Commencement 2023

Commencement 2023

class of 2023The UC Berkeley Department of Statistics celebrated the graduates of the class of 2023 on Tuesday, May 16th, at Zellerbach Playhouse on the Berkeley campus. Commencement activities were led by Department Chair Haiyan Huang and featured an address by Chief Data Officer of the State of California Joy Bonaguro. After the ceremony, family, and friends joined graduates for a reception at Spieker Plaza. 

Prize Winners

Evelyn Fix Prize (Ph.D.)

Established in 1968, the Fix Prize is awarded to the Ph.D. student showing the most significant promise in statistical research, with a preference for applications to biology and problems of health. This year's Fix Prize winner is Tiffany Tang. Advised by Bin Yu, Tang's research interests are primarily problem-driven and lie broadly at the intersection of applied statistics/data science and medicine.

Department Citation in the Statistics Bachelor's Program (B.A.)

The Department Citation (B.A.) is given in recognition of outstanding undergraduate work at the bachelor's level and exceptional performance in the program. Selena Li is this year's Department Citation (B.A.) winner. A Statistics and Applied Mathematics double major, Li interned at Akuna Capital and Jane Street and was a figure skating club member. 

Department Citation in the Statistics Master's Program (M.A.)

Given in recognition of excellence in the theory and application of statistics at the master's level and outstanding performance in the master's program. Nicholas Amirsoleimani is the 2023 Department Citation Winner. Amirsoleimani specializes in machine learning algorithms.

Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award

The Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor (OGSI) Award honors UC Berkeley GSIs each year for their outstanding work in teaching on the Berkeley campus. These OGSI recipients are nominated from within their teaching departments. The GSI Teaching & Resource Center provides the award recipients certificates of distinction and hosts a celebratory ceremony in the spring. This award is sponsored by the GSI Teaching & Resource Center. The 2023 winners are:

  • Alice Cima  
  • Dohyeong Ki 
  • Sizhu Lu 
  • Theo Saarinen 
  • Jeremy Sanchez 
  • Isaac Schmidt 
  • Andy Shen 
  • Lei Shi
  • Jakob Sorensen 
  • Yumeng Wang faculty and grads
Ph.D. Class of 2023

Alan Aw - "Statistical Genomics Through the Lens of Exchangeability, Stability and Generalizability"

Melody Huang - "Towards Credible Causal Inference under Real-World Complications"

Tyler Evan Maltba - "The Method of Distributions for Random Ordinary Differential Equations"

Daniel Soriano - "Assessing and Planning for Unmeasured Confounding in

Weighted Observational Studies"

Tiffany Tang - "Statistical Machine Learning for Reliable Hypothesis Generation in Biomedical Problems"

Commencement Address - Joy Bonaguro 

Joy Bonaguro is the Chief Data Officer of the State of California. Bonaguro has spent her career working at the nexus of data, technology, design, and policy. An alum of the Goldman School of Public Policy here at UC Berkeley, Bonaguro began her career for the City of New Orleans, designing data systems and resources to democratize public data use and accelerate data-driven decision-making. From there, she moved to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, where she served as I.T. policy manager. In 2014 Bonaguro became chief data officer for the City and County of San Francisco, where her work had implications on public health through predictive models, climate change by identifying fleet reduction opportunities through shared vehicle pools, and the cofounding of Data Academy, a training program estimated to save up to $11 million in staff time. Bonaguro went on to work at Corelight, where she was responsible for scaling internal systems, data, and information security. In her current role, Bonaguro's overarching goal is to improve government use of data.

Chair Haiyan Huang on the class of 2023

Today is a day to celebrate and reflect upon the incredible accomplishments of the Class of 2023. While we are always proud of our graduates, the Class of 2023 deserves special recognition for the way they have overcome challenges both inside and outside the classroom. For many of the students present here today, your time at Berkeley has been marked by difficulties and uncertainties due to the pandemic. You have endured remote learning and faced numerous burdens brought about by a global public health crisis. Yet, with grace and determination, you have surmounted these obstacles and adapted to the circumstances. Congratulations to each and every one of you.


Class of 2023 undergraduate notes & numbers
  • 27% are first-generation college graduates 
  • 27% transferred to Berkeley from community colleges
  • 72% double majored at Berkeley
Why did they major in Statistics?
  • My interest in proper scientific inquiry drove my initial interest in statistics, but Causal Inference with Professor Peng Ding ignited my passion for the art of statistics itself.
  • Data 140! After the class, I discovered I enjoyed thinking about probability and how statistics can help make decisions.
  • The power of Statistics to transform and model real life!
  • I enjoy the challenge of applying statistical theory to real-world problems. Currently working as a data scientist, I can use my knowledge and skills to drive insights and make data-driven decisions.
  • I majored in statistics because I love how statisticians measure the world. I am also driven by the fact that my potential future career in quantitative finance requires a fundamental understanding of statistics.
Where did majors intern?
  • Voleon Group 
  • Morgan Stanley
  • Ameriprise Financial
  • Postclick
  • Beam Benefits
  • Starbucks China
  • Discover Financial Services
  • KPMG 
  • Pepsi
  • The Standard Insurance Company
  • Goldman Sachs
  • JPMorgan Chase (several)
  • GlobalKey
  • Algoblocks
  • Akuna Capital Trading
  • Jane Street Trading
  • China Construction Bank
  • Wayfair
  • Juniper Networks
  • Gorove Slade
  • Nextdoor
  • Evisort
  • Liveramp
  • Lumen Technologies
  • Genesys
  • Accenture
  • Disney Streaming
  • Klickly, Inc
  • Frontier Communications
  • Facebook
  • IMC Trading 
What is your next chapter (B.A.)?
  • Rates trader at Morgan Stanley
  • Ph.D. in biostatistics at Penn
  • Public Finance Investment Banking Analyst at Morgan Stanley
  • Stanford University: Master of Statistics, Data Science Track
  • Machine Learning Engineer Intern at MRSL Real-Time Systems Laboratories and UC Berkeley's MA in Statistics program starting in Fall 2023
  • Master's of Science in Analytics at Northwestern 
  • Data Analyst PepsiCo 
  • Analyst at Goldman Sachs
  • Investment Banking Analyst at JPMorgan Chase
  • University of Washington, Financial Engineering
  • Master of Science in Business Analytics at UCLA
  • Quantitative Trader at Jane Street 
  • Actuarial Intern atUber
  • Software Engineer at Atlassian
  • Biostatistics M.S. at Yale 
  • Mechanical Engineering at Cornell
  • Master's degree at MIT
  • Strategic Consultant at Page Southerland Page
  • Data Scientist at Nextdoor
  • Solutions Engineer at Okta
  • Ph.D. in Information at the University of Michigan
  • Senior data scientist at Lumen Technologies and Masters's degree at MIT in Business Analytics
  • Master of Communication at Northwestern University
  • Statistics Ph.D. at the University of Washington
  • Mathematics of Finance Program at Columbia University
  • Software Engineer at Arista Networks
  • Data Science Analyst at JP Morgan.
  • Product Manager at Unity Technologies 
  • Compensation Analyst at Willis Towers Watson
  • Master's in Data Science at NYU
  • MA of Statistics Program at UC Berkeley 
  • EECS 5th Year MS at UC Berkeley
  • Master of Information Systems Management at Carnegie Mellon 
What is your next chapter (M.A.)?
  • Support Advisor at Intersystems
  • Analytics Systems Administrator at Epic
  • Ph.D. in Epidemiology at UC Berkeley
  • Data Analyst and Blue Shield of California
  • Data Scientist at State Farm
  • Ph.D. in Demography at UC Berkeley
  • Data Science Intern at Moloco
  • AI and Data Science Graduate at AstraZeneca


-Alex Coughlin