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Credit: Arek Socha

Homework 2: Analyzing a Data Science Case Study

Benjamin Xie & Greg Nelson

The objective of this homework is to practice comprehending the data science process and decision contexts. For this assignment, you will read through a case study and methodology from ProPublica on machine bias in predicting future criminals.

1. Read the Case Study & methodology

  1. Read the ProPublica case study.
  2. Read the accompanying article on their methodology.

2. Decompose the case study

Decompose the case study by answering the following questions:

  1. Goals: What are they trying to use data science to do?
  2. Prior Knowledge: What did they know or assume beforehand? Why?
  3. Roles/ responsibilities in organization: What was the organization's expectations of these data scientists? (you may need to look at the ProPublica website or read about the organization to answer this question)
  4. Social Relationship: How did they interact with other stakeholders when conducting this analysis?
  5. Models: How did they represent their objects of analysis?
  6. Choices: What options exist for the decision they are informing?
  7. Outcomes: Given these choices, what are the outcomes of deciding on a given choice?
  8. Missing from analysis: What is missing from this analysis?

3. Synthesizing the analysis

Write up your findings in a ~500-2000 word (excluding any additional citations) paper or report. This paper/report should read coherently (so do not just answer each question above and submit a bullet-pointed list).

You will submit this assignment by putting a Google Doc or PDF of your write-up in your personal INFO 370 folder.


This assignment is out of 10 points, although there is an option for extra credit.