Last week at our Data Science Popup, we announced Domino for Good, our program to help students and nonprofits use Domino for their data science work. For nonprofits, we’re providing the software either at no charge, or substantially discounted. For students, we’re providing the software and compute resources for free.
We see the good work that many organizations are doing with data science to make the world a better place, and we want to be a part of that. Thorn is using data science to protect children while the Audubon Society is using it to protect the environment. Data for Democracy is creating opportunities for people to get involved with using data to serve the public good, and MDRC is working hard to improve programs and policies that affect the poor. These organizations benefit from a data science platform, and we all benefit from the work they are doing.
For students, we recognized that people trying to learn data science are often slowed down by things that don’t relate to their course work. This might be an underpowered computer, needing access to GPUs, or wasting time managing environments and packages. We’ve talked to enough educators to know that these are real pain points. The world needs more data scientists, and education is already expensive enough.
It’s worth noting that this program represents a real investment from Domino. While the software is free, we are paying for the compute resources that underlie this program, including a large number of servers. We also provide product training and support.
We believe this effort is worth our money and our time because we have been able to benefit from the data science community in so many ways. People volunteer to speak at our pop-ups and write blog posts for us. More generally, the open source community has created fantastic tools like Jupyter notebooks and scikit learn. These tools make our product more useful to our customers.