On May 18, 2023, the UC Board of Regents voted to establish UC Berkeley’s College of Computing, Data Science, and Society (CDSS), the campus’s first new college in more than 50 years.
The college will focus on data science, computing, and statistics. It hopes to harness groundbreaking, multidisciplinary research that capitalizes on Berkeley’s excellence across campus and be a forerunner in the quest to address the world’s most intractable problems.
The last time colleges were added at Cal was in 1968 when the School of Journalism was added, followed in 1969 with the public policy college. The new College of Computing, Data Science and Society culminates a three-year process by Berkeley and the UC system and was established to more effectively form innovative programs and partnerships, and support ground-breaking research.
CDSS Associate Provost and Dean Jennifer Chayes noted that “artificial intelligence, computing, and data science are lenses through which we now experience the world, and CDSS provides Berkeley with opportunities to innovate and incubate new fields of inquiry at the intersection of computing and data science with other data-intensive fields. These interdisciplinary areas are often the most active areas of research, leading to some of the most exciting breakthroughs.”
The college includes the Data Science Undergraduate Studies program, the Department of Statistics, the Berkeley Institute for Data Science, the Center for Computational Biology. and the Bakar Institute of Digital Materials for the Planet. It shares the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences with the College of Engineering, the Social Science Data Lab (D-Lab) with the Social Sciences division, and the Computational Precision Health program with UC San Francisco (UCSF).
Data science and computer science majors are among the five most popular majors at Berkeley and its programs in these fields, including statistics, are top-ranked by U.S. News & World Report. It also explains this year’s drastic cut in Computer Science admissions in the College of Letters and Science. Rather than the confusing down-sizing, it appears prelude to a a more robust admissions.