Learn more about current projects supported by the Center for Data Science and Consulting.
Cook County Survey
The Cook County Community Survey is a collaborative effort that brings together faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students to shed new light on the attitudes and behaviors of residents of Cook County.
Evolutionary Biology: Sexual Dimorphism is Stickleback Fish
Sex differences in shape and size are common across animal species. One explanation for such sexual dimorphism is that selection favors males and females that use different resources, reducing competition. Divergent resource use then drives divergence in the traits important for handling those resources, resulting in the evolution of sex differences in size and shape. In this project, we test the idea that release from predators might allow males and females to explore more niche space, diverge in resource use, and evolve sexual dimorphism. We are studying a 10 million year old lineage of fossilized stickleback fish fossils. Unfortunately, sex organs do not fossilize so we don't know which specimens are male or female. We are training statistical models to use trait data to predict sex in the living fish, and then applying those models to the fossil trait data to assign fossil sex. This is the critical first step in describing how sexual dimorphism evolves through time.
Chicago Air Quality and Its Effect on Public Health
An ongoing collaboration with faculty and students in Loyola University Chicago's School of Environmental Sustainability, this project is analyzing PurpleAir data in the Chicago area. This project is part of an NSF-funded, multi-institutional project CARE.
Preventing Urinary Tract Infections
While prior studies have found that several Lactobacillus species inhibit the growth of uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) and protect against UTI development, the mechanisms in which this occurs have yet to be thoroughly investigated. With the development of new statistical models, we were able to determine that Lactobacillus-mediated metabolites can cause latent phage induction in urinary E. coli isolates, which results in lysis (death) of the host E. coli cell. This NIH-funded project integrates bioinformatic, statistic, and microbiologic techniques to explicitly explore the extent and mechanisms of Lactobacillus-mediated induction of latent phages on UPEC colonization.