About SoReMo

We are a network of faculty and professionals providing a framework for social responsibility to become a core value in research and education at Illinois Tech.

Our story

This initiative grew out of an idea that education, and specifically higher education, should help society. Much of the technical knowledge, and thereby also technical education, increases in value when it can be meaningfully applied to problems facing society today. We live in treacherous times and many students, particularly undergraduates, will likely gravitate toward those degrees and programs that allow them to “make a difference” in society. How does one make a difference? One way is to attend a program that is very hands-on, if you will, in daily life (e.g. nursing). Another is to pursue one’s passion, say, in computational mathematics, statistics, data science, or data-driven design, but then look for ways -- within that discipline -- to have an impact, make a difference, inspire change. The Socially Responsible Modeling, Computation, and Design Initiative fills the needs of students that fall into the latter type and operates under the paradigm of integration of data, statistics, analytics, design, and ethics in finding solutions to societal needs.

There was no better time to invest in providing students with meaningful experiences at IIT than during the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic. We had made plans to start during the 2020/21 academic year; starting in January 2021 and admitting the first student cohort, however small, gave students structure and another thing to look forward to in their undergraduate education and a more meaningful connection of their studies to their daily lives.

Here is a snapshot of what we do, support, and strive to cultivate and grow at Illinois Tech:

Build bridges

  • Support more projects and IPROs that involve Chicago neighborhoods

  • Discuss of innovative research ideas at incubation stage

  • Connect seed research ideas to faculty and professionals across campus and the city, through the multidisciplinary seminar

Enable students to share their passion

  • Connect students and faculty to industry and the city in a meaningful way

  • Focus on impact, presentation, and preservation

Research-oriented mission

  • Strengthen and grow student projects by connecting to faculty research

  • Nurture neighborhood partnerships

  • Provide key multidisciplinary advantage: support growth of ideas rooted in student projects to connect faculty research initiatives across campus, otherwise unlikely to get in direct contact

Our in-house publication, hosted by Galvin Library, offers an overview of Fellows' work.

Why social responsibility?

  • Our lives and our choices are increasingly defined by data-driven technologies, often perpetuating racial and gender inequities, infringing on privacy and civil rights, and hindering full participation in building stronger and more vibrant communities in Chicago and beyond.

  • Impact the community right away, before graduation: `the extra step’ in applying students’ technical knowledge.

Why modeling, computation, and design?

  • Horizontal view of how to put social responsibility in context of various majors at IIT.

  • Focus on data-driven disciplines at large: applied mathematics, statistics, computer science, data science, design, social sciences.

  • Get educated on how mathematical modeling, computation, data science, and design can join forces to make an impact.

Why now?

No better time to:

  • Give students structure and another thing to look forward to in their education;

  • More meaningful connection of their studies to their daily lives;

  • Develop communication skills, focusing on multidisciplinarity, multimodal delivery.