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Goodspeed Co-PI on grant to study neighborhood health disparities

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Goodspeed Co-PI on grant to study neighborhood health disparities

Assistant Professor in Urban and Regional Planning Robert Goodspeed is a co-PI on a project funded with grants from the Social Sciences Annual Institute (SSAI), a joint initiative of the U-M Office of Research and Rackham Graduate School, and from the MCubed Diamond Initiative.

The project titled, “A ‘Big Data’ Approach to Understanding Neighborhood Effects in Chronic Illness Disparities,” aims to address challenges associated with gathering and analyzing large, diverse population health data sets by leveraging emerging big data sources such as social media sites, GPS-based data from personal devices, and citizen-created maps.

In addition to providing a more precise characterization of the contribution of neighborhood characteristics to chronic illness disparities the project will provide guidance to social scientists who aspire to use “big data” sources and techniques in their research.

Goodspeed will oversee the focus groups of local planners, public health officials, and other community leaders to identify information needs for reducing health disparities in the neighborhoods where they work. In addition, he will lead the GPS pilot study to assess techniques for measuring urban mobility patterns for health research.

Associate Professor of Information Tiffany Veinot is the principal investigator on the project. Goodspeed, along with Veronica Berrocal (Assistant Professor in the School of Public Health Biostatistics Department), Phillipa Clarke (Research Affiliate in the Population Studies Center and Research Assistant Professor in the Survey Research Center), and Daniel Romero (Assistant Professor and Presidential Research Fellow in the School of Information) round out the project team. The project also involved collaborations with the non-profit organization, Data-Driven Detroit, and the citizen-driven Detroit Food Map Initiative. Read the School of Information news release here.