October 1, 2020

CSE495 AccessMap VIP: Data Science in Urban Spaces

Meeting times will be 1:30-3:00pm on Thursdays with additional group section by special appointment

There is currently a confluence of innovation across all segments of industry fueling a lot of change in civic and government technologies. Some call it the Fourth Industrial Revolution, others call it Smart CIties. Outside the hype, city life is changing and this change is hinged on sensing technologies and data science innovations. At the very same time, urban centers are still operationally marred by inequities and overt exclusion surrounding ableist, socio-economic and racialized biases. The past few months have made these biases obviously apparent in police violence, health disparities, travel inequity and traffic incidents.

In this special projects course we will look at novel uses of data such as (but not limited to) municipal/administrative records, municipal sensing technology, high dimensional longitudinal data and mobile/wearable devices, and examine some of the innovative methodologies used to analyze and make sense of these data. We will discuss the evolution of some of the transformative data science solutions that promise a better future for cities and citizens, and examine some of the tricky cornerstones of such innovation (for example, addressing equity, sustainability,  and social justice or maintaining adequate privacy and security for all citizens). Student teams (2-3 students) will pursue data projects using current open data.

The course can be taken for 1-3 units. Students pursuing 2-3 units must commit to taking the course at least two quarters.

Students taking the course for 3 units will develop data-driven applications for community engagement. This VIP (vertically integrated project) course will provide hands-on experience with the ins and outs of creating data-driven software, with opportunities to focus on geodata analytics, mobile civic engagement, mobile app data acquisition (sensors, etc), full-stack web development, human-centered design, and educational tools for civic engagement.  We will spend the quarter working with university and government partners on innovative projects that harness data for improved services, as well as more efficient and effective interventions.

Who should apply: Graduate and undergraduate students with the intent to pursue a 2-quarter project and an interest in CS, transportation, GIS, civic education, data science, architecture, urban design, disability studies, rehabilitation and statistics. We welcome students of all disciplines.

To apply, please send current transcript, whether you can commit two consecutive quarters and the reason for your interest in the course to uwtcat@uw.edu. Please use “CSE495” in the subject.

Undergrads sign up for

CSE495 (SLN 13320)



ENGR 297 (SLN 14736)


Graduate students sign up for ENGR 497: (SLN  14749)


What is VIP?

These courses operate in conjunction with the University of Washington Vertically-Integrated Projects (VIP) Program, which supports hands-on, project-based, undergraduate and graduate research and exploration. The VIP Program operates in a research and development context, with teams of students and faculty working on real-world projects. Undergraduate students that participate in VIP earn academic credit for their participation in design efforts. The teams are: · Multidisciplinary – drawing students from all disciplines on campus; · Vertically-integrated – maintaining a mix of sophomores through PhD students each quarter; · Long-term – each undergraduate student may participate in a project for up to three years and each graduate student may participate for the duration of their graduate career.

The continuity, technical depth, and disciplinary breadth of these teams are intended to:

  • Provide the time and context necessary for students to learn and practice many different professional skills, make substantial technical contributions to the project, and experience many different roles on a large, multidisciplinary design/discovery team. ·Support long-term interaction between the graduate and undergraduate students on the team. The graduate students mentor the undergraduates as they work on the design/discovery projects embedded in the graduate students’ research. · Enable the completion of large-scale design/discovery projects that are of significant benefit to faculty members’ research programs.

Additional information regarding VIP at UW can be found at http://vip.uw.edu/. The UW VIP course sequence consists of ENGR 297 and 497. ENGR 297 is intended for lower division students, and ENGR 497 is intended for upper division students, specifically students in a declared major and enrolled in upper division courses within that major. ENGR 297 and ENGR 497 students, faculty, and supporting graduate students work collaboratively on VIP teams. ENGR 497 provides advanced project- based, design and exploration experiences for upper division students. Through this class, students will take on leadership roles and mentor participating lower division students, while engaging with faculty and graduate students.