Last Fall, I ran across a headline in one of the LinkedIn analytics groups I subscribe to that prompted a double take. It read something like “Data Science at the University of Chicago.” At first I thought it must be some new university astrophysics grant. Or perhaps economics department or B-school funding. Data science per se seemed a bit pedestrian for the UofC.

Turns out I was wrong. The University of Chicago is indeed making moves in the area. The LinkedIn article I read referenced the Eric and Wendy Schmidt Data Science for the Social Good program that “trains data scientists to tackle problems that really matter.” Summer fellowships support “aspiring data scientists to work on data mining, machine learning, big data, and data science projects with social impact. Working closely with governments and nonprofits, fellows take on real-world problems in education, health, energy, transportation, and more. For three months in Chicago they apply their coding and analytics skills, collaborate in a fast-paced atmosphere, and learn from mentors coming from industry and academia.” What would Robert Hutchins say?

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