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Shawn Dorius is part of an ISU research team that received a $1 million grant

Associate professor of sociology Shawn Dorius is part of an interdisciplinary team of Iowa State researchers that received a $1 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for their study titled, “Big Data in Small Places: Building a Data Science for the Public Good Program to Support Rural Economic Mobility.” The Iowa State team will coordinate efforts with a national team of researchers from Oregon State University, Virginia Tech University and the University of Virginia.

Together, the researchers will design and implement a data science training program with a public outreach focus, increase extension professionals’ awareness of data science principles and improve data literacy skills in participating communities.

Funding supports the development of a data infrastructure for the program’s applications and facilitates engagement with local, regional and national stakeholders in the evaluation of the program’s expansion efforts. A special focus of the project is to conduct economic mobility research in rural communities, including barriers to mobility, as well as strengthen data science communication and accelerate the translation of science into actionable policy.