Οι τελετές αποφοίτησης στα πανεπιστημιακά ιδρύματα της Αμερικής είναι μια μεγάλη γιορτή για όλη την ακαδημαϊκή κοινότητα και αποτελεί ύψιστη τιμή για οποιονδήποτε απόφοιτο να εκφωνήσει τον εναρκτήριο λόγο εκ μέρους όλων των συμφοιτητών του. Πριν από λίγες μέρες, η «δικιά μας» Χριστίνα Παπαδημητρίου είχε αυτή την τιμή, αφού ήταν Commencement Speaker στην αποφοίτηση του Τμήματος Data Science της Σχολής Πληροφορικής του University of California στο Berkeley.
Η Χριστίνα Παπαδημητρίου, της οικογένειας της Λένας Γαρυφάλλου και του Μάκη Παπαδόπουλου, μίλησε στην «καρδιά» των συμφοιτητών αλλά και των καθηγητών της, στέλνοντας το δικό της μήνυμα για την ενότητα που θα πρέπει να διακρίνει όλους τους αποφοίτους και την επόμενη μέρα, ενώ αναφέρθηκε και στις θυσίες που απαιτήθηκαν από όλους μέχρι να έχουν τη χαρά να φορέσουν την τήβενο και να κρατήσουν στα χέρια τους το πτυχίο.
Δείτε το βίντεο με την ομιλία της Χριστίνας Παπαδημητρίου και παρακάτω διαβάστε όλο τον λόγο της [στα αγγλικά].
Ο λόγος της Χριστίνας Παπαδημητρίου
«Good morning. My name is Christina Papadimitriou and I am so honored to be here right now representing the Master of Information and Data Science (MIDS) graduating class of Spring 2019. Congratulations to my fellow graduates — we did it! Thank you to everyone for traveling from all over the country and the world to join us today in celebrating our accomplishments.
Thank you to Dean Anno Saxenian for her leadership and for launching and growing the MIDS program. Thank you to Siu Yung, and the entire staff at the School of information for guiding us and helping us succeed. Thank you to our amazing faculty for being our mentors and for giving us so much invaluable knowledge. And thank you to our families and friends, for their unconditional love and support in every step of the way. We couldn’t have done it without you.
I want to start by giving our families and friends an insight into the MIDS program. MIDS is an online degree in Data Science, but it is not what you would typically expect of an online program.
We meet with video and audio in small classrooms, and we engage in interesting discussions, we code together, we use whiteboard-screens to draw math formulas or really confusing matrix shapes (if you took 266 you know what I’m talking about…). We go to office hours, have study sessions, and group project meetings. And sometimes we engage in long conversions on Slack and we just talk about life or any other topic of common interest.
We have some incredibly talented professors who are leaders in their fields. And we have such a diverse group of students from all over the world, and everyone brings a unique perspective into the program. There are people from healthcare, finance, the military, engineering, Hollywood and so many other industries.
MIDS students are really brave and impressive. And I can prove it to you.
Please raise your hand if:
- You had a baby or have been raising kids during this program
- You had a full or part-time job while completing this degree
- You moved to a different apartment, house or city in the middle of a semester
- You attended class from 1 to 6 am because of the time difference in your country
If that’s not passion for knowledge, then what is?
You should all be proud of yourselves for taking on this challenge and reaching the finish line.
Now, I want to talk about what distinguishes this program the most: it is its incredible, vibrant and active community. One of my favorite quotes is “If you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together”. In MIDS, everyone is so passionate and engaged on slack and in the classroom. We learn from each other…and sometimes we fail together. But in the end, we always succeed because we stand by and help each other.
How many times has this happened to you during the MIDS program?: You are stuck on a homework problem, on one line of code, and it feels nearly impossible to solve, and then you decide to ask for help from a classmate, and they immediately respond and make it their goal to help you solve your problem.
That’s what MIDS is all about. And that’s how we’ve gotten to this finish line. We did it because we worked together. And I am so thankful to each and every one of you for everything that you taught me.
And even if we forget everything that we’ve learned in this degree…the friendships that we have formed will last a lifetime.
Now I want to share with you a piece of advice that Joyce Shen, my capstone instructor, shared with us during the last class: She said “Stop. Reflect. and Continue”. So, let’s take a moment to stop and reflect on what we have learned and accomplished in this program.
Let’s go back to our very first class where we started: Some of us didn’t know how to code in python, how to use github, and had no idea what to look for when exploring datasets. Today, we know how to build data pipelines, machine learning and statistical models, field experiments, natural language processing algorithms, hybrid neural networks, how to deal with really big datasets, and how to build a product from start to finish.
So how do we continue from now on?
This is a very exciting time to be a data scientist. Data scientists are making some of the biggest advances in our society: from image and speech recognition, to recommender systems, machine translation, and many others.
Our profession is instrumental in driving change, and it is so critically important to do this work with an ethical responsibility towards our communities. To do it with care and empathy, and to be fair… because there are people behind the datasets.
I also want to encourage you to dare greatly and get out of your comfort zones. Socrates once said that “The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing”. One should be willing to change his or her own views, to learn and unlearn, and only then, they will be truly successful.
Data science is challenging the way things are done in some of the largest organizations today. I want to urge you to challenge the way things are done in your organization and make people uncomfortable. Because we need to be uncomfortable first in order to be comfortable with change.
But Data Science is not the only movement that is changing the world right now. There are other really big and important movements: black lives matter, me-too, trans lives matter. These are movements that I hope will change our communities and make the world a better place.
As we go out into the world, we should amplify each other’s voices, demand seats for women, people of color and all marginalized people, at every table where decisions are made.
Lastly, let’s leave this place united, and stay connected years from now. Let’s work together as a group of alumni, as we progress in our careers, to forge a better future. Thank you».