The PIT UNiverse Newsletter
2024 Theme: Building Blocks of Democracy
Communities around the world are gearing up for a highly contested year of elections in which emerging technologies will play a key role. As we engage with this challenge and advocate for PIT as an essential set of tools for promoting safe and secure elections, we want to emphasize the vital role that PIT plays in creating the very infrastructure that makes democracy possible. We cannot have a functioning democracy without data privacy, ethical AI development, cybersecurity that’s accessible and equitable – in short, technology that serves the public interest.
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February 2024 Newsletter
Updates from the Network this month include our second annual PIT Career Fair RFP, a new academic journal on public interest technology, and there are new playbooks from the University of Michigan and the University of Chicago on developing community partnerships, and data science for social impact.
2023 Newsletter Themes
In 2023, our bi-monthly newsletter focused on six areas critical areas of public interest technology.
- Introducing the November 2023 Newsletter
- Making Data Science Democratic
- Shaping Ethical Technologists in the Age of AI
- PIT Law: Forging a Just Technological Future
- AI’s Next Chapter: The Executive Order & Academia’s Role in the Future of AI
- Snapshot: Fall 2023 PIT Career Fairs
- Student Research Papers & Presentations from 2023 Convening
- November 2023: Letter from the Desk Brenda Perea
- Q&A: 2024 PIT Summit with San José State
- Introduction to the September 2023 Issue
- Climate Change AI
- Data Science for Climate Change at Sewanee DataLab
- Tech for the Anthropocene: Cultivating Earth Creatureliness
- Q&A: Using GIS for Better Natural Disaster Risk Management
- People with Disabilities must be Included in Climate Action Planning
- September 2023: Letter from the Desk Brenda Perea
- PiTech at Cornell Tech
- Student Voices from the UVA Data Justice Academy
- Introduction to the July 2023 Issue: Innovations in Public Interest Cybersecurity
- Who – not What – is Cybersecurity for?
- Q&A: Building a Community Cybersecurity Clinic
- Why and How We Must Diversify Cybersecurity
- A Federal Cybersecurity Primer
- The Double-Edged Sword of Free Cybersecurity Training
- July 2023: Letter from the Desk Brenda Perea
- Students Explore the Complex World of Cybersecurity
- Google pledges $20 million to the Consortium of Cybersecurity Clinics
- How Public Interest Tech Principles Can Shape the Future of Data Science and Artificial Intelligence
- The Role of Public Interest Technologists in an Age of AI Hype
- GAEIA: A Global Collaboration to Grow Tech Ethics
- The Legacies We Create with Data and AI
- Navigating the Generative-AI Education-Policy Landscape
- An Interdisciplinary Approach to AI Ethics Training
- Code for Charlottesville Teams up with Civil Rights Advocates
- Grounding Principles for Understanding and Regulating AI
- May 2023: PIT-UN Update from Brenda Perea
Learn the hows and whys behind institutionalizing PIT on your campus, so you can unlock support from partners and senior leaders. Our experts illustrate hidden opportunities in today’s tech landscape, groundbreaking PIT research, community engagement, and more.
- PIT & the Mission of Higher Ed
- DataWorks: Participatory Design in Action
- How PIT Prepares Students to Become Changemakers in Tech
- The Chaos of Chat GPT Points to a Crucial Opportunity
- Q&A with Dr. Cynthia Warrick, President of Stillman College
- March 2023: PIT-UN Update from Brenda Perea
- Meet MSI/Equity Fellow Sheetal Dhir
- New Certificates & Degree Programs from PIT-UN Members
The January issue explores how public interest technology and the work of PIT-UN members are developing solutions to a wide array of public and critical infrastructure issues, from smart cities to sustainable water purification.
- A Public Interest Tech Approach to Smart Cities
- The Watchword in State/Local Government Tech in 2023: People
- Best Practices: Community Partnerships in PIT Work
- January 2023: PIT-UN Update from Brenda Perea
- Q&A with Sylvester Johnson, Faculty Fellow, Public Interest Technology University Network
- Coding it Forward: Civic Digital Fellowship and Civic Innovation Corps
- In Pursuit of Public Interest Careers
- Smart Cities, Privacy and Equity: The Legal Gap
- Miami Dade College students & Code for South Florida develop a participatory budgeting prototype
- Local Surveillance Oversight Ordinances White Paper
- SALUS – The Crisis Hub, Pepperdine University School of Public Policy
- Networks and Mobile Systems Capstone, University of Washington (Fall 2021)
- Sewanee DataLab 2022: Purifying Wastewater for Rural Communities
January 2023: [News] The Public and Critical Infrastructure Issue
The Public and Critical Infrastructure issue explores how public interest technology and the work of PIT-UN members are developing solutions to a wide array of public and critical infrastructure issues, from smart cities to sustainable water purification. Read more to find more resources, student Q&As, and op-eds from PIT experts and practitioners.
March 2023: Institutionalizing PIT
This month, learn the hows and whys behind institutionalizing PIT on your campus from a range of experts across the Public Interest Tech University Network. We also have in-depth reports, a federal funding guide and upcoming opportunities and events. Program Manager Brenda Perea’s update includes our fast-approaching Network Challenge, and meet Sheetal Dhir, PIT-UN’s new MSI / Equity Fellow through our Q&A. Read more here.
May 2023: Data Science & AI
July 2023: Cybersecurity
In the July 2023 issue of PITUNiverse, you’ll find editorial features on public interest cybersecurity from across our network, a preview of recently-completed PIT-UN Challenge Grant projects and resources for faculty, students and PIT graduates.
September 2023: Climate Change
This summer’s devastating wildfires and heat waves have increased our collective sense of urgency around addressing climate change. In the September 2023 issue of PITUNiverse, you’ll find insights from experts in AI, data science, public policy, engineering, and the humanities about the intersections between PIT and climate change.
November 2023: Defending Democracy
In the November 2023 issue of PITUNiverse, you’ll find insights from experts in law, community-centered data science, computer science, public policy and more on how PIT practitioners are defending democracy.
January 2022: PIT-UN 2021 Year in Review
The Year in Review issue looks back at the field-building outcomes from PIT-UN members in 2021. In addition, six new 2021 Network Challenges grantees are announced.
February 2022: New Members & Member Recommitments
March 2022: PIT-UN Partnership and a New PIT Book
April 2022: Network Challenge Evaluation Committee
PIT-UN is looking for experts to assess this year’s Network Challenge (Year 4) proposals by serving on the Evaluation Committee.
May 2022: Summer Student Video Contest
PIT-UN is inviting students to create a video to show what PIT means to them and get the chance to win a cash prize. Plus, the 2022 PIT-UN Convening is open for registration.
June 2022: Summer Speaker Series & Convening Preview
Learn more about the PIT Summer Speaker Series while getting a preview into the 2022 Convening. Plus, a look into the PIT Career Fair that connected value-aligned students and employers.
July 2022: UNConvening Preview & Summer Reading List
Discover the PIT-UN Convening Summer Reading List on Afrofuturism and Indigenous Futurism. Plus, take a look into the UNConvening Preview.
September 2022: PIT Student Contest & PIT-UN Convening
In this issue we share the open call for PIT students to join the Creative Arts Contest and hear from students discussing the PIT-UN Convening.
October 2022: PIT Network Challenge Evaluation Committee Members and Convening
Meet the 2022 Network Challenge Evaluation Committee Members and the 2022 Convening Schedule.
November 2022: PIT-UN Convening Recap and 2023 Host Announced
Discover the top highlights from the 2022 PIT-UN Annual Convening, learn more about the new host of the 2023 Convening and more!
In this issue, we launch the PIT in Practice Q&A series, which profiles PIT practitioners who are helping define the field to learn about their PIT journey and outlook, in their words. We also look at how the NYU Alliance for Public Interest Technology came about, and hear from trailblazer Fran Bernamn about where the field is headed.
This issue is edited by and for students. Learn what it’s like for students working on social impact projects, navigating the path to becoming a PIT practitioner, uncovering the emerging PIT job landscape, building a supportive community on Discord, and charting their own paths through an undefined (mine) field of interdisciplinary coursework, internships, first jobs, or a new mid-career direction.
We talk to three members about the launch of pitcases.org, a case studies and resources for the PIT community. We also detail Miami Dade College’s GISEC project, a three-pronged approach to address underrepresentation in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and to enhance technological applications of public interest. Plus, we provide a round up of must-reads and upcoming events from the PIT universe.
The newsletter takes a brief pause for July. In the meantime, PIT-UN’s director, Andreen Soley, shares recent developments and project successes from the growing Network.
We look at PIT practitioners who are working on a project to illuminate how the racial divide in New York City is itself a public health crisis. We also meet Network member Cal Poly State University, in San Luis Obispo, California, and speak to grantee Katie Cumiskey at The City University of New York’s College of Staten Island. Finally, Editor-in-Chief Karen Bannan talks to Daisy Magnus-Aryitey, co-founder of Code the Dream.
Two New America public interest tech practitioners testify before Congress, we meet Network member Worcester Polytechnic Institute and speak to grantees at MIT, and Karen Bannan talks to Network members about their successful collaborations through PIT-UN.
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Watch our book talk with the authors of “Power to the Public,” hear from grantees at UC Berkeley, learn about our new member University of Illinois at Chicago, catch up with PIT student leaders at Stanford, and read up on “America’s dirty secret.”
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We welcome seven new institutions to PIT-UN, spotlight grantees at the University of Virginia, talk to Moya Bailey about her new book on misogynoir and digital activism, and recap PIT’s event at NYC Open Data Week. Plus, save the date for the 2021 Annual Convening Nov. 1-2!
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#BlackTechFutures co-founder Fallon Wilson discusses fixing the leaky pipeline for Black students in STEM, we hear from grantees at Georgetown Law, spotlight the University of California, Santa Cruz, and learn about taking the “slow lane” in problem-solving from PIT fellow Sascha Haselmayer.
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Coding it Forward co-founder Chris Kuang shares his “Digital Corps” proposal, we profile grantees at The University of the South, turn our spotlight to Nazareth College, hear from former Presidential Innovation Fellow Clarice Chan about “corporate civic responsibility,” and sit down with TechCongress founder Travis Moore to learn about the Congressional Innovation Fellowship.
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We recap several panels from the Annual Convening, including discussions on racial equity in PIT, pursuing a PIT career, and insights from our Network Challenge grantees.
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We preview the 2020 PIT-UN Virtual Convening, spotlight The George Washington University’s PIT programming, talk to new 2020 Network Challenge grantees, and hear from the founders of Impactful.
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A look at policy questions around facial recognition, the public interest potential of natural language processing, election integrity, and more.
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This month, our Launch Pad feature story examines the many ways your university can work with local governments, providing tips to help you do so more successfully.