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Mapping and Mitigating the Urban Digital Divide Project

The University of Chicago Center for Data and Computing (CDAC) seeks an undergraduate research assistant (RA) to work closely with the Mapping and Mitigating the Urban Digital Divide project team. The Urban Digital Divide project is a major interdisciplinary data science research initiative focused on addressing the issue of internet access by using data science to help communities better assess the quality and accessibility of broadband internet. 


Nick Feamster, Neubauer Professor of Computer Science, Director of the Center for Data and Computing

Nicole Marwell, Associate Professor, Crown School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice

Jamie Saxon, Postdoctoral Scholar, Center for Data and Computing

Tarun Mangla, Postdoctoral Scholar, Center for Data and Computing

What You’ll Do:

The research assistants will work with the project team and their mentors to create a prototype of a data visualization portal for hyper-local broadband access data collected from neighborhoods located on the south and west side of Chicago. The data includes information about network infrastructure (e.g., location of cell towers) and network performance data (e.g., coverage, reliability). 

The visualization platform would consist of i) a data management pipeline on the backend to aggregate and store the aforementioned data, ii) a frontend to create spatial maps and other visualizations of broadband access from the collected data.

Desired Skills & Qualifications: 

  • Python, past experience with database management and visualization. Knowledge about spatial visualization (GIS/mapbox) and other data viz platforms such as Grafana, Datashader is a plus.
  • Located in Chicago; available to travel to UChicago campus in Hyde Park as needed.

Time Commitment: 

June 14th – August 20th, 2021, estimated 37.5 hours/week

Stipend rate: 


To Apply: 

Please submit your resume to Tarun Mangla ( Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until all available positions are filled.

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University’s Notice of Nondiscrimination.