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Data Science for the Public Good
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Data Science for the Public Good leverages OSU's significant expertise, resources, and infrastructure to address community needs. Cooperative Extension faculty, already working closely with organizations, business owners, schools, and others across the state provide a critical link between land-grant universities like OSU and the people they serve. OSU Cooperative Extension works particularly closely with agriculturalists, including farmers and production forest managers, to enhance productivity and economic success in these critical areas. 

DSPG will manage two linked activities: DSPG Projects, and Education and Training via Extension.


DSPG Projects

DSPG will partner with local communities to identify projects where data science can provide unique value, and work with project stakeholders to collect, organize, analyze, and communicate results from data. These projects may range in scope to include small businesses, local governments, public services, schools or community colleges, volunteer organizations, and more.

If you think you have a project that might fit DSPG's goals, head over to the Get Involved page and tell us about it!

During summer of 2020, project stakeholders will communicate frequently with data-science research teams who will work on their project, with the help and guidance of an associated extension professional.

Data science research teams will include an OSU faculty supervisor, an OSU graduate student mentor and analyst, and two undergraduate student analysts. Undergraduate students from across Oregon can apply, providing new experiences and training for these data scientists of the future. (Applications opening soon.)


Education and Training

In addition to providing data analysis expertise for community issues, DSPG will develop educational materials for Extension Specialists and others wishing to learn more about the breadth of methods modern data science has to offer. As an umbrella field, data science encompasses methods from statistics and mathematics, computer science, machine learning, systems engineering, and more. While expert training in all of these requires years of study, broad familiarity with the range of techniques and their potential applications enables creative new solutions and insights. 

A two-week training program will also be delivered to undergraduate project researchers, see "Education and Training" for more information. 


number of

volunteers who team up with Extension faculty to deliver educational programs throughout the state.


Dive Deeper into Data Science for the Public Good

About DSPG

Data-driven research provides a rich, mutually rewarding opportunity to leverage community knowledge and public information resources to affect positive social change. 

How It Works

Communities, especially small and rural ones, need to take advantage of new techniques for collecting and analyzing data to better serve their residents. Here’s a plan to help them succeed.


Data science has the most impact when teams bring diverse knowledge. DSPG provides training for students, Extension, and the community in modern data analysis skills and literacy.