Sewanee DataLab projects involve real-world learning.

Working in small teams, students learn to frame client  problems, develop and articulate  project milestones, and to effectively communicate the value of their work. They also learn to code algorithms in R. Each project is completely unique. From healthcare access in Appalachia to carbon offset in Haiti, projects represent a wide range of social and environmental issues from around the globe.

Equitable Broadband Access


Project Contributors: Pravesh Agarwal, Feza Anaise Umutoni, Zach Shunnarah

Community Partner: Thrive Regional Partnership, a non-profit based in Chattanooga

Thrive regional partnership collaborated with sewanee data lab to bring more equitable broadband internet access.

Problem: An insufficient understanding of broadband assets and access to it due to the lack of a broadband asset inventory restricts our ability to explore trends and patterns in broadband access.

Solution: The team created an interactive open source map indicating the availability or more importantly the non-availability of broadband assets covering 16 counties in the Chattanooga tri-state area.

Impact: Highlights the disparity in broadband asset and distribution at first glance on the map so that the necessary intervention to bridge the gap in broadband disparity can be made.


Equitable Broadband Access

Carbon for Cash


Project Contributors: Kate Baker, Nika Gorski, Caroline Willett

Community Partner: Zanmi Agrikol, a  Haitian organization

Sewanee is in collaboration with the Haitian organization, Zanmi Agrikol, to incentivize 50 family farmers to grow trees instead of selling material for coal through payments made by the Sewanee Green Fund.

Problem: The Carbon for Cash project needs a uniform process to pay farmers and to quantify carbon sequestration.

Solution: The team created a dashboard using R programming language that transforms measurements of carbon sequestered by each Haitian household, as well as the number of trees on each small farm, their carbon payments, and the amount of variation in the two datasets.

Impact: The payments reflect the carbon sequestration of the planted trees which is quantified and analyzed by our DataLab team. The addition of these trees provides a shade canopy and enriches the soil with nutrients, enabling farmers to establish more sustainable regenerative coffee-based agroecosystems (agroforests).


Carbon for Cash

Image Processing


Project Contributors: Katherine Zelaya, Dirk Kayitare, Pratham Singhal, Ngan Nguyen, Sophie Smith

Community Partner: 

  1. Haiti Institute
  2. Ancient Art Archive

Sewanee DataLab photos team collaborated with two clients to apply machine learning techniques to curate photographic evidence of the impact of Sewanee’s work in Haiti and preserve 


  1. Lack of  conclusions/ insights on large files of photos from Haiti
  2. Continuous threat of loss of stories told by rock arts


  1. Used convolutional neural networks to quantify objects and humans in the photos
  2. Used convolutional neural networks to label and digitise rock art objects


  1. A different measure of  economic development and inform conversations about community development
  2. Statistical tools for research and  preservation of heritage sites 


Health Care


Project Contributors: Martha, Mehrael, Sherry, Jeremiah, Esarrah and Kirstyn

Community Partner: South Cumberland Health Network

Public health team partnered with South Cumberland Health Network to create a reliable resource to analyze those disparities.

Problem: Wide range of TN health-related information is dispersed across the internet. This leads to health facilities in some counties to be highly pressured by patients coming from other counties.

Solution: The team collected and consolidated the data from various sources into a database. After that, this database was used to analyze trends and presented in an interactive dashboard online.

Impact: This project sets the foundation for a centralized location to gain all health information in TN.


Public Health

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