Open Data… Open Innovation

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My interest in data science and open data specifically comes from the open data movement. In this movement, collaborators set a goal to standardize and provide data to everyone. People can use this data to extract knowledge for their benefits and some decide to share their models and results for the benefit of other societies. This has an amazing impact due to the reproducing characteristics that data science’s models provide. The open data community works on this characteristic to support equality.

After a year of engagement in the Chicago’s civic tech, I have – along with a dedicated team of my fellow students from IIT – won the Healthy Chicago Innovation Challenge by proposing a model works on open data. The project aims to “decrease the number of food-poisoning cases in Chicago, using predictive analytics from Twitter to flag potentially dangerous restaurants for inspection. The goal is to conduct inspections at restaurants before people become sick.”

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Representatives from the City of Chicago and Chicago Department of Public health will help us in implementing this project. On the other hand, a Harvard team is working on the same thing, and they are collaborating with the City of Chicago in attempt to reproduce this model for all states.

One day this movement will reach other parts of the world, most importantly poor countries and counties in-conflict like Syria.
As part of the cohort of IIT Syrian student scholars, we look forward to bring these ideas and our energies to Syria – our homeland
Alaa Ayach

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