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Daniel Best

Daniel Best crouches next to a white dog. They are on a dirt path surrounded by trees that are starting to change colors.

Master of Applied Data Science Association (MADSA) featured member: Daniel Best, president

Degree: Master of Applied Data Science

Graduation: I work full-time as a data scientist so I am only taking classes part time. I expect to graduate sometime in 2023, but the exact date is still up in the air.

Goal of organization: A formal mechanism for communication with the School of Information and University of Michigan that includes: 

  • Networking and social opportunities to bring together students, faculty, staff, and alumni in a global community.
  • Professional development, life-long learning, and alumni connections support.
  • Inclusive space that strives to promote an equal and diverse representation of the MADS student body in a collaborative manner that is open and transparent
  • Strive to push for the inclusion of the MADS program within UMSI, advocating for remote access to all learning opportunities for MADS students across all regions and time zones.

Why I’m involved: I want the MADS program to be the best data science master’s program in the country. After my first semester, I wanted to give feedback to UMSI, but discovered that there was not an established formal method to provide this feedback to the school. MADSA was established to be the formal mechanism for communication with the School of Information and University of Michigan, and that is why I was so interested in joining for its inaugural semester.  After planning meetings all summer, and interacting with other MADS students from around the world, I decided that I enjoyed the social aspect of the group and decided to run for an officer position.

Membership:  All MADS students are automatically members of MADSA. 

Noteworthy: This is the first sponsored student organization at UMSI to represent the student body of an entirely online degree program. MADSA is a key link connecting a global online community with the residential students, professors, and administrators based in Ann Arbor.

A good reason to join: Although all MADS students are members, active participation is encouraged for networking and collaboration with fellow MADS students and residential UMSI students outside of the “classroom” environment.

Important events/activities: We have recurring “coffee chats” twice a month this fall where students are paired up randomly with other students they have not met, to get together over a virtual coffee, to network and get to know each other.  We are also having a virtual tailgate and watch party for the UM vs. MSU football game, and hope to host a Data Science hackathon later this school year.

Meetings and activities: Meetings are on Zoom and are fairly informal. We may have guest speakers or trivia, but the main focus is for socializing and networking with classmates.

Time commitment: As much or as little as the student desires. There are no required meetings for members.

Interesting project: So far our most interesting project is working with the Engaged Learning Office to tailor real-world data problems into projects that MADS students can tackle in their milestone and capstone courses.

How to get involved: Students can join the #student_org_planning channel in the MADS Slack or reach out directly to any of the officers.

More information: The officers can be reached at madsa.officers@umich.edu.

MADSA was established to serve the unique needs of Master of Applied Data Science (MADS) students by providing students with: representation and a formal mechanism for communication with the School of Information and University of Michigan; networking and social opportunities to bring together students, faculty, staff and alumni in a global community; professional development, life-long learning, and alumni connections support; and an inclusive space that strives to promote an equal and diverse representation of the MADS student body in a collaborative manner that is open and transparent. MADSA strives to push for the inclusion of the MADS program within UMSI, advocating for remote access to all learning opportunities for MADS students across all regions and time