Over the past several years, Purdue University has been experimenting with a data-driven solution way to find kids who are at risk for dropping out, or who--in a critical mass--might indicate which classes or majors have inadequate instructors. Administrators call it a “student success algorithm,” but it’s official name is Course Signals--and if it works, it could change the way modern universities are run. Incorporating data-mining and analysis tools, Course Signals not only predicts how well students are likely to do in a particular class, but can also detect early warning signals for those who are struggling, enabling an intervention before problems reach a critical point.
City documents indicate the projected cost is roughly $10.9 million in federal grant funding. To date, $3.4 million in federal grants has been spent on the project. As planned, the center would integrate computer dispatch systems for the Oakland police and fire departments, gunshot detection microphones and license-plate readers. It includes use of crime mapping software and stationary video cameras, private alarm detection programs, Twitter feeds, news feeds and other alerts for increased “situational awareness” and “more effective incident response,” according to Baig, who briefed the City Council’s Public Safety Committee this month. Key to the operation is a geographic information system map with overlaid points that represent cameras, license-plate readers, sensors and other infrastructure that feeds into the central network. Multiple camera feeds, sensor indicators and maps can be viewed simultaneously on-screen alongside alerts from other government agencies. Alarms, crime reports and trends in offenses are accessible through a “Crime View” portal.