The Free Lancer

Data and Tech Week For All at UC Berkeley

Antoinette Aho, Editor-in-Chief

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The Freelancer visited the University of California Berkeley during their Data and Tech Week For All to bring Cordova back a taste of the events offered. Data and Tech Week was established to “democratize data science and technology”, UCB’s initiative promotes diverse exposure to science, technology, engineering, and math fields. The program has daily events, each about a different topic, and all of them are open to the public.

This year, Data and Tech Week at Berkeley was composed of lectures, workshops, and even research exchanges.

On Monday, UCB partnered with Stanford University to bring the Women in Data Science satellite conference, panel discussion, and tech talk. The WDS group promotes women and minorities in STEM, they host research events such as their annual Datathon.  

Their panel discussion was based around women working in machine learning, the two women featured were Michelle Carney, a machine learning instructor at Stanford and UX Designer at Amazon. Dr. Jen Jen Chen joined her, she works as a Physician Data Scientist at Curai and graduated from UCB last year. The two women shared of their experiences in the field as well as how the industry has developed, especially in the public eye concerning Artificial Intelligence (same as machine learning).

Following, the Tech Talk was a webinar by Dr. Morgan Ames, all about “The Myth of the Self-Taught Programmer”.

The final Tech Talk on Monday was by Anna Jacobson, her Webinar was titled, “The Building Blocks of Gender Equality: Health, Education, and Employment”. Her discussion related heavily to one of Data and Tech Week’s goals: democratizing data science and technology for all.

Tuesday was composed of one open panel event with Claudia von Vacano, who works at Berkeley for Digital Humanities, on hate speech and sexism. The open house and panel discussion allowed for interactivity with the audience. The participants covered hate speech and sexism in both day to day life and specific professions such as those STEM related. In the afternoon and evening UCB held a Data-Intensive Research for undergraduates. The event pertained to college students but was ideal for providing more exposure.

On Wednesday, professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences, Katherine Yelick held a CITRIS Research Exchange. Her research is in programming languages, compilers, parallel algorithms, and automatic performance tuning.

Digital Learning Platforms for Data Science Education for All was covered on Thursday. Teachers, students, and researchers learned data science concepts, pedagogical methods, and technical tools, and gained help integrating them into teaching, “whether it’s creating a stand-alone data science connector course or incorporating a module into an existing course”.

To end Data and Tech Week For All at UCB, Women in Tech help a symposium about the Future of AI. Again, the audience had the opportunity to chip in and share their experiences and thoughts. The discussion was inclusive and eye opening to the reality of AI.

Data and Tech Week For All is one of the many but spread out field exposure events that the STEM world provides. UCB delivered a series of outreach programs that benefited scholars, educators, and almost anyone working in science.

For more events like this, visit their calendar here.

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