Campus Holds Summit on Graduate Data Science Education

September 30, 2016

More than 50 faculty, center directors, advisors, and graduate students from 34 departments and organizations across UC Berkeley came together on September 22 to discuss the campus’s diverse programs and resources supporting graduate students’ use of data-intensive methods.

Organized by the BIDS and the Data Science Education Program, the meeting was the first of its kind and was aimed at identifying students’ needs, exploring the diverse ecosystem of data science–related programs and resources already available, and planning next steps. 

The participating academic departments—ranging from Astronomy to Near Eastern Studies to Math to the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute—spoke about the needs of their students in ways that highlighted the diversity of the Berkeley data science ecosystem. Faculty and staff from cross-cutting programs, such as DS421 (Environment and Society: Data Sciences for the 21st Century) and Digital Humanities @ Berkeley, described the opportunities they were creating. The Berkeley landscape also includes a host of services and offerings, such as workshops and bootcamps, technical computing infrastructure and resources, professional development opportunities, and research collaboration and assistance that graduate students want to access.

Among the key themes of the discussion was a need to better connect new graduate students with the wealth of data science–related resources already available. Other discussions explored how Berkeley’s curriculum offerings could meet the needs of graduate students in integrative ways, such as shared course offerings in regional domains; modular approaches to teaching modeled on the new undergraduate data science curriculum; and certificates and minors, such as the designated emphasis in computational and data science and engineering.  

The Graduate Data Science Education Summit will meet again in the spring semester to follow up on this initial discussion. To participate, please email Kevin Koy to be added to the mailing list.

Participating Departments

Berkeley Institute for Data Science (BIDS)
Berkeley Initiative for Transparency in the Social Sciences (BITSS)
Beyond Academia
Biomedical Big Data
Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA)
Center for Computational Biology
Computer Science
Data Science for the 21st Century (DS421)
Data Science Education Program
Digital Humanities
Environmental Science Policy and Management (ESPM)
Geospatial Innovation Facility (GIF)
Haas School of Business
Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute
Integrative Biology
Mechanical Engineering
Medieval Studies
Near Eastern Studies
Research IT / Berkeley Research Computing (BRC)
School of Information
UCSF Institute for Computational Health Sciences
Undergraduate Division