Division of Computing, Data Science, and Society

February 5, 2020

Dear Colleagues:

On November 1, 2018, we announced the creation of a new interdisciplinary division that we provisionally named the Division of Data Science and Information. After gathering valuable input from a wide range of stakeholders and reviewing nominations from across campus, we are excited to announce the permanent name: the Division of Computing, Data Science, and Society (CDSS).

The Division is the centerpiece of a novel, dynamic structure that enables Berkeley faculty and students to work across disciplinary boundaries to explore the foundations and applications of computing, data science, and information and their implications for society. It 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. The Division also will include the Data Science Commons, an entity designed to advance outstanding new transdisciplinary programs.

The name Computing, Data Science, and Society reflects the Division’s substance, range, and ambitions. Computing undergirds today’s revolutionary transformation of how we view, understand, and interact with the world. Data science is the powerful nexus linking the disciplines, from the natural sciences to the arts, that inform these interactions. Society represents our shared aspirations as a public university to improve human life.

Across campus, researchers, faculty, and students are using data science, machine learning, and artificial intelligence to address our most pressing concerns, from climate change to cancer immunology; from fairness, privacy, and security to human welfare and public health. Conversely, many of the disciplines on campus contribute to the way we aspire to do data science, machine learning, and artificial intelligence, responsibly and ethically. We envision the Division of Computing, Data Science, and Society, with its multidisciplinary, inclusive, and innovative structure, will further catalyze and advance education, discovery, and impact, and ultimately equip all students to engage responsibly and capably with data and serve as leaders and creators in our rapidly changing world.

Within the Division, the School of Information will maintain its independent, recognized, and historical name, and the School’s name will continue to be clearly conveyed in all its communications. BIDS and the Data Science Education Program will continue within CDSS. Statistics continues in its current position in both CDSS and the Division of Mathematical and Physical Sciences. Finally, EECS will be equally part of CDSS and the College of Engineering, in all matters from personnel to education.


Paul Alivisatos
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost

Jennifer Chayes
Associate Provost, Division of Computing, Data Science, and Society
Dean, School of Information