Founded in 2014, the DSI generates and facilitates interdisciplinary research and training across the diversity of big data users and researchers across the UC Davis campus and Medical Center, including:

Graduate Student & Postdoctoral Affiliates

Training and incorporation of graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in data science is a core mission of the DSI. By drawing from students and researchers in programs from across campus, we foster intellectual exchange and interdisciplinary interactions. Active affiliates have access to our resources (space, computers, community, etc.) and will be eligible to apply for competitive travel grants, GSR positions, and other opportunities through the DSI.


Candidates may self-nominate or be nominated by a current DSI faculty member. Nominations are considered during the annual call for membership in the fall. Students and postdocs are welcome and encouraged to attend DSI seminars, workshops and tutorials prior to applying for membership. The affiliate application can be accessed here:


We expect all affiliates to be actively engaged in some aspects of the DSI. You'll get to learn and share new things, get ideas for your research, develop new projects, find new information, and network among yourselves and others. This interdisciplinary interaction is so valuable, rare and requires taking the time to participate.

  1. Attend (and present) at our Problem Solving un-Seminars. You don't have to know anything about the talk topic to contribute and learn from these unique 'flipped' design talks. We expect all affiliates to present a problem solving un-seminar during their tenure in our program. Contact us if you have a topic in mind and we'll discuss and get you on the schedule. Also, we appreciate your help in identifying individuals across the university who would also be good candidates as speakers for this series.
  2. Participate in our workshops. Come learn a new skill or, if you are already proficient in that topic, come as a workshop TA. Have expertise in an area and want to give a workshop? Have suggestions for future workshops? Let us know!
  3. Hold group office hours at the DSI. Get together with other affiliates who have complementary technical skills and strengths and pick a consistent time to be available throughout the quarter to field questions from the research community on campus. This is great experience if you are considering a career in industry and/or consulting, looks good on your CV, and is good practice for you to apply the skills you have learned to a variety of projects. We will put out a call for affiliate times and topics each quarter.
  4. Organize or participate in a reading group. These can be a short format (a few weeks) or a longer (quarter or year long) self-taught investigation into any topic within the broad purview of data science. To gauge interest and form a group on a topic, send an email out to your peers on the listserv describing the topic. Once you have a group together let us know when you want to meet and we'll get you the space.
  5. Lead or participate in an affiliates project If you have an interesting research question or side project, form a working group with your colleagues here at the DSI. The project can relate to your individual research, a competition or just something you find interesting and want to investigate - it's up to you to decide what you want to do. We already have a few successful examples of these projects ongoing at the DSI and want to foster more. Not sure how to set up and manage a research team? Pamela can help you get started. 6. Mentor data science undergrads We have a few undergrad interns here at the DSI and a new data science club is forming on campus. Contact Pamela if you're interested in becoming a mentor for individual students and/or the club. This is a minimal-time investment activity that can have a big impact on the lives of our students.
  6. "Be" in the DSI space. Come to the DSI and spend some time working and interacting with your peers from across the university. We have designated workspaces at the DSI for our affiliates, which are assigned based on need and availability, and first-come-first-serve workspaces for drop-in or more occasional use.
  7. Help with admin activities for the DSI. This includes assisting with ongoing activities as well as planning and seeking out new opportunities for the DSI to engage in meaningful ways with campus and the broader community.
  8. We welcome suggestions for other creative ways that affiliates can be active in our data science community. Send an email to or come talk with us.

Review & Termination of Membership

Affiliates memberships in the DSI will be reviewed annually. At this time, affiliates can decide whether to renew or terminate their affiliation with the DSI. Terminated affiliates will be removed from the affiliates listserv and cannot apply for research and travel funds, and forfeit any unused current awards.

Faculty Members

UC Davis faculty may join if:

  • Their research area is either represented in, or appropriate for, research in data science.
  • Their research benefits from application or existing or development of new data science tools.
  • Their scientific contributions are of obvious merit and commensurate with those of current members.
  • They have contributed to or can be expected to contribute to research, training, and other strategic activities of the DSI.


Candidates for membership must be brought to the attention of the DSI Director. Candidates may self-nominate or be nominated by a current DSI faculty member. Nominations are accepted year round. To apply, contact us for the (brief) application link.

Professional Research Associates

We encourage participation in the DSI by Project Scientists, Research Specialists, Academic Coordinators, and other non-faculty professionals. These individuals are often in the trenches and at the forefront of data science and provide continuity for ongoing research projects. Contact for more information.