A Summer of Num(b)ers

by Claire Suh

July 23, 2018

Coming from a decidedly non-quant, non-technical background, choosing a masters program that emphasizes its data-heavy curriculum was my way of learning to swim by getting thrown in the deep-end. I’m a student at University of Pennsylvania, pursuing a masters degree in public administration with an eye towards technology policy. I’m in Pittsburgh this summer to learn from the best, the Civic Engagement and Technology Director for Microsoft in their Cities program. My interest in public-private partnerships, civic uses of innovative (and lean!) tech, and the impact of “big tech” on regulations, ethics, and the other questions that come along with any industry scaling this quickly, led me to a fellowship interrogating these things in the lovely city of Pittsburgh this summer.

To keep to the masochistic theme of forcing myself to interact with numbers and code and all the rest, I requested to work on projects that would give me an opportunity to keep practicing my data analysis skills I picked up academically and in conducting research. I can be dangerous in R, but this is The Summer of Python (and a little spritz of JavaScript). I’ve joined the team at Western Pennsylvania Regional Data Center to see if there’s anything Pittsburgh housing data can tell us that we don’t know already by way of socio-economics, demographic trends, and other insights. I’m excited for this opportunity and driven by my conviction for resource equity and urban cities. I’ll be chronicling my journey of self-teaching, data wrangling, cleaning, analysis, and visualization on this very medium for the weeks to come.

* I’m always looking for new resources and reads, so forward over anything that might be a helpful addition in this process. You can reach me at cdsuh17@gmail.com.