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BIDS is a central hub of data-intensive research, open source software, and data science training programs at UC Berkeley.

Who We Are

Founded in 2013, the Berkeley Institute for Data Science (BIDS) is a central hub of research and education at UC Berkeley designed to facilitate and nurture data-intensive science. People are at the heart of BIDS. We are building a community centered on a cohort of talented data science fellows and senior fellows who are representative of the world-class researchers from across campus and are leading the data science revolution within their disciplines.

How We Work

Our initiatives are designed to bring together broad constituents of the data science community, including domain experts from the life, social, and physical sciences and methodological experts from computer science, statistics, and applied mathematics. While many of these individuals rarely cross professional paths, BIDS actively seeks new and creative ways to engage and foster collaboration across these different research fields.

Working Groups

Through the BIDS working groups, BIDS fellows are working to address the major challenges facing advances in data-intensive research.

Career Paths and Alternative Metrics

The current system for career advancement in research universities, which is heavily weighted toward publication, often does not align with what makes a modern data scientist successful. This working group aims at identifying and promoting alternative metrics and career paths that lead to growth and advancement opportunities for scientists who do not fit the typical academic mold but are critical to its success.

Education and Training

Successful adoption of data science will require several linked efforts. Domain scientists need training in the foundations of data science, including programming, statistics, and reproducible computational science, while methodological scientists need training to work productively in domain areas. This working group addresses these needs through a combination of activities, including workshops and bootcamps.

Software Tools and Environments

As science becomes more data driven, software plays an increasingly important role. However, faculty, students, and postdocs in many scientific domains are not equipped to develop and deliver the advanced software they require. The charge of this working group is to fill this gap, with an emphasis on bridging the culture of academic research with that of open source software.

Reproducibility and Open Science

This working group studies the cultural, educational, legal, and technological barriers to reproducible and open research. Through example, we document and demonstrate what advantages reproducibility has for the scientific process and how individuals and teams can improve their productivity by adopting tools and workflows that support reproducibility.

Working Spaces and Culture

Our hope and expectation is that BIDS will unite people who are developing data science opportunities in an environment where daily collaboration will help grow a real community of practice through targeted activities and shared physical space. This working group investigates how working space and culture can be used to better engage researchers and promote cross-disciplinary collaboration.

Data Science Studies Berkeley

This working group designs and conducts research projects across disciplines and methods to understand the challenges posed by data scientists’ practices in the academic context. In collaboration with our partner institutions, it also develops innovative quantitative and qualitative metrics to measure the evolution of data science environments.

Diversity and Inclusion

The BIDS Diversity and Inclusion Working Group will focus on increasing diversity and inclusivity in data science by supporting and promoting the diverse perspectives and identities of Berkeley’s active data science research community.


Key Supporters

BIDS initial support is provided by a five-year $12.5 million grant from the Moore and Sloan Foundations together with significant support provided by UC Berkeley. The Moore-Sloan Data Science Environments also supports similar programs with shared goals and objectives at the University of Washington and New York University.


Industry Partner Program

The BIDS Industry Partner program seeks to connect the world-class data science research teams at UC Berkeley with leaders in industry engaged in extracting value through analytics on vast, subtle, and often-imperfect data streams.

To inquire about joining BIDS as an industry partner, contact us at bids@berkeley.edu.

Core Members