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Welcome to NYC School of Data — a community conference that demystifies the policies and practices around civic data, technology, and service design. This year’s conference concludes NYC’s annual Open Data Week & features 60+ sessions organized by NYC’s civic technology, data, and design community! Our conversations & workshops will feed your mind and empower you to improve your neighborhood. Follow the conversation #nycSOdata on twitter and tune into our live stream (provided by the Internet Society New York Chapter).

To attend, you need to purchase tickets via eventbrite. Venue is fully accessible and content is all ages friendly — free, professional on-site childcare is provided for ALL participants! If you have accessibility questions or needs, please email us at < schoolofdata@beta.nyc >.

View Sessions by detail - room - grid. If you have any questions, please see our welcome to 2020 post or FAQ.

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Panel [clear filter]
Saturday, March 7
 

11:30am EST

Scaling up our Open Data: Exploring a State Open Data Law
In 2013, Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order 95, launching the state’s open data initiative. New York was one of the first states to implement open data and several other states and cities have followed suit. While executive orders carry the force of law, they can be rescinded by future administrations. Additionally, while the state has made progress in publishing open data, more is needed.

Along with the audience, we’ll explore what statewide data needs are, the political landscape, and what more can be done to improve the accessibility, availability, and utility of state-level open data. What prevents New York State's open data from achieving the same quality as New York City's? What would access to state data enable us to accomplish? We'll discuss the necessity of statewide housing data for on-the-ground organizing for tenant rights as one example.

Speakers
avatar for Lucy Block

Lucy Block

Research & Policy Associate, Association for Neighborhood & Housing Development
I do housing data, research & policy and run the Displacement Alert Project (displacementalert.org) at ANHD. I'm also on the Steering Committee of the NYC Housing Data Coalition. I did my master's of urban planning at CUNY-Hunter. I grew up in Stuyvesant Town and live in Elmhurst... Read More →
AC

Alex Camrada

Senior Policy Consultant, Reinvent Albany
Policy and advocacy around open government, transparency, and open data.
avatar for Tyler Kleykamp

Tyler Kleykamp

Director - State Chief Data Officers Network, Beeck Center - Georgetown University
avatar for Anita Long

Anita Long

Tenant Leader, Community Action for Safe Apartments (CASA)


Saturday March 7, 2020 11:30am - 12:30pm EST
3-301 - (60 ppl)

11:30am EST

Using Data to Improve the Laws of New York City facilitated by New York City Council's Data Team
Learn how the New York City Council’s new Data Team uses a data-driven approach to improve the New York City Council’s policy making process. The New York Council Data Team answers policy questions and informs laws. The Data Team also uses data to conduct oversight of City Agencies. We source datasets, create data analysis and models, maps, and dashboards to assist Council staff and Council Members to use data to make decisions. Our unique strength is in marrying data with public policy making. At School of Data, we'll talk about how the New York City Council Data Team uses data to make informed decisions and how you can too.

Speakers
BF

Brook Frye

Senior Data Scientist, New York City Council
RM

Rose Martinez

Senior Data Scientist, New York City Council
MN

Melissa Nunez

New York City Council
IB

Irene Byhovsky

Attoney, New York City Council


Saturday March 7, 2020 11:30am - 12:30pm EST
1-205 - (42 ppl)

11:30am EST

Air quality data panel with Department of Health, Queens Public Library, the Manhattan Borough President’s Office
Come hear 3 perspectives on developing and executing effective air quality community science projects.  Representatives from NYC Health Department, Queensbridge Tech Lab, and the Manhattan Borough President's Office will share their thoughts on demystifying technology and science, community engagement, data collection, analysis and visualization, and issues of data privacy gleaned from projects either currently underway or recently completed.

Speakers
DA

Daniel Alam

Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer
SJ

Sarah Johnson

Director, Air Quality Program, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
Neighborhood air quality in NYC. Sources of air pollution.
avatar for Sadie Coughlin-Prego

Sadie Coughlin-Prego

Queens Public Library


Saturday March 7, 2020 11:30am - 12:30pm EST
2-301 (220 ppl)

11:30am EST

Tools for democracy
This interactive panel introduces tools of democracy in use in NYC and around the world including Participatory Budgeting, Citizens' Assemblies, Co-Lab Challenges, and SMS outreach. Attendees will have an opportunity to share their perspectives on the utility of these civic engagement tools for different applications, and consider the challenges of brining offline tools of democracy into the digital realm.


Saturday March 7, 2020 11:30am - 12:30pm EST
1-202 - (100 ppl)

1:45pm EST

Redefining Identities in Data Science
The way data about people gets analyzed is socially outdated. Despite the political, cultural, and academic progress around the gender diversity discourse, the data related to identities such as non-binary, transgender, and intersex is often not included nor processed. The same goes with racial identity; the five common categories (African-American, Asian, Latino/Hispanic, White, First Nations) exclude a significant number of ethnicities and racial backgrounds, which is problematic when it comes to policy-making and distribution of resources based on data.

In this panel we will elaborate on implementing infrastructural modifications in data engineering and data analysis processes in order to maximize inclusivity, prevent marginalized individuals from falling through the cracks, and put an end to “data invisibility”.

We will also tackle these cutting-edge questions: what is data performativity? how governments could use data to target and opress certain identities? how can one turn personal data into a platform for social disobedience and non-violent means to protect unprivileged communities? how can you make theatre or performance art with data? how could data science be leveraged to analyze court documents and reveal systematic biases?

Join us for an exciting and unique panel on the intersection of Data Science and Performance Studies.
During our session participants are encouraged to develop new identification categories, ask questions, suggest strategies, and share experiences.

Keywords:
data performativity, identity, gender, ethnicity, race, data as bipower, anthropology of data, neurodiversity, physical diversity, disability, religion, immigration, data invisibility, data inclusivity, queer theory, social critical analysis

Speakers
avatar for Niyoosha Ahmadikhoo

Niyoosha Ahmadikhoo

New York University
Niyoosha is an engineer currently working in the construction industry in New York; she is a theater artist, a math teacher, and a data science enthusiast. Her academic background includes a bachelor of science in Physics from Khajeh Nasir Toosi University of Technology in Tehran... Read More →
AR

Anel Rakhimzhanova

New York University
avatar for Adham Hafez

Adham Hafez

New York University
Adham Hafez is a choreographer, composer, theorist and curator. His work gathers specialists from the fields of urban planning, data science, performance, architecture, visual arts and environmentalism to name a few. He established HaRaKa Platform 15 years ago, which is an international... Read More →
avatar for Amir Imani

Amir Imani

Columbia University
I am a data scientist who likes to explore creative boundaries of artificial intelligence in the fields like journalism and media that have not utilized AI as much as they should. I am also a big advocate of open source, write on Stack Overflow and always make my codes available on... Read More →


Saturday March 7, 2020 1:45pm - 2:45pm EST
3-301 - (60 ppl)

1:45pm EST

Census 2020- Forging a Path to Combat Rumors
In this interactive workshop we will learn about the upcoming 2020 operations and how to identify and report rumors. We will then work through an interactive ideation session on how we can actively combat them.

Speakers
HA

Haley A. Miller

Intergovernmental Affairs Partnership Manager, US Census
Haley Ashcom is a Partnership Manager with the Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs at the U.S. Census Bureau. She first came to the bureau in 2016 as an Intergovernmental Affairs Specialist promoting geographical programs in the lead up to peak decennial operations... Read More →


Saturday March 7, 2020 1:45pm - 2:45pm EST
1-203 - (100 ppl)

1:45pm EST

Computer Science x Civics - How NYC DOE's CS4All initiative is advancing education through Hack League
This session provides an overview of the goals and objectives of the New York City Department of Education’s Hack League, a district-wide competition that invites middle and high school students with any level of CS experience to explore the systemic impacts and applications of computing. By requiring participants to interact with data and prototype a proposed solution to an issue that the data illuminates, students creatively engage in a human-centered design and strategic problem-solving process aimed at improving quality of life and civic issues in their communities. Each stage of competition represents a component of the engineering design process, thereby encouraging students to be thoughtful programmers.

Join us as we talk about the Computer Science for All Blueprint, how Hack League is constructed, its impact, and stories about student projects.

Speakers
AP

Aankit Patel

Director, STEM Teacher Education, City University of New York
KD

Kylie Davis

NYC Department of Education


Saturday March 7, 2020 1:45pm - 2:45pm EST
1-202 - (100 ppl)

1:45pm EST

Ending NYPD’s Digital Stop-and-Frisk: The Fight for the POST Act
For years, the NYPD used increasingly invasive surveillance tools without any public accountability. The department runs a sprawling facial recognition database, DNA archives of children, automated license plate readers that track nearly every car in the city, and much more.

The NYPD’s biased and broken surveillance tools particularly threaten undocumented communities, creating a treasure trove of tracking data for Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”). These systems also have a proven track record of discriminating against New Yorkers of Color, putting Black and Latin/x New Yorkers at higher risk of false arrest and worse.

Currently, the NYPD is allowed to buy these spy tools without telling the public how they are used, how long data can be retained, or whether surveillance can be shared with the federal government. Learn how our campaign to enact the Public Oversight of Surveillance Technology (POST) Act and ensure that the public understands how our communities are being policed.

For More Information: www.POSTAct.org

Speakers
avatar for Council Member Brad Lander

Council Member Brad Lander

New York City Council
Brad Lander is a member of the New York City Council, representing the 39th District in Brooklyn. Brad serves as the Council’s Deputy Leader for Policy. He co-founded the Council’s Progressive Caucus, helped bring participatory budgeting to NYC, and has led the way toward a more... Read More →
avatar for Albert Fox Cahn

Albert Fox Cahn

Surveillance Technology Oversight Project
Albert Fox Cahn is the founder and executive director of Surveillance Technology Oversight Project (STOP), and a fellow at the Engelberg Center on Innovation Law & Policy at N.Y.U. School of Law. In addition to his work at S.T.O.P., Mr. Cahn serves on the Immigrant Leaders Council... Read More →
avatar for Laura Hecht-Felella

Laura Hecht-Felella

Counsel & Fellow, Brennan Center
Laura Hecht-Felella is the George A. Katz Fellow with the Brennan Center’s Liberty and National Security Program. Previously, Laura worked at Brooklyn Legal Services, where she represented low-income New Yorkers in litigation seeking to prevent displacement and preserve affordable... Read More →
avatar for Saye Joseph

Saye Joseph

Policy and Advocacy Manager, BYP100
Saye (pronounced as sah-yay!) is a migrant from Saint Lucia, a young budding anarchist, policy nerd, and abolitionist working through a Black queer feminist lens. Saye is passionate about creating tangible steps to dismantling the carceral system and institutions that oppress Black... Read More →


Saturday March 7, 2020 1:45pm - 2:45pm EST
2-301 (220 ppl)

3:00pm EST

Inequities in public space
New York's public spaces are increasingly privatized and policed. As a result, people experiencing homelessness are often removed from public view and excluded from participating in acts of everyday life that most of us take for granted. Inviting the most frequent users of public space into the process to envision an alternative, inclusive, future shouldn't be a radical act. Yet it is.

Madison, Margaret, Nikita, and Eric will share their approaches to participatory research and design, and talk about the work they conducted as a part of a partnership between the Urban Design Forum and Picture the Homeless, a grassroots advocacy organization run by people currently and formerly experiencing homelessness.

Speakers
ML

Madison Loew

Forefront Fellow, Urban Design Forum
Trained as a service designer with a community impact lens, Madison has leveraged the design process in community wealth building projects at a state, city, and community level. Madison is passionate about redesigning systems and services to drive equitable outcomes. Madison holds... Read More →
avatar for Nikita Price

Nikita Price

Civil Rights organizer, Picture the Homeless
Nikita Price is the Civil Rights organizer at Picture the Homeless, New York City's only homeless-led social justice organization. While navigating the NYC shelter system, Nikita joined Picture the Homeless in 2006, he (volunteered) as a member for over a year, and was later hired... Read More →
MJ

Margaret Jankowsky

Forefront Fellow, Urban Design Forum
Margaret was one of the Urban Design Forum’s 2018 Forefront Fellows, where her collaborative work on researching homelessness in New York City led to a proposal to create a citywide Office of the Public Realm. She is currently the Director of Development at Field Operations, where... Read More →
avatar for Eric Goldfischer

Eric Goldfischer

PhD Candidate, University of Minnesota
Eric Goldfischer is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Geography, Environment and Society at the University of Minnesota. His research examines his dissertation examines the politics of visuality and homelessness in NYC’s urban ecological projects, such as the High Line and the... Read More →


Saturday March 7, 2020 3:00pm - 4:00pm EST
1-205 - (42 ppl)

3:00pm EST

NYC's Lost Opportunity to Stop Racist Algorithms
Algorithms are increasingly allowed by NY city and state government to make automated decisions about people that dramatically impact their lives. Governing everything from access to benefits, exposure to surveillance, and in some cases even release from jail, algorithms have been proven time and again to be biased reflections of their creators, and of our own flawed human past. NYC was poised to become a national leader in assessing and preventing algorithmic harm, but the group responsible for accomplishing this task was unable to properly and completely do the job. This panel will discuss the nature of these systems, what they do, why experts oppose their use, and the failure of NYC government to adequately protect our people from the racist algorithms city government may be using today.

Speakers
avatar for Albert Fox Cahn

Albert Fox Cahn

Surveillance Technology Oversight Project
Albert Fox Cahn is the founder and executive director of Surveillance Technology Oversight Project (STOP), and a fellow at the Engelberg Center on Innovation Law & Policy at N.Y.U. School of Law. In addition to his work at S.T.O.P., Mr. Cahn serves on the Immigrant Leaders Council... Read More →
avatar for Liz O'Sullivan

Liz O'Sullivan

Surveillance Technology Oversight Project
KT

Katurah Topps

NAACP LDF


Saturday March 7, 2020 3:00pm - 4:00pm EST
2-301 (220 ppl)

3:00pm EST

Creating Pathways for a New Generation of Civic Leaders - CIF and CDF Talk Shop
New York City’s Civic Innovation Fellowship and Coding It Forward’s Civic Digital Fellowship will discuss how each program is empowering a new generation of young people to pursue social impact in their communities with and through technology. Cohort by cohort, a universe of students equipped with technology and good government know-how are emerging in both locales, ready to address big challenges in our cities, country, and world. On this panel, alumni from both programs will give us an insider perspective on their fellowship experience, while program directors and staff will discuss what CIF and CDF have in store for the future.

Moderators
RB

Ramesh Beharry

Civic Innovation Mentor, BetaNYC

Speakers
ZK

Zhi Keng He

Fellowship Assistant, BetaNYC
avatar for Rachel Dodell

Rachel Dodell

Executive Director, Coding It Forward


Saturday March 7, 2020 3:00pm - 4:00pm EST
1-202 - (100 ppl)

3:00pm EST

The future of open gov portals & programs, a conversation with Mayor's Office of Data Analytics and open data leaders.
Last fall, NYC published its Open Data for All strategic plan. This panel conversation will highlight its insights and discuss the near term objectives we need to accomplish over the next decade. This will be an interactive panel with a short presentation followed up with Q&A.

Speakers
avatar for Natalia Domagala

Natalia Domagala

Head of Data Ethics, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, UK
avatar for Chris Whong

Chris Whong

Outreach Engineer, Qri
At Qri, Chris does everything from engaging our base of peers and devs, to writing code and helping us plan and execute our next phases of growth.Chris is a leader in the NYC civic tech community, known for promoting government adoption of open-source tech, and supporting collaboration... Read More →
avatar for Zachary Feder

Zachary Feder

Open Data Program Manager, NYC Analytics
IM

ivan metzger

US Census


Saturday March 7, 2020 3:00pm - 4:00pm EST
1-203 - (100 ppl)

4:15pm EST

Government Data and Analysis: Balancing Innovation, Privacy, and Security
Government is under constant pressure to deliver more services with fewer resources. To achieve this goal, agencies should avail themselves of innovative approaches to using technology and data to help connect New Yorkers with the services they need in ways that responsibly promote privacy, security, and fairness. In this session, three City leaders will discuss how their offices work to encourage smarter, more efficient government while protecting New Yorkers’ data.  

Panelists will be:

- Jeff Thamkittikasem, Director of the Mayor's Office of Operations and Acting Algorithms Management and Policy Officer
- Kelly Jin, Chief Analytics Officer and Director of the Mayor's Office of Data Analytics
-Geoff Brown, Chief Information Security Officer

Moderators
AM

Annie McDonough

Tech and Policy Reporter, City & State

Speakers
avatar for Jeff Thamkittikasem

Jeff Thamkittikasem

Director, Mayor's Office of Operations and Acting Algorithms Management and Policy Officer
avatar for Kelly Jin

Kelly Jin

Chief Analytics Officer, Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics (MODA)
avatar for Geoff Brown

Geoff Brown

Chief Information Security Officer, New York City Government


Saturday March 7, 2020 4:15pm - 5:15pm EST
2-301 (220 ppl)

4:15pm EST

Data through Design - a conversation with organizers and selected artists
Discover the organizers and artists who are participating in this year's Data though Design art show — “Digital twin” is a term used to describe a virtual replica of real world phenomena. Digital twin technology is used to model possible scenario outcomes, or to serve as a proxy for “ground truth” in situations where real ground truth is unavailable. The seductive promise of gleaning seemingly unlimited knowledge based on “realistic-but-fake” datasets has led to the adoption of digital twin technology in contexts ranging from transportation engineering to medical research.

Moderators
SE

Sara Eichner

Data Through Design
AK

Alexander Kennedy

Data Through Design

Speakers
AR

Abe Rubenstein

Almost Everywhere
CY

Cameron Yick

Software Engineer, Datadog
Data visualization, getting involved with open source software, creative coding
MC

Mariya Chekmarova

Emblems: Symbolizing City Data
HD

Hana Dunston

Emblems: Symbolizing City Data


Saturday March 7, 2020 4:15pm - 5:15pm EST
1-203 - (100 ppl)

4:15pm EST

Collections as Data/Data as Collections, open data + libraries + privacy
Join us for a discussion of the role libraries can or should play in data education, collection, and dissemination, including:
  • the promotion of civic data literacy
  • the preservation & deposit of datasets into libraries
  • the role of libraries in data privacy & the privacy implications of big data in a library context 
  • the use of library collections as data & the digitization and transformation of collections to make historical data that accessible for computational analysis

Speakers
avatar for Sarah Rankin

Sarah Rankin

New York Public Library
SL

Sarah Lamdan

CUNY Law School
JL

Jeffery Lambert

Queens Public Library
avatar for Greg Cram

Greg Cram

Director of Copyright, Permissions and Information Policy, New York Public Library
Greg Cram is the Director of Copyright, Permissions and Information Policy at The New York Public Library. Greg endeavors to make the Library’s collections broadly available to researchers and the public. He is responsible for developing and implementing policies and practices around... Read More →
NW

Nick Wolfe

NYU Libraries


Saturday March 7, 2020 4:15pm - 5:15pm EST
1-202 - (100 ppl)

4:15pm EST

Staying Warm on a Hotter Planet: An Introduction to Building Energy Data & NYC’s Pathway to Carbon Neutrality
This session is for anyone who likes data, is curious about NYC's plan to address climate change, and prefers their surroundings to be around 68-73°F. Buildings produce about two-thirds of greenhouse gas emissions in NYC. The largest contributor to these emissions comes from heating spaces and water. Together, we will visualize building energy data in order to better understand different climate solutions and the positive actions we can take.

Speakers
MH

Melissa Hsiung

ClimateAction.tech
GH

Genevieve Hoffman

New York University


Saturday March 7, 2020 4:15pm - 5:15pm EST
2-116 - (30 ppl)