Ethan Zuckerman

PIT Student Initiative Spotlight @ MIT: Code for Good

Published Originally by Claire Gorman. As deep learning and artificial intelligence have improved dramatically, few-shot learning offers new forms of accessibility than otherwise imagined.

By Will Reed and Isaac Taylor

Code for Good is an MIT student group that brings students together with a wide-array of nonprofit organizations to solve interesting problems using computer science. A team of undergrad students run the nonprofit consulting program during the fall and spring semesters. 

To carry out our consulting program, Code for Good members ask local nonprofits if they have projects they may want us to do. Students are then placed on teams for the nonprofits that they want to work with for the semester. After a project set-up, student members meet with the partner nonprofits regularly to discuss the project pipeline and development. Through these experiences, students get real-world technical consulting experience, and they get to help the community in the process. As a group, Code for Good meets weekly to support student consultants and to create community around shared experiences and interests.

Members of the club directly benefit the community by completing technical projects for nonprofits that often do not have the ability to do the projects themselves. They are often severely understaffed or do not have any technical members at all, so they have to rely on volunteer work. The projects usually relate to web development or data visualization. For example, this semester there is one team developing an application portal for a nonprofit called the Hector Foundation, which provides educational resources to help students in Haiti get into universities in the US. Currently, the applications are handled through Google forms, but the application portal will help them look over applications more efficiently, which will help them reach more students. Another team this semester is creating a data visualization tool for a nonprofit called Allston Brighton Community Development Corporation, which provides affordable housing, as well as financial literacy and ESL classes to local community members. The Code for Good team working with Allston Brighton CDC to make a data visualization tool to help the organization compare demographic changes in the census tracts within the Allston Brighton area. This data visualization tool helps the non-profit deploy their resources effectively within the community they serve. There are several other teams beyond these two examples that have developed similar projects for other nonprofits internationally, nationally, and within the Boston region. 

Code for Good provides an opportunity for students to use their skills in a way that benefits their community directly while they are at MIT. Many of the nonprofits that we partner with are based in Boston and serve the Boston community. As a group, Code for Good believes MIT is full of talented students who care about making a positive impact. Code for Good provides a community for students like that, and we give them the support they need to make the most impact they can. 

If you’re based at MIT and interested in participating in Code for Good, you can sign up for our mailing list by sending an email to codeforgood@mit.edu. We usually only have undergrads, but grad students are welcome to participate as well. Applications will open in September for the Fall cycle! For faculty interested in helping with the group, please reach out!


Will Reed and Isaac Taylor

Will Reed is the co-chair of Code for Good. He is a sophomore studying Computer Science and Architecture, with a specific focus on machine learning and decision-making. Will joined Code for Good in fall 2022. He’s had a lot of fun not only working on projects, but also meeting new people and making friends in the club. In his free time, he likes to play basketball, and he recently started going to the MIT Kickboxing club.

Isaac Taylor is the treasurer of Code for Good. He’s a junior studying Computer Science and Music, especially interested in computer graphics and software development. He started as a consultant in Code for Good in his sophomore year, and it’s been a great experience getting involved with and facilitating coding projects with social impact. In his free time, he plays tenor saxophone, and enjoys illustration and music production.