Graduate Profile: Sona Jeswani

sonaHometown: Sacramento, California but grew up in Dallas, Texas!

Quadruple Major: Data Science, Computer Science, Statistics, Economics

Domain Emphasis: Economics

Data Science in Six Words: exploration, visualization and understanding of world

Why did you decide to become a data science major?
After exploring different areas of computer science during my first years at Cal, I developed a sense of excitement and curiosity for data science. My first exposure to data science was Data 8 during my freshman year. This class was truly eye-opening for me and led me to join course staff the following semester. After taking the pilot version of DS100 during my sophomore year, I felt like many new doors had opened for me — I was inspired to take more computer science and statistics courses that eventually led me to declare data science. This is currently my fourth semester TAing for DS100 and I hope to inspire other students to pursue data science.

Why did you choose Economics for your domain emphasis?
I first become passionate about economics and finance in high school. I wanted to gain a deeper understanding of markets and economic phenomena. Many tools and techniques used in finance are based on data science foundations — I chose this domain emphasis to delve deeper into these connections and apply data science to real-world problems.

I am always surrounded by other inspiring students who motivate me to try harder and succeed.

What will you remember most about studying data science at Berkeley?
The thing I will remember the most about studying data science at Berkeley is the amazing, dedicated students/classmates I interact with every day. Whether it is in the classroom or library, I am always surrounded by other inspiring students who motivate me to try harder and succeed. The relationships I have made through the data science department will stick with me forever and I will always be grateful.

What are your plans after graduation?
I will be doing the 5th year masters program in computer science, focusing on AI/computer vision. I believe my data science degree has allowed me to gain the critical thinking and analytical skills necessary for research. After the masters, I will work on a research-focused team in industry where I can use my data science/ML skills.