feedback to the app’s yoga-practicing user.

Using Image Recognition to Measure the Speed of a Pitch

One UChicago Applied Data Science Capstone team developed an app that applied image recognition algorithms to measure the speed of a pitched baseball. Their ace app captured video, isolated the pitched ball, calculated the velocity of the pitch, and displayed this measurement so that users would be able to measure the speed of a pitch with their smartphones.

Real-Time Credit Card Fraud Detection

Credit card fraud puts consumers’ identities at risk while credit card providers are forced to cover fraudulent charges. A team of Applied Data Science students carefully studied this problem – they created synthetic data that represented a large population of credit card users and built a model that catches credit card fraud in real time.

Interested in Becoming a Capstone Sponsor?

The Master’s in Applied Data Science program accepts projects year-round for placement at the beginning of every quarter, with the Spring quarter being the largest cohort. All projects must be submitted no later than one month prior to the beginning of the preferred starting quarter based on the UChicago academic calendar.

Capstone Sponsor Incentives

Sponsors derive measurable benefits from this unique opportunity to support higher education. Partner organizations propose real-world problems, untested ideas or research queries. Students review them from the perspective of data scientists trained to generate actionable insights that provide long-term value. Through the project, Capstone partners gain access to a symbiotic pool of world-class students, highly accomplished instructors, and cited researchers, resulting in optimized utilization of modern data science-based methods, using your data. Further, for many sponsors, the project becomes a meaningful source of recruitment through the excellent pool of students who work on your project.

Capstone Sponsor Obligations

While there is no monetary cost or contract necessary to sponsor a project, we do consider this a partnership. Teams comprised of four students and guided by an instructor and subject matter expert are provided with expectations from the capstone sponsor and learning objectives, assignments, and evaluation requirements from instructors. In turn, Capstone partners should be prepared to provide the following:

  • A detailed problem statement with a description of the data and expected results
  • Two or more points of contact
  • Access to data relevant to the project by the first week of the applicable quarter
  • Engagement through regular meetings (typically bi-weekly) while classes are in session
  • If requested, a non-disclosure agreement that may be completed by the student team

Interested in Becoming a Capstone or Industry Research Partner?

Get in touch with us to submit your idea for a collaboration or ask us questions about how the partnership process works.


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