Reu Site: Collaborative Research: Undergraduate Research In Computational Data Analytics For Advancing Human Services

  • Xu, Songhua (PI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


The worldwide production of data is exploding and traditional human service related fields such as education, Public policy, healthcare, and environmental science are seeking ways to ask smarter questions, build more accurate data models, and drive more effective action. This REU site will engage undergraduate students in critical and timely research in data intensive computational science and its interdisciplinary applications. The site offers a collection of carefully planned undergraduate learning and research opportunities spanning a spectrum of human services, such as evidence-based smart health, data-empowered education, and data driven business intelligence. It seeks to encourage qualified students, particularly underrepresented minority students and women, to become excited about the immense potential of data analytics to impact societal outcomes, and to motivate them to include data science as part of their future studies and careers. The REU site will provide students from the New York-New Jersey metropolitan area with excellent research experiences bolstered by academic and social connections that support a collaborative team environment. The site students will live on NJIT's fully-wired 48 acre campus, which may well be a life-changing experience for a group of urban commuter students. The students' home institutions will also benefit from the students' assigned task of connecting data science to their major fields of study, and sharing their research experiences with their fellow students. The students will also become members of a new learning community in data science, which will use social networking sites and periodic webinars to continue the summer's exploration of critical issues in the field as well as spotlight potential career opportunities. Finally, graduates of the REU site will have the potential to become future data science professionals who can impact society and enhance the quality of life through traNational Science Foundation orming human services.The site combines New Jersey Institute of Technology's broad depth of expertise in computer science and high powered computing infrastructure with Hofstra University's outstanding programs in human services and business. Each summer ten talented students will work in small teams on carefully planned research experiences under the mentorship of expert faculty and graduate students. The students will choose from topics such as the study of environmental cancer risk, improving learning through automated assessment, designing intelligent on-line advertising, and constructing roadside sensors for driving safety. In addition to project-based research, the students will experience a rich variety of seminars, workshops, and industry visits for a broad spectrum of exciting career development opportunities. The students' in-depth personal engagement will enable them to gain a concrete understanding regarding key knowledge and skills in data science, as well as its main research methodologies. They will use descriptive and inferential statistics to draw conclusions from big data, understand the impact of model assumptions and selection on analysis outcomes, and look at the research process, including the literature review, design and implementation of research approaches, digital data collection and communicating research findings to a technical and non-technical audience. Ultimately, the students are achieving a deepening knowledge of the field of data science and its conceptual connections along with improved written and oral communication, critical thinking and problem solving skills. A major goal of the site is to open new studies and career tracks for talented underrepresented students to explore how data science can advance the impact of human services.
Effective start/end date5/1/174/30/20


  • National Science Foundation


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