Andreas Weigend | Social Data Revolution
School of Information | University of California at Berkeley | INFO 290A-3 | Fall 2012
Time: Monday afternoons, followed by office hours
Location: 202 South Hall (Parking Garage beneath Student Union)
Official description: (CCN: 42646)
URL of this page: as short link of
Audio recordings and transcripts of classes:
Video recordings of classes:

This page is a wiki. What does this mean for you?
If you see anything that can be improved, just do it. While everybody can view, only members can edit. All students in the class have been added as members based on their Berkeley or iSchool email addresses. If there is any access problem, please (re-)submit the correct email address via . (This the same form used for the initial survey that everybody in class needs to complete.)

  • Class1 Identity (Quentin Hardy, NYT) Aug 24
  • Class2 Data Ecosystem(Queena Kim, Marketplace) Sep 10
  • Class3 Future of Work (Jon Paris, CEO of; Big Data Tools (Jeremy Carr, Palantir) Sep 17
  • Class4 Geolocation: Possibilities, Problems and Privacy (Hugh Fletcher, VZ; Andrew Wansley, GOOG; Chris Conley, ACLU)
  • Class5 How the Social Data Revolution created "Data Science" Oct 1
  • Class6 Social Data Startups (Pete Warden) Oct 8 (4:15-5:45pm)
  • Projects, Q&A session (optional) You drive this session by asking any questions you might have, and I will answer them. Please spend a few minutes and think about beforehand what you are curious about, and come prepared. That way, you'll get the most out of this session. There will also be a couple of presentations by students who would like to tell the class about the project they are doing and get feedback from class and possibly pick up another student interested in joining them. Oct 15 (4:15-5:45pm)
  • Class7 Influence (Joe Fernandez, CEO of Oct 22 (4:15-5:45pm)
  • Class8 Platforms (Seth Goldstein, CEO of TBD Given that Nov 12 is a UC Berkeley holiday, we are trying to find a replacement date.
Furthermore, there are some spaces available for interested students to attend the Fall 2012 Social Data Summit by the Social Data Lab held on Nov 19 for the first time ever at Berkeley (for simplicity, same room and time as the usual class, followed by dinner -- please contact Andreas for details).

Twitter: Follow @socialdata or click on

Why this Course?

In the eight years since it was founded, Facebook has changed the way a billion people think about their identity and friendships. Amazon has changed the way a billion people think about purchases. And Google has changed the way a billion people think about information. The ease of communication and connection has changed the world, including the expectations of work and play.
This course begins with the two data revolutions--the first about passively collected data (clicks on the web, location of mobile devices, communication patterns between individuals), the second about actively contributed data, as social data platforms like Facebook empower individuals to create and share a variety of quantitative and qualitative data (transactions, photos, social relations, intention, attention gestures, and much more). With active student participation, we explore the far-reaching implications of the social data revolution for individuals, communities, business, and society.

Grading Policy

The grading policy. as discussed in Class 2, is:
  • 30% class wiki (see checklist in FAQ) (evaluated Thursday evening after 10pm in the week you signed up for) or class prep (see top of each Class page).
    The wiki contribution can be waived by explicit consent of instructor for projects or task that require more than 12 hours of your time.
  • 30% *Tasks (evaluated November 15, 2012)
  • 25% Dogfoods
  • 15% class participation

Instructor Background

Andreas Weigend studies the ongoing revolution in social data. He directs the Social Data Lab and teaches data mining at Stanford University. Previously, as the chief scientist of, he focused on building the customer-centric and measurement-focused culture that has been central to Amazon’s success.
Andreas Weigend works with innovative startups and global companies alike, helping them understand and leverage the irreversible changes in how consumers express themselves, make purchasing and lifestyle decisions, and relate to each other. His goal is to guide his clients through the evolving landscape of consumer behavior and unprecedented data to identify new business opportunities. His clients include Alibaba, Allstate, Lufthansa, Nokia, Priceline, SAP, Symantec, Thomson Reuters, Visa, and the World Economic Forum.
Andreas Weigend studied electrical engineering and physics in Germany and Cambridge (UK), and received his Ph.D. in physics from Stanford University. His career as a data scientist combined with his deep industry and startup experience allows him to successfully bridge the gap between academia and industry.
Andreas Weigend (@aweigend) lives in San Francisco and Shanghai, as well as on and on

Course Background

Students taking this course will experience the fundamental shifts in data sets, tool sets, and skill sets that lead to the irreversible shift in the consumers' mind sets. This is called the social data revolution,

This course was first taught at the Information School at UC Berkeley four years ago:

A version of it since has been taught at Stanford:

Andreas also conducts the Social Data Lab:

Students taking INFO-290A are invited to participate in the Social Data Lab’s activities, events, and work with sponsoring companies. Please discuss Andreas any questions you might have about the lab Thanks!

Information Session (video)

Monday, April 30, 2012 Room 202 South Hall
  • 3:30pm Coffee and tea (with Dean Annalee Saxenian)
  • 4:00pm Overview of the course
  • 5:00pm Q&A

If you are interested in this course, please attend this info session and complete the 10-item survey at beforehand. The questions will give you an idea of what the course is about, and your thoughtful answers will give us an idea of what you are about. Goal is to help you with your decision on whether or not to take this course.

Andreas Weigend | +1 650 906-5906 |