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OVERVIEW

Collaborators from the Data Science Institute, the Office of Civic Engagement, Argonne National Laboratory have developed a bridge workshop aimed at bridging the transition from introductory computer science classes to data science research. The weeklong, virtual workshop will introduce students to the data science research lifecycle, essential computational skills needed for data analysis and visualization, and provide training on how to communicate their findings. The workshop will focus on creating a continuous learning environment from students’ structured classroom studies to more experimental, inquiry-driven research work in small groups. Read more about the March 2021 inaugural workshop here.

MOTIVATION

In most Chicago Public High Schools (CPS), students’ exposure to computer science is limited to one computer science survey course, with limited exposure to advanced topics such as artificial intelligence, data science, or application of computer science to societal issues. This lack of opportunity continues to be perpetuated when students seek internships and other employment experiences and do not have the confidence in their own knowledge to see computer science, data science or artificial intelligence as a possible career pathway for themselves. To address this need, a team of researchers and educators from the Data Science Institute, the Office of Civic Engagement, the Center for Spatial Data Science, and Argonne National Laboratory, are developing a data science bridge workshop that supports students from Chicago’s southside community to develop a deeper understanding of data science and grow a tangible skill set that is grounded in scientific projects, real-world datasets, and professional tools. Through this program students will explore the foundational concepts of computer science and data science, working with authentic and complex datasets and leveraging principles of AI to gain insights from data and make predictions. 

WORKSHOP FOCUS & APPROACH

The workshop will be taught by using case studies that contain a real-world scientific challenge (i.e. COVID-19), an authentic data set and associated professional tools. The case studies will be supplied from data generated by scientific research projects from the three institutions. Using the Python language, students will explore data structures with an emphasis on multidimensional arrays, manipulating and visualizing them with commonly used libraries in scientific computing such as NumPy, Pandas and Matplotlib. The datasets will provide students with many of the challenges associated with scientific data and provide them with the skills to perform statistical analysis and prediction all the while exploring real-world problems. 

The workshop will model the collaborative nature of computer science, by situating students in teams with guidance and support of staff, including undergraduate and graduate mentors from the three institutions.

Funding for the workshop is supported by a grant awarded by UChicago’s Office of Research and National Laboratories Joint Task Force Initiative as well as by a grant from the Successful Pathways from School to Work initiative of the University of Chicago, funded by the Hymen Milgrom Supporting Organization.

Team

Meridith Bruozas is the Manager of Educational Programs and Outreach, with a focus on developing high-quality educational programs that are aligned to mission science and support the development of the next generation of scientists and engineers. She leads a highly effective team in developing and implementing on- and off-site programming that ranges from inspiring and connecting middle school youth to STEM experiences to providing undergraduate and graduate students once-in-a-lifetime internship experiences. She also focuses on developing key partnerships with local and regional organizations and school systems around STEM education. Her goal is to create high-quality connected programming that provides equitable access to all students interested in pursuing STEM from middle to graduate level.

Ms. Bruozas is an educator by training and has spent the past 20 years in a combination of district, nonprofit and academic leadership positions researching and promoting STEM education. She earned her M.S. in Learning Sciences from Northwestern University and a B.S. in Secondary Education and Biology from Ball State University. Her publications include several national science curricula for middle and high school classrooms and numerous professional presentations and research articles.

Ms. Bruozas is a member of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching, National Science Teacher Association, and International Society of Technology in Education.

John Domyancich is Education Programs and Outreach’s Learning Center Lead, where he leads a team of Educators that focus on engaging middle through high school students in scientific inquiry, creating immersive experiences that highlight the work and mission of Argonne research. John plans and orchestrates Argonne’s summer camp and high school research programs, and he is also responsible for the Learning Lab field trips. His goal is to inspire and guide the next generation of Argonne scientists through STEM pathways.

John taught high school science for 11 years before joining Argonne in 2015.  During his teaching career, he created student-centered classrooms and developed STEM curricula to integrate collaboration, technology and conceptual model development into the learning experience. To prepare himself for a career teaching science, he earned an M.A. in Secondary Education from Western Illinois University as well as a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Iowa.

John is a member of the American Modeling Teachers Association and the Illinois Association of Chemistry Teachers. He is also active in the National Math and Science Initiative and the College Board. Outside work, he likes to run and spend time with his wife and three daughters.

Julia Koschinsky is the Executive Director of the Center for Spatial Data Science at the University of Chicago and has been part of the GeoDa team for over 16 years. She has been conducting and managing research funded through federal awards of over $8 million to gain insights from the spatial dimensions of urban challenges in housing, health, and the built environment.

Dovetta implements and manages the University’s Upward Bound and other TRIO-funded programs that provide high school students with academic, cultural, and recreational activities to support preparation for college and career success. She returned to the Office of Special Programs in 2009, after having worked for OSP early in her career. Before rejoining the University, she was director of special initiatives for nonprofit Prevention First.

Dovetta was also previously an associate professor at Aurora University, a senior attorney for Montgomery Ward, and owner and operator of a small retail shop. Dovetta earned her bachelor’s degree from Howard University in Washington, D.C., and a juris doctor degree from John Marshall Law School.

Abel works with faculty and staff across the University to develop and enhance ongoing youth outreach and engagement initiatives. In this role, he helps to create new and expand existing college access and success models by engaging internal and external stakeholders and organizations that share the University’s interest in ensuring equitable outcomes for Chicago’s youth; especially students who reside or attend school in the mid-South-Side. Abel also provides leadership to the Collegiate Scholars Program and Office of Special Programs-College Prep, which are existing college readiness programs that are an integral part of UChicago Promise, and reinforce the institution’s commitment to broadening access to the University’s transformative education and outreach programs.

For the past 10 years, Abel has worked with youth and coached them and their families in the college preparation process. Before joining the University of Chicago, Abel worked for the Office of Undergraduate Admission at Northwestern University. Abel is a native of Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood and holds a BA in Political Science and Spanish from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an MA in Public Policy and Administration from Northwestern University. Abel is an alumnus of the Latino Policy Forum’s inaugural 2016-2017 Multicultural Leadership Academy and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business 2017 Executive Program for Emerging Leaders.

Katie Rosengarten is Program Manager at the Data Science Institute, responsible for overseeing strategic partnerships, management, execution, and evaluation of student research engagement opportunities for early high school learners through PhD students.

David Uminsky joined the University of Chicago in September 2020 as a senior research associate and Executive Director of Data Science. He was previously an associate professor of Mathematics and Executive Director of the Data Institute at University of San Francisco (USF). His research interests are in machine learning, signal processing, pattern formation, and dynamical systems.  David is an associate editor of the Harvard Data Science Review.  He was selected in 2015 by the National Academy of Sciences as a Kavli Frontiers of Science Fellow. He is also the founding Director of the BS in Data Science at USF and served as Director of the MS in Data Science program from 2014-2019. During the summer of 2018, David served as the Director of Research for the Mathematical Science Research Institute Undergrad Program on the topic of Mathematical Data Science.

Before joining USF he was a combined NSF and UC President’s Fellow at UCLA, where he was awarded the Chancellor’s Award for outstanding postdoctoral research. He holds a Ph.D. in Mathematics from Boston University and a BS in Mathematics from Harvey Mudd College.