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Principal Investigators: Derrick Anderson, Associate Professor, School of Public Affairs (SPA), and Jeremy Liu, Senior Intelligence Analyst – Office of the President, Arizona State University

Bloomn, an online social impact innovation competition, community, and accelerator platform, is designed to sustainably support and inspire the next generation of public interest technologists.

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Sociotechnology of Cyber Security:
An Experiential Learning Course


Principal Investigator: Brian Gran, Professor, Department of Sociology, Law (secondary), and Applied Social Sciences (secondary)

The project will develop an interdisciplinary, experiential-learning course on cybersecurity open to all Case Western Reserve University undergraduates. 

Building the CUNY PIT Lab


The project will establish the CUNY PIT Lab at CSI St. George to further institutionalize CUNY’s commitment to PIT and strengthen CUNY’s participation in the PIT-UN. The CUNY PIT Lab will build on the field-building goals outlined by PIT-UN and help to define PIT across CUNY’s academic programming. 


Principal Investigator

Katie Cumiskey, Professor/Academic Coordinator CSI St. George/CUNY

Advanced Technology in Society and the Public Interest


Principal Investigator: Nicholas Zingale, Associate Professor, Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs

The transdisciplinary Advanced Technology in Society and the Public Interest (ATS-PI) involves the disabled community as equal partners and focuses on large questions regarding the future of human-machine technology and humanity.

W&M Digital Inclusion Initiative


Principal Investigator: Carrie B. Dolan, Assistant Professor of Health Sciences, Director of Ignite, and Phil Roessler, Associate Professor of Government, Co-Director of Digital Inclusion & Governance Lab

The project will align a variety of emergent activities around digital inclusion, with a specific focus on health, governance, and finance. A cross-campus initiative will create universitywide programming for students to integrate with practitioners and policymakers to increase awareness and engagement around public interest technology,  scale multidisciplinary cutting-edge research to influence policy debates around increasing digital access, and build a framework to increase the number of student research opportunities for underrepresented populations to gain skills and become future leaders in their fields.

The PIT Difference

The project will use research opportunities on digital access to create lab models that engage underrepresented groups through standardized recruitment and selection and a structured learning environment, and by empowering real-world next steps to open up career opportunities for female students, underrepresented minorities, and first-generation college students.

Columbia-Lehman Public Interest Technology
Data Science Corps (PIT-DSC)


Principal Investigator: Tian Zheng, Professor and Chair, Department of Statistics, and Jennifer Laird, Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology

This project, a collaboration between Columbia University and Lehman College, will expand and scale a Public Interest Technology Data Science Corps (PIT-DSC) summer Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program that offers experiential learning through a series of PIT projects working with NYC’s underserved communities.

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Data Science for Public Service Consortium


Principal Investigator: Cynthia Searcy, Associate Dean for Academic Innovation & Strategy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies

The Data Science for Public Service Consortium (DS4PS) aims to deepen institutional capacity in schools of public affairs in the technical skills and ethical foundations needed to effectively harness the promise of PIT in the public and nonprofit sectors. 

In 2019, the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies hosted a workshop for faculty from five universities to develop a strategic vision for incorporating data science in curricula of schools of public affairs. The workshop initiated a statement of core values to guide institutions as they incorporate public interest technology into existing programs; an enumeration of knowledge and skills needed by public servants to lead agencies through rapid change; and a platform for collaboratively producing and disseminating course content for teaching data science in the public affairs context.

The DS4PS platform hosts seven open-source data science courses that can be adapted to build electives, concentrations, or degrees in public affairs programs. This approach minimizes resources needed for programs to launch new data science courses, allows course content to evolve quickly, and creates a community of support for faculty teaching in an emerging domain.

Phase 2 of the project will formalize DS4PS to scale PIT educational opportunities in public affairs and build clear career pathways to the public sector. DS4PS will enable schools of public affairs to develop high-quality data science courses or credentials that are tailored to students seeking careers in the public and nonprofit sectors. In addition, the project will leverage open-source content for a core data science curriculum, structure cross-enrollment opportunities for specialized electives at partner institutions, and create a faculty community focused on curricular innovations that make data science accessible to public affairs students.


In building the consortium core, the project will initially target programs from large public universities that serve higher proportions of low-income and minority students. In addition, explicit efforts will be made to achieve gender balance and minority representation among faculty participants at workshops and will continue to do so in subsequent consortium events.

Westside Neighborhood – English Avenue: Building a Sustainable Community through Design and Technology


Principal Investigator: Julie Ju-Youn Kim, AIA, Associate Professor and Director, Flourishing Communities Collaborative, School of Architecture

Addressing socioeconomic and technical needs of Westside neighborhood English Avenue, this project leverages existing community resources to develop affordable housing and the attainable establishment of positive neighborhood-based, citizen-centric social impact and equity through technology.

Technology Studies to Save the World


Principal Investigator: Latanya Sweeney, Daniel Paul Professor of the Practice of Government and Technology at the Harvard Kennedy School and in the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences

The project will make Investigation Plans widely available through an open-door policy — any researcher or educator can partake in the project — and actively seeks to include more representation from faculty of historically Black colleges and universities.

GISEC3: Social and Urban Vulnerability
Analysis for Resilience Building


Principal Investigator: Carlos Genatios, Ph.D.

Building on the existing GISEC (Geographic Information Systems for Environmental Awareness and Community Engagement) project launched in 2019, GISEC3: SURE (Social and Urban vulnerability analysis for REsilience building) will contribute to the assessment of social vulnerability and environmental risk raising awareness of the ethical and societal urgency that climate change, disasters, and resilience building require.

AI for Good, Experiential Learning and Innovation for PIT


Principal Investigator: Sandra Allain, Director of Law, Policy, and Engineering and Professor of Practice, School of International Affairs

Faculty from the School of Engineering Design, Technology and Professional Programs will develop educational online modules and a PIT track within the existing Nittany AI Advance program.

Bridging the Digital Divide in Indian Country


Principal Investigator: Sascha Meinrath, Palmer Chair in Telecommunications at Penn State and director of X-Lab

X-Lab, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that addresses digital equity and access, seeks to address the urgent need raised by Native American allies to bolster broadband implementation capacity among tribes by developing technical expertise and educational resources through workshops and pilot deployments.

Career Launch Pad: Building a
Cyber-Protection Apprenticeship


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Principal Investigator: Justin M. Pelletier, PhD, Director, Cyber Range and Training Center, RIT Global Cybersecurity Institute

Faculty with the Global Cybersecurity Institute (GSI) at Rochester Institute of Technology will build a federally certified, Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Program (IRAP) in cybersecurity.

Public Interest Technology California
Digital Equity (PIT-CDE)


Principal Investigator: Ahoura Zandiatashbar, Assistant Professor and Spatial Analytics and Visualization Institute (SAVI) Co-Director

The Public Interest Technology California Digital Equity (PIT-CDE) project entails developing a methodology with multidisciplinary community and faculty partners that quantifies and maps digital inequity in every California neighborhood.

The Ethical Tech Initiative of D.C.


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Principal Investigator: Robert Brauneis, Professor of Law, and Dawn Nunziato, William Wallace Kirkpatrick Research Professor

The Ethical Tech Initiative of D.C. partners with marginalized communities to bridge communications, education, and technology gaps to provide access to justice to underrepresented communities, including incarcerated persons and other self-represented litigants, to advance the values of access, fairness, due process, and equality.

Sustaining DataLab and Expanding
Its Reach in Liberal Arts Colleges


Principal Investigator: Matthew Rudd, Chair and Associate Professor of Mathematics

Sewanee will expand its social data institute by adding a pre-college cohort and a faculty development program for the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Foundation and the Appalachian College Association.

The Penn-CMU Digital Health Privacy Initiative


Principal Investigator: Ari Friedman, Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine, Medical Ethics, and Health Policy

The Penn-CMU Digital Health Privacy Initiative will grow a unique collaborative network focused on advancing research, training, and policy to address privacy and discrimination risks associated with the collection and use of health-related digital data.

Expanding Public Capacity for Community Cellular Networks


Principal Investigator: Kurtis Heimerl, Assistant Professor, Computer Science & Engineering

The project will expand community cellular network infrastructure and training programs to support digital equity within urban neighborhoods.

From Visibility to Institutionalization: Integrating PIT through JUST-T Collab


Principal Investigators: Yunus Dogan Telliel, Assistant Professor- Anthropology & Rhetoric, Humanities & Arts, and Laureen Elgert, Department Head, Integrative & Global Studies

The newly established Just-T Collab (Technology for Transformative Justice Collaborative) will lead the institutionalization of a PIT culture with a regularized, anticipated series of annual activities and an expansion of collaborations with Quinsigamond Community College and other local partners. Building on the momentum created by WPI’s 2021 PIT Signature Projects Program, this project establishes Just-T Collab to advance the visibility of PIT ideas to the institutionalization of a PIT culture. 

The project aims to foster a PIT culture by developing and implementing a regularized, anticipated series of annual activities, such as a grants competition for faculty, a summer institute, workshops, a design competition for students and more. This PIT activities calendar will embed expectation and tradition, as faculty and students look forward to engaging with opportunities on campus and in Worcester. In conjunction with that, we will strengthen the partnership with Quinsigamond Community College to expand PIT opportunities for underserved local communities and take steps toward building Worcester’s PIT coalition.


In 2021, the signature projects reflected a variety of interdisciplinary intersections between technology and justice, from robotics and computer science to policy studies and pedagogy. The projects were led by faculty reflecting racial, ethnic, gender, and religious diversity. The project team is working with Rame Hanna, the inaugural director of diversity and inclusive excellence, who is working to integrate diversity and inclusive excellence into the institution’s five-year strategic plan to ensure that the team and the work is more inclusive.

Principal Investigator: Kurtis Heimerl, Assistant Professor, Computer Science & Engineering