2017 CDIPS Data Science Workshop

About the workshop


The Data Science Workshop is a three-week program, running July 15-August 5, where small teams of graduate students and postdocs are paired with mentors from industry to analyze an outstanding problem in data science. The workshop is completely free of charge. It was developed to address an issue that was highlighted by a number of our guests from the Speaker Series: “The gap between academic science and industry is often narrow but deep. Many of the skills you may lack are seen as necessary by an employer, but can be easily learned.”


This is our fifth year of the workshop, and the last four workshops have been a huge success. Workshop participants have gone on to work for companies such as Google, Twitter, Uber, Bayes Impact, Cisco Meraki, Rhumbix, Sojern, Kanjoya, 6sense, Bolt Threads, and ATP Endeavors! Many of our former participants have become Insight Data Science Fellows.


The workshop aims to provide participants with 3 things:

  • Familiarity with common practices and concepts in data science
  • A concrete experience to show employers
  • Contacts in data science

Pre-workshop week: June 26-29, 4-6pm

Our program has a diverse group of people that come from a range of disciplines and programming experience. We expect to repeat such diversity this year. We will spend a few sessions in June getting participants up to speed on git, pandas/numpy, and other data science tools. This is optional, but strongly recommended for those with limited experience using these tools.


Who participates in the Data Science Workshop?

Our workshop is for Berkeley/LBNL graduate students and postdocs considering careers in data science. We believe that all benefit from hands-on experience in appropriate environments to make informed career decisions. We expect you to have some programming experience, though you don’t have to be an expert just yet! Most of our events are in the evenings so that you can still do your research while you participate in the workshop, though we do encourage you to hack at your project during the day. We’re asking that you plan to commit at least 20 hours per week to your project during the program, in addition to attending the opening and closing ceremonies on July 15 and August 5.


Apply online

Fill out an application here by April 21 at 11:59pm. Due to the volume of applications, late applications will not be considered. Applicants will be notified at the end of May. If you miss the deadline, you can sign up for the general CDIPS listserv to be notified of future opportunities.



Each team will be assigned a mentor. Mentors are data scientists who will guide students towards completing their project. Moreover, we expect participants to use mentors for more than just answering occasional questions or providing technical help. We want students to establish with mentors a relationship of learning, dialogue, and advisement. If you are a mentor, click here for more information.


What do people work on?

There are two types of projects that a team can work on:

  • A project proposed by their mentor.
  • A Kaggle project.

More questions?

We held an info session on April 5 at 4pm at the Berkeley Institute for Data Science (190 Doe Library). We’ve uploaded some slides here.


Some answers to common questions can also be found in the FAQ.
Please email cdips-datasci@googlegroups.com with any questions. One of the organizers will respond to you: James Arnemann, Diya Das, Arash Omrani, and Stephanie Wuerth.