Urban Science IntensiveOverview

Applied urban informatics leverages data to generate new insights and actionable intelligence for cities. In partnership with operational experts, data science techniques can improve city operations, policy, and planning outcomes and advance quality-of-life goals.  Through a process of observation, data mining and analysis, and testing, applied urban informatics can address a range of critical issues — from public health and safety to sustainability and resilience to economic development and equity.


The Urban Science Intensive partners graduate student teams with a faculty advisor and a public agency or private sector organization that is looking to address a critical urban issue.


Submit your proposal now for the 2017 program.

The Urban Science Intensive (USI) is a four-month applied urban informatics project that is the experiential learning focus of the CUSP M.S. Program. It partners graduate student teams with a faculty advisor and a public agency or private sector organization that is looking to address a critical urban issue.  USI projects approach real-world challenges through problem identification and evaluation, data collection and analysis, data visualization and communication, and finally, product formulation and testing. Student teams utilize urban informatics techniques within the constraints of political, social, and financial considerations as well as address issues of data privacy, validity, and transparency. USI projects create innovative and replicable approaches to pressing urban concerns.

CUSP project advisors include faculty and research scientists from a range of fields, from the physical and natural sciences to the social sciences and practitioners.  For more information about CUSP faculty and researchers, please visit: http://cusp.nyu.edu/people/.

CUSP will select approximately 12 projects for the 2017 USI Program. Teams of between four (4) and six (6) CUSP graduate students, together with a CUSP faculty advisor, will work on each project.

CUSP will engage with sponsors throughout the selection process and project execution. Key dates include:

January 20th, 2017: Project proposal deadline
Early February 2017: Project selection notification
March 24th, 2017: Students assigned to projects, and preliminary work begins
July 28th, 2017: Student work concludes with project reports and final presentations

CUSP seeks partners that are interested in sponsoring a team project for the upcoming spring and summer academic semesters. The sponsor will identify a challenging urban problem and provide data for the teams to analyze. Below are guidelines that define an effective USI project:

  • A coherent, well-defined urban problem that can be approached using data science and informatics methodologies (predictive modeling, machine learning, spatial analytics, etc.);
  • Data that are available and in-hand prior to the start of project; and
  • A discrete, tangible deliverable and end product that can provide actionable insight with respect to the initial problem.

Visit our FAQ page for additional details on USI project requirements, timelines, and the submission process.

Contact us via email at cusp.USIcapstone-group@nyu.edu or (646) 997-0554.