Projects relating to data and education.

"Didn't we desegregate the schools?"
The condition of education for low-income students from East Palo Alto

There have been many types of proposed and attempted solutions regarding the problem of low-income education. Some of the most common solutions, including both concentration and deconcentration policies, have major shortcomings which not only waste money but often hide the challenges that low-income students face. Despite these well-demonstrated issues, wealthy communities overwhelmingly support school segregation policies, and lawmakers are incentivized by the government to support desegregation efforts. My full report on the issue can be found here, but I also made this graphic to illustrate to viewers an example of such policies at work, and show just how extreme the conditions are.

I'm afraid the image is poor quality and does not do justice to the interactivity or general aesthetic of the original. Please look at the original. However, in case you are too lazy to click another link, here is the image.

"They tell me that education is important."
Which of the US states agree?

This project was an attempt to analyze the states of the US on how well they are doing at providing top-tier educational opportunities to college-aged kids from their own states. The result was two interesting maps of the states relative to the high-quality educational opportunities they provide, based on a number of factors, including the strength of the institutions, the size of the state budget, the state population, and more.

Since there are almost 2500 universities in the United States, I had to limit my scope and only focus on the cream of the crop - US News/World Report's top 50, from University of California - Berkeley to the University of Tennessee. The first map shows the locations of the universities I used - higher bars and redder colors represent higher rankings.

My goal was to determine which states provide the best educational opportunities for their students. However, a large, well-resourced state like California with its 171 billion dollar budget will push more universities into the top 50 than, say, Delaware, with its budget of just 4 billion dollars. If Delaware converted its budget to quarters and California converted its budget to $100 bills, California would still have more pounds of money. However, budget size isn't the only thing I considered as a weighting factor. Other determinants such as the number of students at the school, the percentage of them that live in-state, and related values were also used.

Second is a map of the states with the redder colors representing a higher educational 'score' and the whiter colors representing a lower one. The states that are completely white have no public universities within the top 50.

The full spreadsheet of data can be found here for those interested, or in plain text format here.