Today was our first meeting to discuss the scope of our project and what exactly we’ll be doing for the next nine-ish weeks. We’ll be helping in developing economic drivers and development strategies for the City of Los Altos. While Jennifer, the Los Altos representative, couldn’t make it due a scheduling conflict, she was able to join in for a conference call to guide and help us with any questions that we may have.
Our project will likely be focusing on analyzing demographic trends within the Los Altos community and the greater Bay Area; we’ll compare and contrast data and see how we can use this to determine future trends and the economic security of the city.
After initially meeting with Jennifer in class earlier this week, we were given access to data sets regarding demographics, real estate, and consumer preferences in Los Altos. By analyzing the data, we recognized the importance of understanding these trends and its role in making crucial decisions for both the public and private sectors. As we’ve discussed in class, resilience is an important aspect of sustainability.
Each of us spent some time on our own experimenting with and familiarizing ourselves with the data; we all agreed that a big component of this project would be driven by data. We also considered and talked about our vastly different backgrounds in academics and in our extracurricular interests. Because Carolyn is originally from the Bay Area, she will be able to provide valuable insight in understanding the real-world impacts of these economic trends and how they’ve affected other cities in the Bay. She also has experience with economics and understands general economic concepts, which we’ll be able to apply to our findings. Evan is interested in using systems thinking processes to help solve policy issues. He also has experience with Java and MATLAB, and has used Excel for numerous projects. Sungmoon likes working with numbers and has experience in quantitative and analytical research. Her interests in economic trends and developmental economics will also help in understanding the meaning behind the data.
We concluded our meeting by discussing our weekly meeting schedule and agreed to individually gain a little more familiarity with Excel and the data that we’ll be using this quarter. For next week, our goal is to create several different charts illustrating the data. The purpose of this is to get used to the specific format that we’ll be using for the final project. By doing so, we’ll not only gain experience with Excel, but we’ll also be able to understand how data is used and interpreted in a professional setting.