email@example.comHow can we improve the U.S. House of Representatives annual ethics training of congressional staff? The team is looking at alternative to the current proprietary method. The new system would have a number of advantages: It would be open source, reducing cost; provide a more interactive experience; have better analytics; and would be designed to promote dialogue and discussion, unlike the current system.
Robert LTeam Members: Marcelo DeCastro, Carl Spagnoli
Project Description: Our focus in on how campaign contributions change over time. We are looking at both long-term and near term changes. In particular we are building a pipeline for pulling down the latest FEC records on individual contributions, comparing the records to previous versions, highlighting the differences, and archiving the source FEC files. As Paul Jorgensen found, tracking revisions to records is crucial to maintaining the integrity of the data since in some cases the FEC has deleted millions of dollars worth of contributions. CampaignCon will help users to identify instances where revisions occur and how they impact campaigns. The team is also developing concepts for visualizing long-term changes in campaign finance.
Project Description: The team is developing a means to free data locked in pdf files so that it can be easily downloaded into an Excel file for analysis and comparison. The proposed mechanism has the potention not only to enable expanded data consideration of Community Development Authorities, the original research subject, but a whole range of bond issues on the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board website. Such analysis can better educate citizens, local government officials, and buyers of municipal bonds and shine a brighter light on the financial products created and sold by Wall Street.
Project Description: Creating a social platform for boycotts to lower the associated transaction costs. People can submit boycotts and invite people to participate. Additionally, the platform furthers the social aspect by crowdsourcing information such as boycott proposals and potential alternatives.
Team Members: Amy Zhang, Daniel Zhao, Joseph Schiavone, Richard He
Project Description: Studies have shown that bankers often collude together to manipulate the the London Interbank Offered Rate(Libor). Since banks are not required to make their transaction prices public, the interbank offered rate is calculated by simply asking banks the rate they would borrow at - a system that is easily gamed. Our project goal is to develop a benchmark interest rate based on the closest available public data that is of comparable term and risk category. This will be a website where the public can view the benchmark interest rate for the current day.
Funding information for biomedical studies are often buried at the end of the article, and health care professionals are often unaware of this. Studies have shown that funded studies often are biased in their findings. This group makes a browser extension that will show funding information on PubMed studies up-front, when a someone is viewing an article.
Project Description: We have created a groundbreaking website and app that enables the public---for the first time ever--to search and explore donations from foreign governments and state-controlled entities to nonprofit think tanks. Often based in the beltway, think tanks are a key part of coordinated lobbying efforts and often have a tremendous impact on the pubic policy outcomes that impact our day to day lives. The website we've created is responsive, enabling lawmakers, journalists and others to use their mobile devices to quickly find out about conflicts of interest while they're at congressional hearings, press conferences and events, among other scenarios. We're working toward ensuring the website, www.thinktankdonors.org, also will include a repository of Truth in Testimony disclosures since Jan. 1, 2015, when the House passed a rule requiring those who testify before Congress to disclose whether or not they or the institution they represent have received money from foreign governments. The web app will enable users to search by country and/or think tank in order answer a conflict-of-interest question on the spot. It will also enable users to explore the data, sorting by amount or any other field. Lastly, this web app is scalable, as it will provide the infrastructure for releasing the next several rounds of think tank donor data.
Team members: John Muldoon, Soraya Okuda, Joe Uchill, Shawn Musgrave, with assistance from Dhrumil Mehta and Yanzhou Chen.
Project Description: ProfessorCert is the capstone website for the Academic Independence Project at the Edmond J. Safra Research Lab run by Szelena Gray and Sujay Tyle.
ProfessorCert (http://professorcert.co.nf/) is a website created by Nikin Tharan to help professors prevent bias in their research publications by granting certification licenses that researchers can incorporate into their home website to confirm their committment to non-biased research. Academics have two certification options: a personalized login gained through the creation of a profile and answering more indepth questions; or general one by answering highly generalized ones. They can log-in (to gain the more thorough certification) with their LinkedIn account, Facebook, or Twitter, or university email, complete their profiles, and answer a disclosure non-bias questionnaire. Upon completing the questionnaire, they receive an embed link of a certificate from the Academic Independence Project. The professors may integrate the certificate into research papers, personal profiles and other methods of expression to assure readers that they are not biased.