JULY 20, 2022 — Wenbo Wu, chair for the Department of Management Science and Statistics in the Carlos Alvarez College of Business, is leveraging data science to identify opportunities to support local neighborhoods. Wu collaborated with Ying Huang, associate professor in demography in the College for Health, Community and Policy (HCaP), and Eric Shattuck, assistant professor of research at the UTSA Institute for Health Disparities Research in HCaP, on a research study exploring key characteristics of Jefferson Heights and Elm Creek, two vastly different San Antonio neighborhoods.
Using two years’ worth of mobile positioning data—information collected using the geographic location of a device—and survey data from the Elm Creek and Jefferson Heights neighborhoods in San Antonio, the UTSA researchers analyzed the residents’ energy hardships, economic mobility and chronic health conditions before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Their goal was to compare the two neighborhoods and better understand the patterns of residents by tracking and characterizing their daily lives.
“When we look at mobile positioning data, we can identify which neighborhoods may struggle more, due to their daily patterns and help provide some kind of intervention program that will improve their quality of life,” Wu said.
The researchers summarized their findings in a policy brief for the City of San Antonio. Namely, they found that residents of economically less favored neighborhoods such as Jefferson Heights experienced stalled employment recovery to a greater extent than their counterparts living in economically more favored neighborhoods like Elm Creek.
Job loss varied little between the neighborhoods but racial inequalities were present. Almost half of the Hispanic households experienced job loss compared to one-third of white households.
Additionally, many residents in Jefferson Heights faced challenges meeting their basic needs such as mortgage or rent payments and utility bills.
Based on these observations, the researchers provided suggestions to the City of San Antonio to accelerate its post-pandemic recovery.
Economic recovery efforts in San Antonio should keep the “social infrastructure” of neighborhoods in mind when planning, they noted in their policy brief. Given that racial minorities, particularly non-Hispanic Blacks in disadvantaged neighborhoods, appeared to be left behind in the employment recovery, the researchers recommended local efforts focused on financial and physical assistance, job training and employment opportunities.
For the next phase of the study, the researchers are embarking on several projects. Shattuck is comparing the results of the San Antonio survey to national data to determine if local patterns are similar to ones nationwide. Wu is looking at mobility data collected as part of the UTSA survey in order to create different profiles to possibly explain the disparities and comparison of coping behavior pre-and post-pandemic. Huang is looking more closely at neighborhood mobility patterns and how they are linked to household socioeconomic indicators.
Wu is a core faculty member in the UTSA School of Data Science. The new school, the only one of its kind in the nation at a Tier One, Hispanic Serving Institution, will educate a new generation of data scientists while leading the nation in data-intensive research when it opens its doors to students in January.
“Data science is powerful. It’s a meaningful field with powerful methods,” Wu said.
The Racial Justice Book Club was established at UTSA by members of the campus community to explore social justice following acts of racial violence across the nation over the last few years. We are reading The Injustice Never Leaves You: Anti-Mexican Violence in Texas by Monica Muñoz Martinez. We will meet every Wednesday in September and October at 2 pm on Zoom.Virtual Event
The touring ensemble of five London actors will perform Shakespeare’s _Macbeth in the UTSA Recital Hall.Recital Hall, Main Campus
Session for parents to learn about how to prepare for their children's future in higher education.Buena Vista Street. Building (BVB 1.326,) Downtown Campus
Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month at our very own street fair - Calle UTSA. We will have activities, performances, food, music, and piñatas to break open.Student Union Paseo
"La Plática" is a space for thoughtful dialogue to build a sense of connection among the Roadrunner Community by getting to know each other better and sharing what's on our minds and about ourselves to increase to increase awareness of diverse perspectives.Virtual Event
This September 30, the Friday Series will feature Prof. Milena Ang, who will be presenting A Tren to Nowhere: Statistic Development and the Politics of Racial, a paper co-authored with Tania Islas-Weistein where they discuss Mexico's long history of state-led development projects that contribute to economic and racial inequality. The authors argue that despite professing racial justice, official discourses surrounding the Tren Maya reproduce existing symbolic and material forms of racism.McKinney Humanities (MH 4.01.01,) Main Campus
We invite you to learn about the process of screenwriting and explore the intersection of identity and pursuing dreams from Jorge Ramirez-Martinez and Raymond Perez, screenwriters for the Selena: The Series, released on Netflix. They will discuss their careers and writing process, including how their identities as Mexican American and gay men have shaped their professional experiences.Virtual Event
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.
UTSA is a proud Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) as designated by the U.S. Department of Education.
The University of Texas at San Antonio, a Hispanic Serving Institution situated in a global city that has been a crossroads of peoples and cultures for centuries, values diversity and inclusion in all aspects of university life. As an institution expressly founded to advance the education of Mexican Americans and other underserved communities, our university is committed to ending generations of discrimination and inequity. UTSA, a premier public research university, fosters academic excellence through a community of dialogue, discovery and innovation that embraces the uniqueness of each voice.