By now your Spring 2018 semester should be in full swing. If you are anything like our graduate students, postdocs, and staff, you have your hands full juggling research and teaching.  We are here to help!    

At the D-Lab, we are ready to meet your data science learning needs.  If you subscribe to the D-Lab newsletter or frequent our website, you are likely very familiar with the hundreds of workshops we offer each year and you may have taken advantage of our consulting services. D-Lab is the largest on-boarding data science organization on campus, providing extra-curricular services that meet you where you are at.  However, you may not be as familiar with our research, online services, and projects for social good. 


Online Learning 

We are proud to announce that Sage Publications is partnering with the D-Lab as one of their first data science online course developers and providers of learner support for SAGE Campus. The partnership has yielded a series of modules that introduce applied data science to social scientists. These learning modules demystify the tools and methods of an emerging field that is changing the way we collect, process, and analyze information. The learning modules make extensive use of interactive programming in Jupyter notebooks, part of the larger Jupyter Project. We use a JupyterHub to host the materials, and students can program directly in a web browser from any device, thereby reducing barriers between learner needs and instructional resources.

Data Science for Social Good

D-Lab researchers are also working hard on real-world problems deploying Data Science for Social Good.  Data Science for Social Good is a meta-organization of the D-Lab that works on issues such as underrepresented minorities in data science, college going patterns in California, and hate speech.

In partnership with the Data Science Education Program, D-Lab provides support services to improve access to data science curriculum for students from under-represented or underserved groups, including women.  This increases involvement in research through research mentorship and research support, leveraging D-Lab’s ongoing training and consultation infrastructure. This program launches students on data science careers by providing information about career pathways and training requirements.

D-Lab staff are working with the College Futures Foundation to better understand and characterize feeder patterns among educational settings and segments in the transitions for California high school students from high school through receipt of their four-year degrees. D-Lab data scientists are working with College Futures to gather, process and visualize educational data to better target mechanisms for improving college going and completion and aid efforts to understand common educational pathways in various California geographic regions.

Research Projects

The D-Lab has developed a theoretically informed codebook and hand labeled hate speech in approximately 9,000 online comments sourced from Reddit in June and July 2015 as well as October and November 2016. We subsequently applied supervised machine learning algorithms to differentiate hate speech from non-hate speech on this labelled text. We investigate traditional feature engineering in natural language processing (n-grams, part of speech tagging, etc.) combined with standard machine learning algorithms (naive bayes, random forest, gradient boosting, support vector machines, et al.).  We are currently in the second iteration of the project, implementing a new instrument through a crowdsourcing platform. This project is supported by the Anti-Defamation League, which works in partnership with various platforms.  

Building Community 

Please be sure to visit us often by stopping by 356 Barrows Hall or by visiting us online at and on our github repository. There is always something new at the D-Lab and we are looking forward to partnering with you and finding new ways to support your research.




Claudia von Vacano

Dr. Claudia von Vacano is the Executive Director of the D-Lab and the Digital Humanities at Berkeley, and is on the boards of the Social Science Matrix and Berkeley Center for New Media. She has worked in policy and educational administration since 2000, and at the UC Office of the President and UC Berkeley since 2008.