The Data Science Discovery Program sits squarely at the intersection of two of UC Berkeley’s biggest strengths: innovative data science research and a campus-wide commitment to social impact.
Founded in 2015, Discovery connects undergraduates with hands-on, team-based opportunities to contribute to cutting-edge data research projects with graduate and postdoctoral students, community groups, entrepreneurial ventures, and educational initiatives across UC Berkeley.
As part of the Discovery Program, students have access to a formal project management course and on-demand project advising as well as technical consultations and cloud computing credits. Students receive academic credit for their participation in the program and have the opportunity to show off their work to the broader community at the end of the semester during the Discovery Showcase.
Our project partners are able to increase their organization’s capacity for data-related work by tapping into the expertise of UC Berkeley’s excellent data science students. Project partners provide direction, mentorship and domain expertise during weekly meetings with student researchers
When passionate practitioners and highly trained data science students come together, big things happen. Discovery projects have used satellite imagery to bring real-time pest information to farmers in Africa, restructured data infrastructures to facilitate water quality monitoring by state regulators in California, and used computer vision to help UCSF doctors identify irregularities in x-ray images. And that’s just the beginning. Check out some of our projects from this and past semester.
Data science is an intrinsically interdisciplinary field with the potential for a broad reach and fast scaling, and UC Berkeley has been on the cutting edge of increasing access to data science education to all students across campus. As part of the newly formed Division of Computing, Data Science and Society, the Data Science Discovery Program is able to reach more students per year than any other comparable program in the country. This semester, Discovery is working with over 150 students on more than 30 projects, with plans to double those numbers by Spring 2021.