MIDS Immersion – November 2015
Immersions are a time for our students to come to campus and absorb the culture and atmosphere of UC Berkeley and the I School. The immersion gives students across cohorts an opportunity to interact and become even more familiar with each other and their school.
After a group photo and lunch in front of the I School, our students headed into San Francisco to visit the Salesforce office.
Our students learned about how Salesforce uses data science in their marketing strategies, and Salesforce employees learned more about the MIDS program and how MIDS graduates could help them work with big data more creatively and successfully.
"Data Science is not going anywhere. Businesses are built now on the ability to understand data really well to assist other businesses in succeeding."
—Leslie Fine, Salesforce VP of Data Analytics
Afterward, the students attended a happy hour together in San Francisco. This happy hour has become tradition for our students to meet and mingle with their fellow classmates, I School alumni, and companies that rely heavily on data science based in and around the Bay Area. Companies represented included Salesforce, Facebook, Uber, and Airbnb.
On day two, students participated in an all-day conference series and thought workshop, Data Dialogs. The sessions were designed to provoke discussion amongst attendees. The conference included presentations from:
- Charles Thomas, chief data officer at Wells Fargo (Keynote Speaker)
- Franziska Bell, lead data scientist at Uber
- Lisa Nillson, head of marketing development at Enlitic
- Molly Jackman, public policy research manager at Facebook
- Brooke Maury, director of data engineering at Deezer
After morning sessions concluded, students enjoyed a catered lunch and discussions with representatives from companies such as Pandora, Wells Fargo, and Stitcher.
On the final day of the immersion, students participated in a Faculty Panel and then a Town Hall with Dean Saxenian.
The Faculty Panel, moderated by professor Steve Weber, was comprised of four MIDS faculty members:
- Jason Anastasopoulos, Research Design and Application for Data and Analysis
- Ali Sanaei, Exploring and Analyzing Data
- Coco Krumme, Field Experiments
- Daniel Perry, Data Visualization and Communication
Each faculty member answered various questions about their backgrounds and discussed their research and areas of interest within data science.
After the Faculty Panel, students sat in a Town Hall meeting with Dean Saxenian, which was followed by a catered lunch on the lawn of the I School and several hours of time to explore the UC Berkeley campus.
Rounding off the final day of the immersion, students reconvened on the I School lawn for a tailgate party before heading to Memorial Stadium to watch the Cal Bears take home a win against Oregon State’s football team.