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FL-DSSG Program reveals research project findings to assist local non-profit organizations

2020 DSSG interns and professors during a Zoom meetingThe Florida Data Science for Social Good (FL-DSSG) program, a partnership between the University of North Florida and the Nonprofit Center for Northeast Florida, is hosting its Big Reveal event 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 18, virtually via the FL-DSSG YouTube Channel.

At the Summer 2020 FL-DSSG Internship Big Reveal, student interns will discuss findings and reveal insights from research projects that will help improve and transform the work of three social service organizations in Jacksonville. The students will present data-driven decisions for addressing issues facing Northeast Florida residents including juvenile recidivism, early childhood development and adult literacy with the respective local non-profits that address these challenges, the Center for Children’s Rights, Episcopal Children’s Services and Literacy Alliance of Northeast Florida.

Now in its fourth year, UNF’s innovative FL-DSSG program blends data science and technology design to inform and solve critical social problems. Students engage in data-rich projects and present data-driven solutions that can have substantial, lasting social impact for the participating organizations.

“The University’s program allows students to come together from varied academic backgrounds to develop data-driven solutions for reoccurring social issues that truly can help make an impact with our local non-profit organizations,” said UNF President Szymanski. “This represents an innovative trend in higher education as students utilize their skills gained through their education and work alongside community experts to help resolve and make a difference in pressing social issues.”

The intensive 12-week internship supports seven student interns from multi-disciplinary backgrounds under the guidance of Dr. Dan Richard, psychology associate professor, and Dr. Karthikeyan Umapathy, School of Computing associate professor, with numerous industry and faculty mentors. The industry mentors are leaders from various local companies and organizations who mentor interns on industry best practices, advise program directors on work plans and provide technical guidance on project tasks. Faculty leads provide their subject-matter expertise on project tasks and engagement with community partners.

The students receive incredible real-word experience with data management, analysis, technology and addressing community needs while the participating non-profits gain extremely valuable data knowledge to support their missions.

The 2020 FL-DSSG Internship is supported by the UNF Foundation, Jaguars Foundation and the FIS (Fidelity National Information Services) Computing Professorship award.

To date, UNF’s FL-DSSG has helped 15 local organizations find data solutions and is making a substantial impact on understanding and improving some substantial societal concerns. For more information on the program’s history and how to get involved, visit the FL-DSSG website.