Feb 20, 2019

Fellowship Recipient Addresses Homelessness in Bay Area and Beyond with Data Science

Master of Information and Data Science student Sudha Subramanian received the Spring 2019 Jack Larson Data for Good Fellowship for her research with data science to address issues of homelessness in San Francisco and New York.

Subramanian earned her Bachelor in Electronics and Communication Engineering from the Regional Engineering College in Trichy, India. She has many years of industry experience, including as an EDI specialist, data analyst, and consultant. She now works as an AI/ML consultant and is part of a major NLP initiative at Wells Fargo. She will complete her MIDS degree in May 2019.

Sudha's plot of homeless counts vs. grant allocation, highlighting the disparity; Shows the plot dotted on map of United States
Subramanian's plot of homeless counts vs. grant allocation, highlighting the disparity

Inspired by her mother’s social work and aunt’s time volunteering her expertise as a gynecologist, Subramanian was driven to find a way to help her own community through associations with organizations such as DataKind and Delta Analytics, which use data for social good. She landed on using data science to benefit various causes and organizations. One such project was with Medic Mobile, which she describes as a nonprofit organization that helps more than 20,000 caseworkers serving over 1 million families across various countries by tracking health information on children under five. Subramanian used her data visualization skills to help the organization make more informed decisions about treatments that would minimize poor outcomes and lower treatment costs. “This was a big motivation to take on more projects like this,” Subramanian said, “and help communities at large.”

“With a strong knowledge base gained through the MIDS program, I am sure I can make a much bigger impact.”
— Sudha Subramanian

In another project, Subramanian was able to use data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to identify disparities between the extent of homelessness and grant allocation. She went on to share these findings at international conferences and with Tipping Point, a non-profit organization fighting poverty in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Subramanian’s goal is to have an even greater impact through the Data for Good Fellowship. “With a strong knowledge base gained through the MIDS program, I am sure I can make a much bigger impact,” she says. “My goal is to partner with Tipping Point to build robust visual models that can predict homeless counts by taking into account various factors that influence homelessness.”

With the support of Tipping Point and the Jack Larson Data for Good Fellowship, Subramanian will continue to make a positive impact for her community.

Sudha Subramanian
Sudha Subramanian
Sudha Subramanian part of a panel discussion fireside chat at a Domino Data Science Pop-Up in Dallas: Pictured: 5 individuals sitting on a panel
Sudha Subramanian part of a panel discussion fireside chat at a Domino Data Science Pop-Up in Dallas
Delta Analytics' January 2018 Kick Off Event for Fellowship Projects, including Medic Mobile; Pictured: multiple people sitting at long tables
Delta Analytics' January 2018 Kick Off Event for Fellowship Projects, including Medic Mobile

Last updated:

February 20, 2019