By: Argyro Nicolaou, Jyotiska Biswas, and Tiffany Wang

The Boston Police Department and the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) commissioned a report about Boston “Stop and Frisk” incidents that was released on June 15, 2015. This report contained data about so-called FIO (Field Interrogation and Observation) incidents between 2007 and 2010, and many of the findings point out the disproportionate amount of African Americans that have been stopped on the streets. We used the Boston Police Department FIO data, focusing on the years 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014, in order to show that despite the decrease in FIO reports between 2008 – 2013, the disproportionate targeting of young male African Americans, especially in certain areas, continuesOur audience is the residents of the Mattapan, Dorchester and Roxbury neighborhoods and anyone that frequents Blue Hill Avenue – a major road connecting all three. Our goal is to embody the experience of being stopped and frisked and also to humanize the people who make up the statistics in the BPD data.

Our campaign involves a site-specific intervention all along Blue Hill Avenue. We decided to focus on Blue Hill Avenue, where 6% of all stop and frisk incidents between 2011 and 2014 happened. Using the maps that illustrate the specific locations of FIO reports (people that have been stopped), we envisage placing big blue dots on the sidewalk, each representing a stop & frisk incident from 2011 – 2014, on the very spot that the FIO incident happened. These dots would feature some basic information for each FIO subject: race, date, age, and gender. On these dots is also a QR code that is scannable and will lead to the campaign website, where the ACLU Report along with other data will be featured. 

We created several maps using Tableau to visualize the distribution of stop and frisk incidents amongst certain races; we focused on three main races: African American, Hispanic, and White. We did not include 2015 data since the data for 2015 in the FIO data set only contained a couple of months of stop and frisk data. In the distributions we mapped for the four years, it is pretty clear to see that there a significant amount of African Americans being stopped, even though only 25% of Boston’s population in 2010 were African Americans. Furthermore, the maps show that S&F incidents have not decreased, and that they continue to be distributed in pretty much the same way.Race Distribution by Year

As seen on the maps from each of the four years, there were two streets that clearly had more stop and frisk incidents. This is what motivated our choice of Blue Hill Avenue for this campaign. Blue Hills Ave and Dorchester Ave.

Future Improvements include: (1) Normalize/control data results for crime rate, gang membership, previous offenses and other variables (2) Replicating the experience on Dorchester Avenue (3) Think about a further call to action when people get on the website.

See our slideshow here.

How Much Do You Actually Know About Commuting In Boston?

By: Catherine Caruso, Judy Chang, Kendra Pierre-Louis, Tiffany Wang

For this assignment we created a Buzzfeed quiz. You can take the quiz here.

The data say that since Hubway’s inception in 2011, ridership has increased. In fact, earlier this month Hubway had its 4-millionth ride. However most of its riders were born between 1981-1986. People in their early to mid-thirties make up 38-percent of Hubway riders. Yet those born after 1991, currently only make up four percent of Hubway ridership. Getting young people to start riding Hubway is important for the system’s longevity because once people habits become entrenched it is difficult to get them to switch. This is why marketers target people during life transitions – marriage, pregnancy,  etc – because it’s easier to get them to try something new while they’re already in transition. Similarly, we wanted to target young people as they made the transition from students to adults.

We wanted to tell this story because Hubway provides a vital service that complements mass transit systems, while reducing the carbon emissions associated with driving and improving the health and wellbeing of riders. In addition, Hubway doesn’t just benefit Hubway – it makes the streets safer for cycling generally and by proxy for pedestrians. Writes Emily Badger in a 2014 Washington Post article about the rollout of New York City’s bike sharing program, Citibike.

As more people bike and walk, cycling and pedestrian fatalities actually decline. That’s because the more people bike and walk, the more drivers become attuned to their presence (either on sidewalks or road shoulders), and the more cities are likely to invest in the kind of infrastructure explicitly meant to protect them (all of which further encourages more cyclists and pedestrians).

Our audience is 22-30 year old young professionals who live in the Boston area and need to commute to work. Our goal is to get more car and subway commuters using Hubway. Because it’s notoriously difficult to get riders to change habits, rather than an aggressive hard sell we thought we could get younger people to try Hubway through the game approach of a Buzzfeed quiz. We choose Buzzfeed specifically because according to its ad sheet:

  • It has 200+ Million monthly uniques visitors 50% are 18-34 years old
  • BuzzFeed’s in-house experts help the right audience discover a brand’s content across BuzzFeed and on social, specifically allowing us to target people within hubspots footprint through IP filtering
  • Brands can track content performance in real-time using BuzzFeed’s social dashboard, allowing us to assess performance, adjust content etc on the fly.

Our goals are to increase ridership among our specified market by 10% over YTD performance. For this experiment which has some limitations – namely that we’re not actually Hubway, that we’re using Buzzfeed’s community sharing profile as opposed to its viral advertising and don’t actually have Buzzfeed support, we’d like to have 500 views/clicks over the week in which we launched the quiz with a 50% completion rate. To date we have a total of 108 views.

Screen Shot 2016-04-12 at 1.48.24 PM

We’ve also received some support from Hubway itself. Last week Kendra tweeted out the link copying both Buzzfeed and Hubway on the link:


Hubway retweeted it,


it  garnered:

Impressions 662
Total engagements 22
Link Clicks 15
Likes 2
Detail expands 2
Profile clicks 2
Retweets 2

To produce this data we used Hubways 2014 bikeshare data. In addition, we used a wide variety of additional data sets for comparison points. For example, to compare the cost of commuting in Boston by Hubway, T, and car, we used the current cost of a full-priced monthly T pass provided by the MBTA. For the car cost data we used 2011 AAA  which put the cost for a medium sedan at 57.3 cents a mile, and calculated out the cost of that car commuting the average 7.6 miles per day for 50 weeks a year (assuming 2 weeks’ vacation). The carbon emissions data was based on. Calorie data was based on a bicycle calculator from and USDA calorie data.

We think this was an appropriate way of approaching the issue – the stereotype of the daily commute is one of a painful slog. We, instead, wanted to portray bicycle riding and Hubway use as the opposite of that – fun, whimsical, AND the smart choice. Testers within the target demographic responded that they laughed, and they learned something.

In addition, we felt like it was the right tone both for the audience we were seeking to target and for the data itself. Hubway data, unlike say the refugee data, isn’t particularly serious or fraught. And, on balance the story of Hubway so far is a positive story. People are embracing the system – we just want more people to embrace that system because doing so will make the system bigger and better as well as more enduring. Years ago, Kendra interviewed a woman working with the National Park system and she said that the fact that fewer young people are going to the parks and staying for less time when they visit is a problem. Without a connection to the park system they’re not going to vote for dollars to maintain it, or for politicians on the basis of how they feel about the national parks. The same is true for Hubway – we need young people adopting the system for its long term longevity. This isn’t to say that we don’t love and want to maintain our older riders – and the quiz does nothing to denigrate that audience.

Comparing ‘The Counted’: A Juxtaposition of Two Police Cultures

By Kendra Pierre-Louis, Michael Drachkovitch, Jyotishka Biswas, and Tiffany Wang

The data say that in 2015, 1145 people were killed by the police in the United States. We wanted to tell this story because the question of how many people the police kill and who they kill has become a contentious issue. Our goal was to get people to think about the issue of police killings in a less inflammatory manner. Rather than frame the debate around culpability in individual cases, we wanted to raise the question of the broader culture in which those deaths take place.

With this goal in mind, we choose to target an audience comprised of citizens who were predisposed to think that the police are good, but haven’t thought about the issue too deeply. We choose to use a comic based on data from the Guardian and contrast it with data that on police killings in Iceland – a country that ranks 15th for gun ownership but has had only one killing in their 72 year history.

Comics are useful in kind of storytelling, because they provide a clear simple narrative that is both less threatening. Many people might look at a graph and either not be able to interpret the data or feel like it exaggerates the scale of the problem. The mix of visuals and text helps to keep the reader engaged while asking a fairly evocative question: doesn’t a six year old in the United States deserve the same level of compassion as an armed gunman in in Iceland?

Our call to action – asking for the reader to write their police chief to encourage them to support an open dialogue with their community about promoting more compassionate policing – is a safe, non-accusatory message pointed at a decision maker who can influence police culture.

Tiffany’s log Feb 8, 2016

  • Cell Phone: Constantly tracking emails and other notifications
  • Water usage: washing face, brushing teeth, showering
  • Food: Bought from La Verdes and swiped in dining
  • Availability: Filled out a doodle form for a meeting 
  • Computer: Used to check emails, check Facebook, use Stellar for classes, filled out availability for meetings
  • Dorm: tapped into front door, security worker logged in time I entered dorm
  • Tech Shuttle: shuttle driver documented what time and how many people entered shuttle
  • Electricity usage: charged computer and phone, used lights in room and bathroom

Cell Phones and the Bathroom

phones and bathroom

Cell Phones and the Bathroom is a poster that illustrates the unknown facts about people using their cell phones in the bathroom. The general audience of this poster is anyone who uses a cell phone on a daily basis. The point of this poster is to discourage people from using their phones while they’re in the restroom. It talks about how many people admit to using their phones while in the restroom, while implying that because of this fact, poop can be found on some phones. This poster is organized into two main sections. The top section discusses the three statistics that most people would probably find horrifying. These statistics are highlighted by using larger text and darker font color. The bottom section delves deeper into what people actual do when they use their phones in the restroom. Each activity listed is followed by the percent of people who say they have performed each activity while in the restroom.

I think the poster overall does a decent job at getting the point across since I immediately had the reaction the poster wanted. However, there was one point in the poster that initially made me confused. Similar to the example we discussed in class, the percentages in the bottom section of the poster are misleading. At first I thought the percentages were in reference to how much time is spent on each activity, not what percent of people has done the activity. I think the right choice was made with the fact to put on the top. Knowing that 1 in 6 phones have traces of poop on them is a shocking fact that will convince many people to not use their phones in the restroom.