Data are everywhere: estimates suggest we generate an entirely new Library of Congress worth of data every day. An entire “Big Data” industry has emerged, promising access, insight, and impact. But most people are left out, lacking either the technical expertise to use a tool or the domain understanding to interpret the data (and oftentimes, both). Many people thus cannot participate in conversations about what data are recorded, how they are captured, in which ways they are processed, etc.

Here at the C3 Lab, we believe in fostering a more equitable and accessible relationship with data. Diversity and collaboration have been shown to be essential in producing the best ideas. Technologists are great, but they are human: they do not have all the answers. The C3 Lab thus builds systems to create space for new perspectives and to provide access for new participants. We are agnostic to subject matter, individual roles, and technology stacks; instead we focus on people, problems, and possibility.

The C3 Lab is part of the Department of Computer Science in the McCormick School of Engineering at Northwestern University, and is led by Dr. Kristian Hammond, the Bill and Cathy Osborn Professor of Computer Science, Director of CS+X, and Director of the MS in Artificial Intelligence program.