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.
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 passed the mantle to the next wave of fledging data scientists led by Lareina.
The club shifted gears when Gautam & Eliot grabbed the helm of affairs in Fall 2020 and helped the club swell up to 500 students. After Spring 2021, membership had risen 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
- foster a community amongst members
- developing a professional résumé and getting involved with research
- workshops on popular data science tools
- discovering Machine Learning through a seminar led by a postdoc
- local companies coming in to discuss analytics internships and other opportunities
In the Spring of 2022, DotData hosted its first-ever datathon! Learn more. The club will be hosting its second one, “MadData”, this upcoming Spring and aims to increase the amount participants and attention.
As of January 23rd, 2023, this is the complete history of the UW Data Science Club.