In early May, the Harvard Data Science Review, or HDSR, assessed UC Berkeley’s leadership in the field of data science and UC Berkeley’s Division of Computing, Data Science and Society, or CDSS.
HDSR is a multimedia platform launched in July 2019 by the Harvard Data Science Initiative, according to a Harvard University press release. HDSR features leading thinkers in the field of data science and makes data science research more accessible to the general public, the release added.
HDSR’s May issue examined the work UC Berkeley has done in the field of data science from a multitude of perspectives, comprehensively displaying the department as a whole, according to a UC Berkeley press release. The issue featured an extensive conversation between HDSR Editor In Chief Xiao-Li Meng, UC President Michael Drake and UC Berkeley Associate Provost Jennifer Chayes.
“UC Berkeley and the UC system are really leaders here. We are doing the research that underlies computing, data science, and social justice,” Chayes said. “In the data science major, we are educating a generation of data-driven leaders with human perspective and purpose.”
Chayes’ article “Data Science and computing at UC Berkeley,” also featured in the issue, illustrates CDSS’ goal for the future, according to the press release. The article also noted progress they have made in making data science a campuswide concept in efforts to address current-day challenges, the press release stated.
Chayes said social media represents the scenario where algorithms advance without considering social justice.
“We’re trying to put the genie back into the bottle later,” Chayes said. “If we have the core computing researchers working with the emphasis and the people in social welfare and public health and law from the beginning, then we will develop socially just data science and socially just platforms.”
According to the press release, the issue also features the article “Interleaving Computational and Inferential Thinking: Data Science for Undergraduates at Berkeley,” co-authored by UC Berkeley professors of electrical engineering computer sciences Michael Jordan and John DeNero and professor Ani Adhikari of statistics.
The article discusses the methods used within the data science curriculum and the broad ways in which it aims to modify the UC Berkeley undergraduate experience, according to the press release.
Jordan noted that since UC Berkeley introduced the course Data 8, “The Foundations of Data Science” five years ago, the UC Berkeley data science department has become a substantial path for students.
“Students are proceeding that this is not just the thing that will make me money, it’s the thing that will allow me to have an impact on the world, learn stuff that’s relevant, solve lots of real-world problems, bring perspective to bear on problems and learn tools that are appropriate for that problem,” Jordan said.