Berkeley College Hackathon Explores Emerging Careers in Business Data Science

Wednesday, July 1, 2020
Contact: Ilene Greenfield
Director of Media Relations
Event Empowered Participants to Explore Careers in Business Data Science,
Analytics, Programming and Artificial Intelligence 

Photo Caption: The Datathon and Data Startups Workshop was a hit with students during the virtual Berkeley College Hackathon held June 27 and 28, 2020. Presenters included, top to bottom, Berkeley College alumna Kallie McGrath of Chazy, NY; Darshan Desai, PhD, Professor, Management, Berkeley College Larry L. Luing School of Business®; and Berkeley College student Danielle Komondorea of New Windsor, NY.

Businesses are becoming increasingly reliant on emerging technologies and this is the time to explore those careers, according to Darshan Desai, PhD, Professor, Management, Berkeley College Larry L. Luing School of Business®. Desai shared her remarks as part of a career panel at the virtual Berkeley College Hackathon held June 27 and 28, 2020.

With more than 100 entrepreneurs, industry experts and students in attendance, the event included a career panel, workshops and presentations, along with a competition for high school students and undergraduate students, including those from Berkeley College.

“Everyone enjoyed the mind-blowing conversations and the innovative and futurist ideas discussed,” Desai said. “Panelists shared their expertise with participants. Their vision for the future of the emerging technologies, skills and jobs at the intersection of business data science and artificial intelligence were inspiring and, I’m sure, left an impression on all who attended.”

Panelists Represented Many Career Opportunities in the Field

Joseph Scuralli, DPS, Dean, Berkeley College Larry L. Luing School of Business and Online Education, presented Berkeley College programs, with an emphasis on the new Business Data Science program. The panelists included Desai; Carlos Alberto Escobar Diaz, Senior Researcher, Manufacturing Systems Research Lab, General Motors; Chirayu Desai, Head of Enterprise Data and Analytics Engineering of a major pharmaceutical company; Krishna Malyala, CEO, TLCengine; and Utpal Kapadia, Head of Sales and Partnerships, Noema Systems. Carol Covino, Associate Vice President, Berkeley College High School Admissions, was the moderator.

Workshops Inspired Creative and Relevant Ideas

A fun and engaging Datathon and Data Startups Workshop, conducted by Desai, sought to make a social impact when Om Desai, a student from the Academy of Information Technology High School in Scotch Plains, NJ, built a decision tree model to predict COVID-19 infections. Berkeley College student Danielle Komondorea of New Windsor, NY, taught this workshop along with Berkeley College alumni Daniyel Bingham of Manhattan, NY, and Kallie McGrath of Chazy, NY.

Other workshops that drew a lot of attention and discussion were: Artificial Intelligence, where a team of industry professional mentors and high school students taught hands-on AI projects; Programming Explorations, with Tomasz Pazdrowski, DM, Professor, Berkeley College, who taught C++ language; and Data Solutions, where Bhakta Yadlapalli of Noema Systems demonstrated the company’s data product.

Competition Incites Innovation

Eager to compete for a prize, participants created innovative solutions in data startups, artificial intelligence projects and programming explorations. Pranav Muralikrishnan of the Union County Vocational-Technical High School in Scotch Plains, NJ, won the grand prize for his neural network-based project.

Donsou Lee and Robert Palazzi from Chatham High School in Chatham, NJ, won first prize in Data Projects for their creation of a coronavirus risk calculator. Programming Exploration first-prize winners were Jason Bak and Corey Zhou, both from the Academy of Information Technology, for their anxiety relieving system.

“I’m impressed with the work of these students and glad that the Hackathon gave participants a chance to learn more about this emerging field,” Desai said. “Now, I look forward to the Business Data Science program which begins this fall at Berkeley College.”

About Berkeley College

Berkeley College, founded in 1931, is a career-focused institution accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education that offers students Master’s, Bachelor’s, and Associate’s degree and Certificate programs in more than 20 career fields. The College has campuses in Midtown Manhattan and White Plains, NY, as well as in Newark, Paramus, Woodbridge and Woodland Park, NJ, with more than 5,700 students enrolled. In addition, Berkeley College Online® serves a global population. U.S. News & World Report has named Berkeley College among the Best Colleges for Online Bachelor’s Programs and among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans, for seven consecutive years. The website address is

The mission of Berkeley College is to empower students to achieve lifelong success in dynamic careers