By: J.D. Ross
(315) 443-3094

The new ‘Data by the Lake’ course and spring break immersion program at the School of Information Studies (iSchool) has been selected for the University’s ‘CuseFunder crowdfunding website.

‘Data by the Lake’ is a special section of the IST 687 course, Applied Data Science. The course, being offered during the Spring 2015 semester in an enhanced format, features a week in Chicago as part of the experience.

The innovative program introduces fundamentals of data analysis and data mining, and in this enhanced setting, applies the concepts learned to real problems at business organizations in Chicago.

In class, students will be discussing broader issues relating to leveraging both data analytics and data visualization to answer real-world data challenges. Student teams will then focus on real data scenarios being experienced by organizations, including the broader issues of leveraging data analytics and data visualization to answer these challenges.

During the spring-break immersion week spent in Chicago, students will visit leading big data companies and spend time with the executives of those firms and other professionals working in the field. After the break, students will dedicate the last few weeks of the semester to solving the real-world data problems they have encountered.

Students enrolled in the course will pay a modest program fee of $500 for the Chicago immersion trip, with the balance of the cost being covered by donations.

“A gift to our ‘CuseFunder campaign for Data by the Lake will help students from across Syracuse University participate in this innovative new learning opportunity,” noted Scott Barrett, assistant dean for advancement at the iSchool. “Modeled after our very successful entrepreneurship-focused immersions in Silicon Valley and New York City, this class enables students to apply their highly-valued skills on behalf of some of the best companies and organizations in the country.  The University’s Chicago Regional Council has been a catalyst in designing and funding this endeavor and it has been a pleasure working with those very dedicated leadership volunteers.”

The ‘CuseFunder campaign, launched today, will run through December 31. The target is $7,500 to fund the trip for 16 students.

This is the third crowdfunding campaign for the iSchool. Last year’s highly successful Fuel Crowdfunding Challenge, the first philanthropic crowdfunding initiative at Syracuse University, generated tremendous visibility, excitement and enthusiasm among alumni, parents and friends of the school.  The challenge secured nearly $30,000 of support from 175 donors.

In June, the iSchool nearly doubled its fundraising goal on a ‘CuseFunder project for the It Girls Overnight Retreat, garnering over $10,000 in support during its month-long run on the ‘CuseFunder site. The campaign wrapped up on July 11, with 54 backers providing $10,125 in donations – double the program’s original goal of $5000.