The D2K Capstone Experience

Student and Client Testimonials

From the Students:

Nicole Tan ('21, ECE) - Team Medical Informatics Corp.
“My favorite part about the D2K Capstone project was that it required different skills such as data wrangling, signal processing and modeling. I’ve learned a ton about working in teams, and how to build a robust data science pipeline that was reproducible, reusable and reliable.”

Tucker Reinhart ('21 ECE) - Team Cardiac Signals
“The cool thing about the Capstone program is that we actually help produce something useful, especially something like predicting cardiac signals, that I never would have thought I would be doing as a computer science and electrical engineering major.” 

Arisa Sadeghpour ('21 CAAM) – Team Houston Fire Department 
"I really enjoyed working on a real-world data science project with the Houston Fire Department. It was great to be able to use my data science skills to impact the Houston community. I was able to learn firsthand about the challenges and power of working with civic data."

Ray William (’22 CS)  - Team Intterra
“As a Californian, I had almost come to believe that no level of thought or planning could prevent the inevitable fire season we experience year after year.  But working with Intterra on this year’s capstone project made me regain hope that any type of emergency incident—not just fires—may be mitigated altogether with a combination of careful planning and advanced analytics.  

This semester, we’re proud to have identified several important risk factors that are correlated with these emergency incidents, and we’re hoping that by putting this knowledge in the hands of emergency responders and city planners, we’d be going a long way towards building healthier and safer communities.  We’re excited to have been a part of this future.”

Connor Rothschild ('21, Social Policy Analysis) - Team OpenStax
“I think having quantitative skills is helpful in any domain and increasingly so in social science, my discipline. Being able to work with teams and engage in analytical projects rounded out my skillset in a way that a lot of other courses couldn't have.”


From the Sponsors

Xiaoqian Jiang, School of Biomedical Informatics, University of Health Science Center at Houston
“I am very pleased to work with Rice students and faculty. It has been a great experience. The students are highly self-motivated and proactive, and the Rice faculty are very supportive and encouraging.” 

We are developing a smart chatbot for healthcare (i.e., COVID-19 symptom tracking). It has the potential to be used in improving telemedicine to address a critical informatics gap between visits. We are planning to integrate the solution to a prototype app that we are developing now, and we in conversation with McGovern Medical School to see if we can use this approach to follow up with our patients. If successful, this would make a real impact to digital medicine.”

Leonard Chan, Accreditation Manager, Houston Fire Department
“Interacting with the students and faculty in the D2K program reminds us of the amount of creativity and talent in data science is present in Houston.  We are incredibly appreciative of the amount of attention and dedication our teams have placed on our projects.  Although the teams may be made up of students, we have learned more from them about data science and even our own data than from us.

The D2K program has injected innovative approaches in how Houston Fire Department assesses public safety risks.  Connecting with the D2K program has also allowed us to become more engaged with the community.”

Lance Staudacher, Sr. Manager Analytics, National Oilwell Varco
“I am impressed with the insight the team was able to provide in such a short time. We now have some viable ideas on solving a problem thats been challenging us for years.”

Daniel Cohan, Associate Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Rice University
“The team produced results that I was able to incorporate into my presentation, "Responses of human activity and in-situ and satellite-observed air quality in U.S. cities to the COVID pandemic.” I’ll be presenting at the scientific conference, American Geophysical Union. 

Debshila Basu Mallick, Research Scientist at OpenStax
“We are extremely proud of Team-OpenStax and the work they put forth. They have impressed us with their consistent hard work, thoroughness, playing to each other’s strengths collaboratively, but most of all, their sense of empathy. From the get-go, they understood the significance of what they were working on: a small step toward reducing inequities in education, especially as teachers and students struggle to stay afloat during this pandemic. Given fewer in-person interactions, Team-OpenStax’s work is going to aid teacher efforts to identify students who are likely to fall behind and help teachers deliver timely interventions utilizing their wealth of experience. 

At OpenStax, we’re grateful to have been working with this fantastic group of people, wish them the very best for their future pursuits, and want them to know that their work will make a difference to the community during this crisis and beyond. We sincerely thank and congratulate D2K instructor Prof. Barman, Center Director Prof. Allen, and all the administrators who were proactive, agile, and successfully executed the program over the pandemic.”