Think Tank was previously the writing and research branch of TechTeam. We documented TechTeam’s projects, held workshops, and created resources for non-profits looking to effectively use technology. Starting in the 2019-2020 school year, however, Think Tank will pivot to becoming UChicago’s first and only open data project. We will be focusing on collecting, analyzing, sharing data and creating data products related to UChicago. Our project is organized into three teams:
Collecting data from various sources
Developing group policies
Crafting efficient surveys
Fairly large group with no technical threshold
Generating data (i.e. webscraping, digitizing)
Analyzing data found by Data Gathering team
Medium sized group with a higher technical threshold (familiarity with R/Python)
Developing our website in the style of HODP
Building out our database infrastructure and potentially APIs for easy access
Highest technical threshold (SQL, Python Flask, Django, Ruby on Rails etc.)
The intention behind separate teams is to provide a structure for people of diverse backgrounds to learn new skills and engage critically with data. To keep the entire group on the same page, our weekly meetings will begin with an all-group debrief and reflection on our quarterly timeline. From there, we’ll break into group work time before concluding together at our weekly workshop or speaker session.
 A note on workshops: we will have them! They are, however, intended to get people excited about CS/technical things and rather than to provide a complete education. (There really is no substitute for CS 121.)That being said, the projects you work on here shouldn’t look like the stuff you do during class anyway. We expect everyone to gain some kind of technical skill from this activity, so get comfortable being uncomfortable.