Princeton Data Science Club: Data@ (Part Three)

Friday, May 21, 2021
by Sharon Adarlo

Data science affords many opportunities outside academia that can range from policy making in government and think tanks to industries such as finance, transportation and medical. The student-led organization Princeton Data Science (PDS), which is sponsored by the Center for Statistics and Machine Learning (CSML), has a special branch, Data@, which is devoted to giving students exposure to industry leaders and professionals working in data science.

“Data@ is focused on bringing experts in the fields of science and machine learning to come in and talk to students about how they use data science,” said Srija Makkapati, a rising junior, computer science major and team lead for Data@. “We want students to get a sense of the industry, job prospects and what kind of things they can do after graduating.”

Recently, the club had representatives from a start-up, Virtualitics, speak to a virtual gathering. Virtualitics is a spin-off company from the California Institute of Technology and the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The company, which offers clients AI-driven 3d visualization tools for smarter decision making, secured $18 million in venture capital funds a month ago.

“We want to cater to students who don’t just do math and science but also to students who may be interested in art, music or architecture,” said Makkapati. “We want to bring in speakers who can cater to many interests and teach students about the intersection between machine learning and a field of interest. This recent talk really caters to students interested in visualization and graphic design and art and in combination with data science and machine learning.”

Makkapati said PDS is putting together a fall schedule of speakers whose roster will be released later.

Makkapati herself has found a lot of value from these talks and hopes the same for others.

“You personally make connections with a lot of industry leaders. You glean some awesome information and knowledge about what they do from day to day; so that’s obviously very valuable to me. Also, it's great to meet students with like-minded interests,” said Makkapati.  

This is the last of three articles highlighting PDS. The first one was on the club’s DataDebut branch (read here) and the second was on the DataDev branch (read here).

For more information on Princeton Data Science, its three branches and programs, go to the club website at