PROJECTS

DEPARTMENT OF TECHNOLOGY MANAGEMENT AND INNOVATION 

COURSE OFFERED | MOT CAPSTONE PROJECT COURSE

SEMESTERS OFFERED | FALL 2015 AND SPRING 2016

The MOT Capstone Project Course supports the strengthening of democratic institutions by using technological innovations to transform how we govern. This capstone will study the impact of technology on government institutions and, in the process, train you to develop a project from idea to implementation in the real world. In this course, we work on high impact, public interest projects designed to enable public institutions to work more openly, collaboratively, effectively and legitimately to make better decisions and solve public problems to improve people’s lives. Our mission in the course is threefold: to help institutions innovate and become more effective at achieving their mission; to promote the public’s right to participate in governing in ways that tap people’s talents, creativity, and interests; and to empower you as 21st century problem solvers with new skills.

CLIENT/MENTOR

Project: Design a Criminal Justice Innovators Network

Partners: Arnold Foundation, White House Office of the Chief Data Scientist

Issue: Open Data, Peer Networks

Student Team: Karthvya Bhagat, Morgan Kaschak, Jaya Sai Kumar, Edgar Landas, Vaishnavi Srinivasan, Abe Suleiman, Tom Yang

The Problem: The advent of new methods for deriving insight from data combined with an unprecedented degree of political will and bipartisan consensus to improve the nation’s criminal justice system present a unique opportunity to make significant advances toward decreasing both crime and incarceration. But realizing the promise of data driven innovation lags behind the reality of how data is currently collected, shared, and used. There is a lack of know how about data sharing practices within and across jurisdictions and with researchers.

Project Description: Participants will conduct user centered interviews, articulate the value proposition, and design a functioning expert network, including expertise questionnaires, to enable learning among innovators to accelerate data sharing practices.

Project: Design a Data Governance Online Course

Partners: The GovLab, Tandon Online, Arnold Foundation, White House Office of the Chief Data Scientists

Issue: Expert Knowledge Sharing, Open Data

Student Team: Kritika Chawla, Aditya Kaushik, Sanaur Khan, Nitya Kotharu,

The Problem: The advent of new methods for deriving insight from data combined with an unprecedented degree of political will and bipartisan consensus to improve the nation’s criminal justice system present a unique opportunity to make significant advances toward decreasing both crime and incarceration. But realizing the promise of data driven innovation lags behind the reality of how data is currently collected, shared, and used. There is a lack of know how about data sharing practices within and across jurisdictions and with researchers.

Project Description:  Participants will develop an online program to train local officials in the use of data to improve the criminal justice system. A rough outline of the program suggests it would have six parts focused on The Value Proposition Behind Data and Data Sharing; The Risk Proposition and Risk Mitigation; Platforms for Responsible Data Sharing; Ethical Data Sharing Principles; Practices for maximizing value and mitigating risks: contracts, policy, standards, design; Innovative Processes for Developing Governance Policies. They will also conduct human-centered design to understand skills gap among practitioners, conduct research to design syllabus topics and readings, design exercises, and choose the format for the course design.

Project: Tandon Experts: Design a Skill-Finding Platform for Tandon Faculty and Students

Partners: NYU Tandon, The GovLab

Issue: Expert Knowledge Sharing, Peer Networks

The Problem: How can a world class research university like NYU leverage the expertise of its own faculty, staff, and students to improve university governance? How can we improve how we tackle public problems by making faculty, staff and student expertise more accessible to public institutions? How can we create more opportunities for members of the university community to participate in ways that leverage what they know? As public institutions try to innovate and use more data to drive decision-making, there’s a distinct capacity gap in what they want to do and their ability to do it, suggesting an opportunity for more academics to help government, NGOs and even their own university solve problems more effectively. At the same time, many faculty, staff and students would like to contribute their expertise, if only they were asked.

Project Description:  Participants will conduct human centered design interviews with faculty and students to develop use cases and articulate needs and incentives for an expert network for the Tandon campus; develop the data strategy for automating the pre-population of profiles and the interfaces for making profiles useful. They will also design, create and launch prototype of Tandon skill-finder platform and strategy for its deployment and use, including strategy deck or other presentations for the President of NYU and the Dean of Tandon.

Project: Data Collaboratives for UNICEF

Client: UNICEF

Student Team: Fardosi M. Patwary, Rafael Carabano

Problem Statement: Given the amount and unreliable early childhood education data in place, it is

difficult for UNICEF to map the current situation and focus on specific areas within

underdeveloped countries. This presents a great challenge when trying to measure

any progress or impact of targeted policies and interventions aiming to promote early childhood education.

Project Description: The project focused on developing the value proposition for using private sector data to address the needs of children for UNICEF. The project involved writing an extended white paper and crafting a presentation to explain the concept of "data collaboratives"

Project: Designing Rhode Island’s office of citizen engagement.

Client: Chief Innovation Officer, State of Rhode Island

Student Team: Sanjay Joseph

Problem Statement: How do we increase citizen participation and transparency in the state of Rhode Island?

How do we find innovative solutions to problems that affect the citizens?

Why improve transparency and citizen participation?

Increase trust in government

Increase community engagement

Understand community needs better

Project Description: The project involved designing a Citizen Innovation Office that will engage citizens and other partners  and enable Rhode Island's citizens will be able to be actively involved in more decisions

Project: Diaspora Action

Partner: Diaspora Action

Student Team: Paul Dariye

Problem Statement: There is no systematic way of recruiting highly skilled diaspora resources in local development efforts in their home country restricting their potential as a valid source of knowledge, entrepreneurship, and funding to drive development.

Project Description: Diaspora Action connects diaspora resources with promising sustainable solutions to pressing challenges in their home Country. We’re an action-driven and solution-oriented community. We seek to develop, with our gained knowledge and expertise, technology-driven, sustainable solutions to some of the more pressing local problems in the motherland, wherever that may be. Diaspora Action uses online and offline mechanisms to connect the diasporas, to build trust between diasporas in host countries and partners or contributors in home countries, and to enable participation in development efforts in their home country through equity-based crowdfunding.

Project: Resource Generation

Client: Resource Generation

Student Team: Navisha Arora

Problem Statement: Wealthy Americans are less generous, while the poor are donating more. The wealthiest Americans donate 1.3 percent of their income; the poorest, 3.2 percent. How can we get the young and the wealthy to donate more and cultivate philanthropic habits.

Project Description: To help Resource Generation, a non-profit organization based in New York City that organizes young people with privilege to leverage their resources, time and talent become philanthropists, this project focused on helping them to define their target audience and develop both an outreach strategy and programs designed to increase philanthropy among the young and wealthy.

Project: A User Centered Design of the MEMEX Domain Discovery Tool

Client: NYU Visualization and Data Analytics (ViDA) lab

Student Team: Shalaka Golahilli Vinod

Problem Statement: Without adequate user involvement, the Domain Discovery Tool poses the risk of not catering to user needs and not overcoming the current challenges faced while conducting Internet searches for human trafficking suspects. A user-centered design is imperative to get a clear and comprehensive understanding of user expectations and drawbacks of current tools and technologies in use. Active user involvement in the design and testing of the process can prove to be beneficial in building a successful tool that meets user expectations as well as requires minimum amount of rework.

Project Description: In order to aid computer scientists in developing better deep web search tools for use in the investigation of human trafficking, the project focused on studying and documenting the needs of investigators and police in using such tools.