The Joy of Code Refactoring

Kyle Barbary / February 29, 2016

If you write software for your research, you have most likely had the experience of looking at your code and realizing it has become a tangled mess. Perhaps it has even gotten to the point where you, the original author, have a hard time remembering how all the pieces fit together. Don’t despair! This is perfectly natural in research software; it is just time to refactor.

Call for Fellows—Spring 2016

Kevin Koy / February 25, 2016

We are excited to invite applications for our next cohort in the BIDS Data Science Fellow Program.  Successful applicants will join our current cohort of fellows in helping make data analysis easier in the research sciences. BIDS data science fellows are postdoctoral scholars, graduate student researchers, or staff with excellent credentials in their fields as well as strong interests in advancing data-analysis approaches with a community of like-minded individuals from across campus. 

Berkeley Lab, UC Berkeley Scientists to Participate in New NASA Space Telescope Project

/ February 19, 2016

BIDS senior fellow and faculty director Saul Perlmutter will lead a team of 29 scientists from 15 institutions for the Department of Energy's space telescope project. The team will "explore mysteries of dark energy, hunt for distant planets, [and] retrace universe's history." Read the full story below.   WFIRST will explore mysteries of dark energy, hunt for distant planets, retrace universe's history during 6-year mission News Release Glenn Roberts Jr. 510-486-5582 

Sociologists Bring a Digital Approach to Text Analysis

/ February 18, 2016

BIDS Data Science Fellow Laura Nelson is featured in this article in Northwester Research News.  For decades, content analysis has relied on a laborious approach of scouring text and manually labeling passages. A new study advanced scholarship by evaluating three types of computer-assisted text analysis techniques, which produced substantively similar results in a fraction of the time. _________

Bringing Data Science Back to Statistics

Kellie Ottoboni / February 16, 2016

One of the sessions that I attended at the 2015 Moore-Sloan Data Science Environment Summit was titled "Isn't Statistics Part of Data Science?" It is a niggling question I often consider, especially given how few statisticians there are at BIDS. A group of about forty people from statistics, computer science, and applied domains convened to discuss differences in practice and culture that divide statistics from data science. I am an applied statistician and a fellow at BIDS straddling these two worlds. I find it difficult to identify the line dividing these roles.

Women Raise More Money with Crowdfunding, Research Shows

Laura K. Nelson / February 9, 2016

Women raise more money with crowdfunding than men do because of the words female founders tend to use, according to a study currently under peer review. _________ Women Raise More Money with Crowdfunding, Research Shows February 9, 2016 | Catherine Clifford | Entrepreneur

What’s the Big Deal about Python?

Kunal Marwaha / February 8, 2016

In research and data analysis, a lot of work is routine and repetitive. This is the perfect place for automation: where we tell our computers to do things. How? We write instructions that computers understand—or “programming.”   Why Would I Learn Programming at All?

Can Slow Creep along Thrust Faults Help Forecast Megaquakes?

/ February 1, 2016

BIDS fellow Bob Nadeau was co-author on a paper that was recently published in Science on patterns of repeating earthquakes and their connection to large earthquakes in Japan. According to Bob, what's "exciting about this study is it shows for the first time the connection between regular episodes (and the slow-slip inferred from them) and the occurrence of larger earthquakes." by Bob Sanders, UC Berkeley Media Relations