Hometown: Boston, MAnimalem

Major: Data Science

Domain Emphasis: Business and Industrial Analytics

Data Science in Six Words: Analyzing data and extracting meaningful insights

After his sophomore year, Nimalen took a gap year and worked as a data analyst at the stock trading start-up Robinhood. That experience got him thinking about how data shapes decision making in virtually every business. Not long after, he learned that the data science major was in the works at Berkeley; it sounded like the perfect way to explore this new understanding. “I like the way it challenged my beliefs, the ties to the humanities and ethics, and the friendships I made along the way,” he said.

Among his most memorable courses was  (HISTORY C184D / STS C104), which allowed him to further consider the role that big data plays in both business and society. As part of the course, he researched how data can be used to influence voters and perpetuate false beliefs — a practice that he learned originated with far more rustic tools than social media, like the index cards the Republican National Committee (RNC) used to track individuals and their political preferences. 

Nimalen plans to use his awareness of the power and responsibility that comes with working with big data as he moves into his internship in product management at the fintech start-up WePay.