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|Social Data: Invading Privacy or Creating Better Cities?
|May 8 2019
|Urban designers have long heralded the value of the public realm in creating stronger communities. Yet, their processes and decisions are based around data that is far removed from the community, outdated and/or based on surveys and feedback forums which are generally attended by the same group of people and which can be overtaken by lobbyists. If we want to create cities that place people at the centre, it is essential that we find data about what makes neighbourhoods connected and wholesome, neighbourhoods which provide safe spaces for their community to engage. Social data (data from social media, crowdsourcing, mapping platforms, review apps, etc) can give us an opportunity to understand how people engage in their communities and interact with the places around them. It can be used to provide insights into the social health of local places and identify vulnerabilities, to feel the heartbeat of the neighbourhood. I will talk about what social data is, some of the challenges of getting it and collating it, the data's strengths and weaknesses, and how we are trying using it to make cities more socially connected.
|Data Science Training and Community Building through Hackweeks
|May 9 2019
|Informal training activities enable researchers at all levels to rapidly learn data science tools and best practices that fit their research questions and make significant advances in their work. In this talk, I will describe a highly successful informal training that has emerged in recent years called Hackweeks. These hackathon-style events place a strong focus on cultivating data science literacy, building a community of practice, and developing resources within an existing domain-specific community. By bringing together researchers from many different universities to address methods challenges within a research domain, Hackweeks take advantage of a shared language and shared scientific objectives. The Hackweek structure is designed to foster collaboration and learning among people from various stages of their career and technical abilities, and catalyze a community through a shared interest in solving computational challenges within a field (Huppenkothen et al, 2018). Hackweeks originally came out of the Astronomy community (Astro Hack Week, entering its 6th year in 2019) and the model has been successfully propagated to: neuroscience (Neurohackweek, now a 2-week NIH-funded program called Neurohackademy), geospatial sciences (Geohackweek), oceanography (Oceanhackweek), and more.
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