Reposted from Bill Behrman’s announcement.

Data Impact Lab

The Stanford Data Lab is a new initiative to teach the practical skills of data science by engaging students in the solution of real problems. In its Data Impact Lab, students solve important problems in multidisciplinary teams with faculty and leading experts. Students receive academic credit and coaching from expert practitioners. For this project, science and engineering students will team up with journalism students to tackle the challenges of data-driven investigative reporting.

Information session: Fri, Mar 13, 3:15 PM, Sequoia 200

Finding Important Stories in Data

The fact that a faulty GM ignition switch was causing cars to crash and many deaths went unnoticed for years in publicly available data. While investigative journalists and other watchdog organizations have access to increasing amounts of data, they have been hindered by available tools in gaining insights from large volumes of often messy data.

For this project, the Data Impact Lab is partnering with the Stanford Journalism Program to apply some new tools to real datasets to potentially find important stories. These tools, including some developed at Stanford, apply machine learning and other techniques to the challenge of working with large, messy datasets.

Each student on this project will be part of a team to report a data journalism story for publication. They will use and evaluate tools with the goal helping our partners at the Center for Investigative Reporting, the Los Angeles Times, and the New York Times to potentially better find stories they might otherwise miss.

Joining the Team

The faculty for this project includes Cheryl Phillips from the Stanford Journalism Program and Bill Behrman from ICME. Students with the following skills are encouraged to apply

  • Team skills: to work in an interdisciplinary team
  • Programming experience: to learn and apply several software packages for preparing, analyzing, and visualizing data
  • Grit: perseverance for mastering tools and pouring through large volumes of data
  • Detective skills: to find and pursue promising leads in the data


  • Newsroom meetings: Spring quarter, Tue and Thu: 9:30 - 10:45 AM
  • Admission by application: due Sun, Mar 22, 11:59 PM

For questions, contact

More info on the Stanford Data Lab website.

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