In the spring of 2018, juniors Matthew Wolff and Adithya Murali founded the Data Science Club, serving as the President and Vice President, respectively. A few months later, they became aware of a defunct club from 2016—it had been a short-lived club focused on data science, going dark after its founding members became inundated with applying for post-graduation opportunities. The inactive club was reactivated and merged with Data Science Club—dotData became the club nickname and the dotdatascience.org domain was inherited.
Officially kicking off in Fall 2018, Data Science club gained traction in the UW-Madison community with nearly 170 students joining its mailing list in September. It met four times in this first semester, with attendance averaging 20-30 at each meeting. After Spring 2020, membership had swelled to ~600. The frequency of meetings consequently became weekly, with their focus being on:
- faculty members coming in to discuss their research and recruit students
- developing a professional résumé and getting involved with research
- professors giving workshops on data science tools
- discovering Machine Learning through a seminar led by a postdoc
- local agencies coming in to discuss analytics internships and other opportunities
The club even aided the University in developing the nascent Data Science major (arriving Fall 2020) by polling students and discussing potential courses with senior faculty! With its founding members graduating in spring 2019, club leadership is preparing to pass the mantle to the next wave of fledging data scientists.
As of October 12th, 2020, this is the complete history of the UW Data Science Club.