A fresh new name for UC Berkeley’s data science division

Different Cal buildings appear on a blue background

The new division will merge the boundaries of existing departments. (UC Berkeley graphic by Hulda Nelson)

UC Berkeley’s new interdisciplinary division, launched in November 2018 under the provisional title of Division of Data Science and Information, now has a permanent name: the Division of Computing, Data Science, and Society (CDSS).

The moniker, announced today (Feb. 5) after input and nominations from across campus, was chosen to reflect the broad span of the division, which seeks to unite the vast array of data science-related research and teaching that is popping up in all corners of campus.

These wide-ranging projects can vary from efforts to advance basic computing, such as computer scientists developing new artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques, to researchers applying cutting-edge data science techniques to advance their own fields, such as environmental scientists using data tools to create the latest climate models. It also includes historians, legal scholars and ethicists who are studying the impacts of these developments on society, such as the implications of using machine learning algorithms to set bail or predict recidivism rates.

“The name underscores the division’s mission to educate the next generation to approach data ethically and capably, and to work with disciplines across campus to advance new research agendas and make real progress on questions of societal significance,” said Jennifer Chayes, associate provost of CDSS and dean of the School of Information.

The CDSS includes the Data Science Education Program, the School of Information and the Berkeley Institute for Data Science and involves the departments of statistics and electrical engineering and computer sciences. It also will include the Data Science Commons, an entity designed to advance outstanding new transdisciplinary programs.