Social Sciences

Using AI and real-time data to power an early warning system for public safety and the recognition of emotions

We will build an AI system to detect negative emotion from vocalizations recorded by body cameras warn by police (building upon several published papers in my lab) and develop a warning system for police officers, that informs them of when their emotions are escalating to risky or aggressive behavior.

View our work here.

Berkeley Police Department- Simulating Alternative Responses to Calls for Service

The Berkeley City Council recently voted to audit the "calls for service" (CFS) received by the Berkeley Police Department (BPD) to determine the feasibility of transferring the response to certain types of calls to alternative emergency response agencies. Using historical CFS data provided by BPD, this project seeks to simulate the effects on response time, staffing levels, and racial disparities of alternative emergency response strategies.

The project will advance in complexity throughout the semester and perhaps through multiple semesters. We'll start with a cursory analysis of...

NLP for Cannabis Text Data

For this project research apprentices will use Python to write code scraping, munging, and classifying product data to better understand the dynamics of the United States cannabis industry. Apprentices will apply their programming skills to 1.) scrape product data from publicly available websites; 2.) turn messy unstructured data sets into shiny clean data sets available for reproducible research, and 3.) apply the latest techniques in natural language processing to find trends and patterns in product description data. These data science techniques will help us uncover the political and...

Girl Effect - Speaking her Language: Using NLU to build conversational products for girls in developing countries

Girl Effect builds products for girls in developing markets. We work in Rwanda, India, Ethiopia, South Africa and Tanzania. Our product portfolio contains magazines, television shows, music videos, websites, chatbots and social media channels, all designed to drive uptake of knowledge and change in attitude around key subject areas defined in girl effect’s theory of change.

We try to make products which put our users at the front and centre of the experience. In our digital products, this means allowing girls to share their feedback and guide their own user journeys, rather than be...

Goodly Labs - Public Editor

Students on this project will analyze data from a collaborative web app guiding thousands of internet volunteers to read through the most shared news articles of the day and label evidence of misinformation in the content. Working alongside a national coalition of social science researchers and journalists, a Nobel Laureate, cognitive scientists, and software designers/developers, students will test the robustness of the Public Editor system, fortify it against attacks by trolls, and implement gamification features to ensure volunteers enjoy their experience.

UC Berkeley School of Law - Indigenous Brands and Social Movements

Have you noticed how many brands in the marketplace use indigenous/Native American - oriented terms and imagery? From the notorious Washington Team to the logo on Land of Lakes butter, indigenous imagery and appropriation is everywhere, and worthy of serious study and data analysis. This project aims to bring the work of social movements and activism to a data-intensive study of First Nations brands and trademarks in order to chart a path forward. In this project, we will study how many of these terms are owned by native vs. non-native entities, study how these brands have changed over...

Exploring the Achievement Gap in Berkeley Public Schools

Working with state and district data looking at achievement gaps in Berkeley Public Schools. See our work here.

School of Information - Evaluating Accessibility on Congressional Websites

Voters and constituents increasingly look to the websites of elected officials to answer their questions about voting or constituent services. Recent work has discovered that many of the leading presidential candidates’ websites are not accessible to vision impaired users. This project aims to discover the breadth and depth of accessibility issues on congressional representatives’ websites. Discovery students will be responsible for developing a data collection framework using existing accessibility APIs and then analyzing the accessibility of congressional and election websites using...

Berkeley School of Law - Empirical Examination of Corporate Rebranding and Trademarks

Companies are frequently found registering new trademarks or modifying existing trademarks as part of their rebranding efforts. Several reasons such as the change of company management teams may explain why rebranding decisions are made. No empirical research has focused on understanding the rebranding activities of companies. This project aims at resolving this mystery using both the trademark registration data and the business data (from the Securities and Exchange Commission disclosures.)

The main purpose of the data collection is to focus on publicly traded companies and to...

Goodly Labs - Demo Watch

The Demo Watch project has collected and is curating over 8,000 news articles describing all the interactions between police and protesters during the Occupy movement. This semester, students will work with senior researchers and professors from Goodly Labs, NYU, and the Univ. of Michigan to (1) implement/code a multi-level time-series model that will analyze curated Demo Watch data to find patterns of peaceful and violent activity; and (2) create a text classifier, via supervised machine learning, that is capable of scanning through news articles about protest to identify important data...