Berkeley Institute for Data Science

Berkeley Institute for Data Science

Founded in 2013, the Berkeley Institute for Data Science (BIDS) is a central hub of research and education within UC Berkeley designed to facilitate and nurture data-intensive science.

BIDS initiatives are designed to bring together a broad constituency of the data science community, including domain experts from the life, social, and physical sciences and methodological experts from computer science, statistics, and applied mathematics. These efforts are anchored by a core group of data science fellows and senior fellows who are representative of the world-class researchers from across campus and are leading the data science revolution within their disciplines.

By facilitating this multidisciplinary collaboration, BIDS aims to enhance the development and application of cutting-edge data science techniques and change the way academic research is undertaken. Their goal is to enhance research continuity, improve the quality of our results and processes, and ultimately advance scientific discovery.

Where is BIDS?

BIDS is located in the center of the UC Berkeley campus at 190 Doe Library. The BIDS workspace was completed in 2014 and uses open floor plans and flexible layouts to foster collaboration and discussion. The space includes a combination of individual workspaces, meeting rooms. interaction spaces, and a lecture area.

Who works there?

People are at the heart of BIDS. The space is often filled with a mix of senior fellows, data science fellows, computational fellows, visiting scholars, and BIDS members. There are three full-time staff members at BIDS and a rotating group of work-study undergraduate students. Anyone currently affiliated with UC Berkeley (i.e., current faculty, students, and staff) and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory can become a BIDS member.

What happens at BIDS?

The initiatives at BIDS are designed to bring together broad constituents of the data science community, including domain experts and methodological experts. While many of these individuals rarely cross professional paths, BIDS actively seeks new and creative ways to engage and foster collaboration across these different research fields.

There are several regularly scheduled events that occur at BIDS to reach this goal, including BIDS Tea, The Hacker Within, the Data Science Lecture Series, and BIDS Collaborative. In addition, the space is used for training; boot camps; and other data science-related events, such as their annual Data Science Faire. See the BIDS events page for more information.

The space houses BIDS data science fellows and computational fellows, who are working on a variety of research projects.

Who runs BIDS?

BIDS leadership includes Faculty Director Saul Perlmutter, Executive Director Kevin Koy, and an executive committee comprising several senior fellows.

How does BIDS interact with other data science initiatives at Berkeley? BIDS serves as a hub for and encourage collaboration among the more than 40 data science-related labs and departments at UC Berkeley and the researchers, students, and staff within them. Additionally, BIDS senior fellows are playing a key role in rethinking the undergraduate experience around data science education at UC Berkeley.

How is BIDS funded?

Initial support for BIDS is provided by a five-year $12.5 million grant from the Moore and Sloan Foundations together with significant support provided by UC Berkeley. In addition, BIDS has an Industry Partner Program and is exploring numerous federal funding opportunities.

More questions? Contact the BIDS staff at