In November 2014, 40 Master of Information and Data Science (MIDS) students arrived on UC Berkeley's campus for datascience@berkeley's second annual immersion. Students traveled from across the United States and around the world to meet their classmates and professors in-person for the first time during our three-day immersion experience.
After a welcome reception at California Memorial Stadium the night before, students began the first day of the immersion with a seminar on "Leadership Communications" by Doy Charnsupharindr and Susan Houlihan.
In the afternoon, students traveled to San Francisco for company tours of Yelp and Uber, two popular, data-driven startups. Students spoke with the leader of Uber's data science team, Kevin Novak. At Yelp, students spoke with engineering manager Jimmy Retzlaff, as well as Yelp's data engineers and data scientists.
After the company tours, students mingled at the Data Science Happy Hour, where guests from a variety of Bay Area companies — including Facebook, Airbnb, Salesforce, Eventbrite, and Kaiser Permanente — were eager to speak with students.
On day two, MIDS students attended the UC Berkeley School of Information's first Data Dialogs conference, a forum devoted to introducing students and the public to practitioners who regularly work with data science. Data Dialogs featured speakers from a variety of industries, including Wells Fargo, Facebook, Google, the City of San Francisco, Palantir, and AT&T Foundry. These speakers touched on a wide range of topics, from the theory of experimentation to the value and responsibilities of a data scientist.
On the third and final day of the immersion, students learned about the I School's career services, including resume assistance, job boards, networking, and more. After this session, students enjoyed two talks: the first on data science and gaming by Benjamin Stokes and the second on cybersecurity by Steve Weber and Jesse Goldhammer.
The immersion came to a close with a dinner in downtown Berkeley with Dean Saxenian. At dinner, students were able to ask the dean questions and they expressed their thanks for a great immersion experience.