Student Leadership Board

The Michigan Institute for Data Science is proud to announce the formation of its inaugural Student Leadership Board and Planning Committees.  Representing multiple Schools, Colleges, Programs, Majors, and all three degree levels (Undergraduate, Masters, and Doctoral), 10 students were selected to help MIDAS leaders design data science education initiatives and research programming on UM’s campus.  The leadership board will also help plan various events throughout the year that promote diversity and inclusion in the field as well as strengthen the current community of data science practitioners on UM’s campus.

The 2020-21 Leadership Board Members are: 

  • Veronica Alfaro- Undergraduate, LSA, Statistics and Data Science
  • Eric Chen- Undergraduate, Engineering, Data Science Engineering
  • Mackenzie Francisco- Masters, Information, Applied Data Science
  • Gauri Kambhatla- Masters, Engineering, Computer Science Engineering
  • Ani Madurkar- Masters, Information, Applied Data Science
  • Sanidhi Metha- Undergraduate, LSA, Data Science
  • Vikram Mohan- Undergraduate, LSA, Statistics
  • Katherine Nicholson- Undergraduate, Engineering, Data Science Engineering
  • Makarand Parigi- Masters, Engineering, Computer Science Engineering
  • Stephen Salerno- Doctoral, Public Health, Biostatistics

Additional students from across the university have been selected to form four new student committees that will plan events and programs that will help further MIDAS’ mission in priority areas.  These committees and members are:

Diversity and Inclusion Committee

  • Briya Bhakta- Undergraduate, Information, Information Analysis
  • Kelvin Chang- Undergraduate, Information and Business, Information Science and Business
  • Danielle Park- Undergraduate, LSA, Data Science
  • Isabella Qiao- Undergraduate, LSA, Data Science and Statistics

Education and Training Committee

  • Sameer Barretto- Undergraduate, Engineering, Computer Science Engineering
  • Collin Brosko- Masters, Information, Applied Data Science
  • Jung Huan Chi- Undergraduate, LSA, Data Science
  • Kaitlin Kahler- Undergraduate, LSA, Data Science
  • Kira Rodarte- Masters, Information, Applied Data Science
  • Daeryong Seo- Masters, Information, Applied Data Science
  • Lingbo Wang- Undergraduate, LSA, Data Science and Statistics
  • Xiaojun Wang- Masters, LSA, Data Science
  • Jianglai Zhang- Undergraduate, LSA, Statistics

Events and Community Building Committee

  • Yiqun Wang- Masters, LSA, Data Science
  • Yanchun Ye- Undergraduate, LSA, Statistics and Mathematics

Outreach and External Partnerships Committee

  • Samson Arita- Masters, Information, Applied Data Science
  • Fiona Fox- Undergraduate, LSA, Earth and Environmental Science
  • Jacob Liu- Undergraduate, LSA, Statistics and Financial Math
  • Ivy Wang- Masters, Information, Health Informatics

Student Teams

MIDAS supports a variety of student teams on campus, helping them grow in the field of data science. The following is a list of these teams.


Collaborating on data-driven projects, Michigan EcoData is a new vibrant organization at the University of Michigan that works on creating data driven and multidisciplinary solutions to ecological issues.  Our philosophy as an organization is oriented towards identifying gaps in knowledge in order to enact change that benefits the ecological well-being of communities and ecosystems. EcoData members work in small groups and work as a team to accomplish project goals. We foster an incredibly open environment, where members from a variety of disciplines can come together to work on project teams or start their own.

Michigan Data Science Team

MDST is dedicated to educating students about the practical applications of data science. This means we work on projects, hold workshops, and also have a couple of social events throughout the semester. 

Statistics in the Community 

STATCOM (Statistics in the Community) at the University of Michigan is a community outreach program provided by graduate students in the Departments of Biostatistics, Statistics, and the Program for Survey Methodology at University of Michigan. The program offers the expertise of statistics graduate students, free of charge, to non-profit governmental and community organizations in the areas of data organization, analysis, and interpretation.  MIDAS partners with STATCOM annually by hosting the Data for Public Good Symposium, a full day event that features presentations and workshops from UM students, faculty, and community and industry partners on data science projects designed to contribute to the betterment of society.

Michigan Student Artificial Intelligence Lab

The Michigan Student Artificial Intelligence Lab (MSAIL) is a student organization for discussion of artificial intelligence and machine learning.  We are a community in which motivated students read and discuss modern machine learning literature together in weekly discussion groups. We welcome students of all backgrounds and abilities.

Project X

ProjectX is a two month long machine learning research competition for undergraduate students from the top universities in North America, hosted by the University of Toronto Artificial Intelligence Group.  This initiative is designed to focus on tackling important problems like Climate Change.  MIDAS coordinates UM’s involvement in this competition, forming the student team and advising members throughout the competition.  Students conduct research on a given topic and submit a research paper at the culmination of the competition.  Finalists earn a cash prize and present their research at the University of Toronto, competing for the grand prize.

Student Organization Resources

Student Organization Sponsorship and Advising

MIDAS offers student organization advising and can serve as the administrative sponsor for any data science-related student organizations wishing to exist as a Sponsored Student Organization through the University’s Center for Campus Involvement.  

Examples of MIDAS administrative support:

  • Event sponsorship and administrative planning resources
  • MIDAS faculty advising on research and data science projects
  • Assistance sourcing data sets for projects
  • Connection to community organizations and industry affiliates for data challenges, projects, etc.

To inquire about becoming a MIDAS-sponsored student organization, e-mail MIDAS Education Program Manager, Trisha Fountain, (

MIDAS Student Organization Funding Requests


  • Be a registered student organization with the Center for Campus Involvement in the current academic year (at time of application) with authorized signers
  • Have an active University Fund Account through the Student Organization Account Service (SOAS) in good standing
    • If you are not a registered student organization but believe your organization/event/initiative is in alignment with the funding criteria, please reach out to Trisha Fountain ( to discuss funding opportunities! 
  • Submit a completed online application 

Criteria/Requirements for Funding Requests: 

  • Application must clearly articulate its connection to data science and MIDAS’ mission 
  • A detailed proposed budget must be provided with the application
  • Requests should include funding components that are related to educational, outreach, or research costs.  Budget requests for food only are discouraged.
  • A maximum of 1 application can be submitted per organization/per semester (if hosting multiple events or types of activities, please include all requests in one proposal)

Budget: ​The typical funding level is $1K to $2K per semester.  However, larger organizations with multiple projects may receive more based on discussion with MIDAS.

Process: Our funding application is an interactive process. Applicants are required to: 

  • Attend an application review meeting with MIDAS’ Education Program Manager
  • Re-submit application with any changes requested from MIDAS
  • Participate in follow-up meetings with MIDAS’ Education Program Manager to review success of programming and use of funds
  • Submit an end-of-term report that summarizes your organization’s activities and how MIDAS funding helped advance your mission

Examples of funding: 

  • Program supplies such as print materials, easels, technical equipment rental, etc.  
  • Food including catering and delivery 
  • Space/venue reservations
  • Travel and registration fees for students (i.e., conferences, outreach visits, data competitions, etc.) 
  • Cost for developing peer training programs

Funding will not be given to:  

  • Events that do not comply with the law 
  • Events where alcohol is present 
  • Events that have already occurred or are not happening during the current academic year