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Four Main Areas of Focus

Our research and programming center around four primary areas:

  • Energy and Sustainability
  • Environmental Impact, Education, and Assessment
  • Antiracism, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ADEI)
  • Human Rights and Justice

Data-Driven Collaboration

We work with our partners to advance their mission using data science solutions tailored to their current levels of data sophistication. Our projects cover a wide range of data science skills including consultation, data collection, predictive modeling, and real-time data pipeline processing. This work engages undergraduate and graduate students, postdocs, faculty, and staff from across the university for the betterment of our shared community, humanity, and environment.

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Shan Wang

Shan Wang.

Faculty Director of the Environment & Social Impact Initiative

Shan Wang, an assistant professor at the University of San Francisco, is a leading figure in the Environment & Social Impact Initiative at the Data Institute. Her passion lies in harnessing data science's potential to understand energy consumption and emissions. As the center director, she strives for a holistic grasp of environmental dynamics and tracks sustainability advancements. With a Ph.D. in Statistics from Purdue University and a B.S. in Mathematics from Fudan University, she also conducts research in nonparametric estimation, prediction models, and applied statistics, often collaborating across disciplines.

Elisabeth Merkel

Elizabeth Merkel

Senior Administrative Director

Elisabeth Merkel is the Administrative Director of the Data Institute. Elisabeth oversees strategic initiatives and operations for the centers and professional programs housed within the Data Institute.

Victor Palacios

Victor Palacios.

Partnerships Director

Victor Palacios is the Director of Partnerships of the Data Institute and MS Data Science program. Victor manages practicum partners, projects, and career services.


Cody Carroll

Cody Carroll.

Assistant Professor

Cody Carroll is an assistant professor with joint appointments in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics and the Master's in Data Science program (MSDS). He holds a Ph.D. and MS in Statistics from the University of California, Davis and a BS in Mathematics from the University of Texas at Austin. His methodological research interests focus on functional and longitudinal data, particularly in the context of human growth and aging, and his interdisciplinary work has spanned a wide range of fields, including neuroscience, mountaineering, epidemiology, and veterinary medicine.

Mustafa Hajij

Mustafa Hajij.

Assistant Professor

Mustafa Hajij is an assistant professor at the MSDS program at University of San Francisco. He received his masters in Computer Science, PhD in Mathematics from Louisiana State University and postdoctoral training at the computer science departments at University of South Florida and Ohio State University. Before joining the MSDS program he was an assistant professor at the department of Mathematics and Computer Science at Santa Clara University. Prior to SCU, he spent a year as an AI research scientist at KLA Corporation.

Join Environment & Social Impact at the Data Institute

Firstly, we would like to express our sincere appreciation to all those who generously support our mission, including alumni, friends, and organizations both within the Bay Area and beyond. Your steadfast backing of ESI empowers our center, researchers, and fellows to illuminate critical issues and spearhead discussions and initiatives within our field.

Additionally, from 2018 to 2020, the Data Institute had the privilege of collaborating with the Schmidt Family Foundation (TSFF) in championing scientific innovation to advance environmental and social justice causes. TSFF holds a prominent position as a global leader in the effort to comprehend and address the impact of human activity on our environment. This invaluable partnership allowed the Data Institute to align its endeavors with the University of San Francisco's renewed mission, particularly in the areas of social and economic justice, sustainability, and climate change.

It is upon the strong foundation of the TSFF collaboration that we now stand, poised and eager to change the world.

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Make a Gift

Please consider making a gift to further our mission. If there are other ways you would like to contribute to our work, please do not hesitate to contact us at

The Environment & Social Impact Initiative

Data Institute, University of San Francisco
101 Howard Street, Suite 500
San Francisco, CA 94105