The Georgia Tech REU on Civic Data Science is a 10-week immersive research experience for undergraduate students interested in contributing to the developing field of data science. Our focus is on the data, analytics, and user interaction aspects of data science in a domain that has not traditionally benefited from advances in computing—the civic sector. While civic applications of data science are diverse, they share common themes: they are frequently place-based, they deal with data coming from siloed collection systems, they involve inherently incomplete and inaccurate data, and they produce information and insights for use by non-data experts in government, in community governance organizations, and by community members.

Within a larger social context, by structuring the program’s research activities around civic data science problems, we expect the products of the summer program to have near-term impact on our partnering local, government and non-profit organizations, and long-term impact on the students by demonstrating opportunities to put technical skill to work in areas of civic importance. Each year the program recruits 10 outstanding undergraduates both locally and nationally with diverse academic and cultural backgrounds.