Name of research project:Measuring Revitalization in West Bloomington using Data Science Tools
Name of faculty research mentor:Bevin Choban
Name of research grant:State Farm Summer Innovation Research Fellowship
Research Summary: My research involves data analysis of surveys conducted by the City of Bloomington
to note if and how the West Side of Bloomington has improved over the last decade.
This is in collaboration with West Bloomington Revitalization Project - a non-profit
in town dedicated to uplifting the west side. I look at data from 2008 up until 2018
to help the WBRP learn which strategies have worked for community development and
what areas need more attention. I was approached by Bevin to spend this summer working
on the data that WBRP (and the city) had. Being a computer science major, I was glad
to get a chance to use programming tools and analyze data that will help the WBRP
make informed decisions for the years to come.
How has Illinois Wesleyan prepared you for conducting research?
My experience with research had been null up until now but I believe that Illinois
Wesleyan's curriculum and focus on liberal arts had enabled me to really think critically.
The general education classes that I have taken have taught me enough to be well-rounded
and able to conduct this research independently.
What do you hope to gain from this experience as you look forward to your future?
I have been fascinated with Data Science since I started studying Computer Science
here but didn't think I'd get a chance to explore it in college. Luckily, with this
research fellowship, I get to teach myself new programming languages and data science
tools, the results of which are also going to benefit the community.
What’s been your favorite part of conducting research so far?
My favorite part of conducting research so far is learning and building up on everything
I learned over the course of the last three years. I appreciate that I get to work
independently and take charge of what I'm doing. I started with basic programming
and now am working with actual data that is going to impact how the neighborhood is
seen and restored in the coming years.
In your opinion, why is it important for undergraduate students to participate in
I think research opportunities teach students to work independently (and with faculty
guidance) which I believe is very important to do as an undergrad.