The Civic Digital Fellowship is the first of its kind data science and technology internship program for innovative students to solve pressing problems in federal agencies. It is the product of a collaboration between Coding it Forward, and six federal agencies: the U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services(HHS), General Services Administration(GSA), International Trade Administration(ITA), and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs(VA). The Civic Digital Fellowship also wouldn't be possible without support from our generous supporters: Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Knight Foundation, and Vision New America.
After a highly successful cohort in 2017, the Civic Digital Fellowship returned for its second year. Meet the second cohort of Civic Digital Fellows: Introducing the 2018 Civic Digital Fellows.
This repository features the slides our fellows presented at their end of summer Demo Day, held Thursday August 9, 2018 at the Partnership for Public Service headquarters.
Demos and Presentations:
- Text Analytics for Customer Feedback Pipeline — Mayuka Sarukkai
Mayuka worked with the Communications Directorate at Census to develop the internal analytics capacity for user feedback collected on Census.gov's 1.7+ million pages. This project provides intranet coordinators and program area stakeholders with a central analytics platform to better understand their users' experiences and systematically inform user-centered improvements to the Census.gov experience. To that end, she led user research with stakeholders across the Bureau, developed machine learning and natural language processing scripts to process open text feedback, and built an interactive Tableau dashboard to visualize feedback analytics.
- State.gov Modernization — Omar Abdul-Rahim, Nora Benson, Cleo Forman, Rachel Stone
Omar, Nora, Cleo, and Rachel worked on the State.gov redesign in collaboration with Huge, Inc.
Omar's primary contributions were providing a Domestic Impact Map design plan and MVP wireframe, aggregating and analyzing FOIA data, and organizing audience page resources into their respective content architectures.
Nora led design efforts in reconciling the Department of State's Domestic Impact Map and an updated and expanded Public Transparency page. Nora also assisted with developing initial wireframes and content architecture for audience- based landing pages for major user groups of the State.gov platform.
Cleo acted as the technical lead for the creation and implementation of the Domestic Impact Map. Additionally, Cleo worked with another CDF team to improve the DoS acquisitions process, focusing on user research and process optimization.
Rachel championed the Public Transparency page and quality assurance on the Domestic Impact Map.
- Human-Centered Design Across Agencies — Sana Shah, Maddison Brusman, Liam Grace-Flood, Michelle Ngo
At the HHS Office of Inspector General, Sana worked on multiple design efforts including planning and executing a mini design sprint, helping conceptualize the interaction design for form validation, and a service design project.
Maddison worked on IT acquisitions and procurement, developing and end-to-end platform that encompasses Technology Business Management (TBM) for acquiring technologies and services at the State Department.
Liam made web strategy recommendations to the ITA. This included extensive interviews across ITA's business units and customer segments, inventorying preview assessments, analyzing business processes, and co- creating an actionable roadmap.
Michelle designed a more user-friendly and user- centric Census Central intranet website, which is used by over 150,000 Census employees each month.
At the National Center for Health Statistics this summer, Amy worked on two projects. The first involved restructuring data in a (currently printed) report called Health, United States to be more visual and interactive in a digital format. The second involved analyzing linked hospital and death certificate data to better understand the relationship between hospitalizations and opioid deaths.
- Dashboard and Mapping Tool: Demonstrating HRSA's Efforts to Combat the Opioid Epidemic — Ronnie Fesco Jr.
Ronnie demonstrated the Health Resources and Services Administration's (HRSA) impact on the opioid epidemic through the use of an interactive dashboard with maps of the United States. He first gathered all data relevant to HRSA's opioid investments and to the opioid epidemic itself. He then plotted this data in Tableau to create a dashboard that lets the user toggle by year as well as reveal HRSA's reaction to changes in the opioid epidemic.
- Optimizing the Commodity Flow Survey, v2 — Christian Moscardi
Survey respondents to the Commodity Flow Survey, administered jointly every five years by the Census Bureau and Bureau of Transportation Statistics, have a notoriously difficult time providing responses to one specific question; responses are time-intensive and often inaccurate. Using machine learning techniques, Christian trained models to predict that specific response (a five-digit classification code) using other data in the response.
- Modernizing Practices with Machine Learning — Bev Bendix, Surya Dutta, Michal Porubcin, Fatima Koli
Bev and Fatima worked with the Economic Statistical Methods Division at the Census Bureau, using machine learning techniques in text classification to modernize the Economic Census. They trained a model to accurately predict North American Product Classification System (NAPCS) codes for drugstore and grocery products. This is the first step towards potentially allowing businesses to simply submit sales by barcodes (UPCs) and associated product descriptions rather than have to go through the time intensive process of classifying products themselves.
Surya worked on data science initiatives in the Economic Indicators Division to effectively utilize third-party data in surveys. As his primary project, Surya developed a pipeline to parse financial information from public SEC filings, and extract meaning though machine learning techniques for the Quarterly Financial Report (QFR). These automation techniques can save hundreds of thousands of dollars each quarter for each survey, and open exciting possibilities for the future of economic surveys and data collection at the Census Bureau.
Michal used machine learning to automatically reduce the number of partial matches in the matching algorithm used by the National Practitioner Data Bank to match queries from hospitals with reports on medical malpractice payments and adverse action cases concerning physicians, while minimizing the impact of the rate of erroneous disclosures or nondisclosures.
- Transfer Information Portal — Kristy Liao, Jack Stone, Gianna Uson
Kristy, Jack, and Gianna worked on improving the transfer process for foreign service officers by creating a centralized information portal. They conducted interviews and usability tests with diplomats and developed three iterations of the prototype. They also created documentation for the project and issued recommendations for the State Department.
- Census Open Innovation Labs - Genesia Ting, Emily Fong
Genesia worked on designing for the Opportunity Project under the Census Open Innovation Labs. This summer, she spearheaded all aspects of design for sprint materials, websites, and branding. She also conducted user research with Emily Fong to maximize engagement between public communities and The Opportunity Project, and facilitated user advocacy within sprint cohorts.
Emily worked on developing the digital presence of the Census Open Innovation Labs. Along with design Fellow Genesia Ting, she built new web pages and provided operational support for The Opportunity Project, which creates private-public partnerships and fosters cross-government collaboration.
- Data as a Public Good — Diana Negron, Austin Hwang, Visakh Madathil, Andrew Chou
At the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Diana translated essential programs, grant information, and program accomplishments into data visualization and infographics. She combined visual storytelling and data to engage, educate, and inform constituents about HRSA programs all across the country.
Austin worked on a cross-platform mobile app prototype for the Data to Decisions portal, a cloud based government-wide analytics-as-a-service platform that leverages open source technology designed to collect, manage, and analyze complex data, and to make these analyses available to stakeholders inside and outside of GSA. He also created an application that automates and increases the efficiency of quality assurance tests for the Data to Decisions portal to help detect new problems earlier and more quickly.
Visakh worked to better the access, quality, and responsible use of data across the Department of Health and Human Services. He worked to prototype web interfaces, automate sentiment analysis of feedback, and analyze the current state of open data at the Department. He also advised and worked with the Office of the CTO with technical development.
Andrew worked on a visualization tool for data from the American Community Survey. The web application is set up similarly to a dashboard and allows users to analyze the data in a variety of ways. The goal is to build a solution that facilitates the exploration of publicly available Census data and is approachable for users regardless of technical background.
- FOIA Request Prototyping — Loren Hinkson, Maddy Kulke
Loren supported the Continuous Improvement and Strategic Planning team within the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. She worked to add error-checking steps to the Medicare FOIA request process and develop a web prototype of an instruction and submission flow to make records more easily accessible to beneficiaries and their representatives. She also utilized machine learning techniques to parse and categorize internal employee feedback, and assisted the HHS Ignite team with contextualizing their contacts for more effective communications.
At the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), Maddy designed and prototyped a web-based CMS FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request system to reduce the number of rejected forms and improve the user experience. Maddy also analyzed and built visualizations of data for the CISP (Continuous Improvement and Strategic Planning) team. Maddy worked to improve the user interface of CMS's public datasets to promote collaboration in visualizing, mapping and analyzing health data across the United States.
- GI Bill School Feedback Tool — Mariam Mayanja, R Matthews
Mariam worked as a UX/UI Researcher and Designer, and R as a front-end developer working on the GI Bill® School Feedback Tool redesign. If a person has an issue or complaint about a school or training facility that receives GI Bill benefits, they can submit feedback to VA.
- 5 Faces of Civic Tech: Reflecting on a Summer of Innovation — Omer Bensaadon, Regine De Guzman, Thomas Nguyen, Tai Huynh, Frankie Devanbu
Omer worked on centralizing access to quality data stories across the Bureau. He collaborated with multiple stakeholders to take a project from its infancy, to deployed within the Bureau.
As a Product Management Fellow at the Census Bureau, Regine worked on several projects with Statistics in Schools, an evergreen program at Census that teaches statistics and data science to K-12 students. She led the first instructional design of Adopting and Entrepreneurial for Census Academy with other cross-functional teams in engineering, data dissemination, media, and communications. In addition, she helped consult the redesign of State Facts for Students, the #1 Data Access Tool Product on the Statistics in Schools website.
Tai worked on streamlining the IT Acquisitions and Procurement processes. He worked with his teammates to develop an end-to-end platform for acquiring technology and services, and to incorporate the TBM Framework in the platform.
Thomas worked within the Center for Disclosure Avoidance Research (CDAR) team at the U.S. Census Bureau. Within CDAR, Thomas contributed to varying automation and differential privacy projects which support the Disclosure Review Board in its efforts for protecting the personally identifiable information of all individuals and entities.
Frankie spent the summer at the National Center for Biotechnology Information with the product management team. She worked on a few different projects across a lot of different tools bringing in user feedback to inform strategy and design direction.
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