David Ng graduated from the School of Information with a master’s in information and cybersecurity in 2021. Prior to the I School he graduated from Cal Poly Pomona with a B.Sc. in computer information systems and philosophy. He is currently a director of product management at Salesforce where he spearheads development for data driven security products.
Why did you choose the I School?
I have a deep connection with UC Berkeley. Its rich history and how it has impacted our world is very meaningful to me. I chose the School of Information because of its academic mission to explore research in how information and technology impact the human experience. When I applied to the MICS program, I was at a crossroads in my professional career: continue down the engineering path or change course and take this opportunity to learn something new. I chose the latter and set out on a path of designing and creating impactful security products for people.
What was your favorite thing about the I School?
My favorite thing about the I School is its strong sense of community. I met many amazing classmates, faculty, and staff during the MICS program. Many of these interactions have turned into lasting friendships; we went out to multiple social events such as the Big Game, golfing, or just dinner. One steady constant during my time in MICS and (many months later) was attending the Saturday morning MICS coffeehouse!
What was your favorite class?
While at Berkeley, I had access to world-class researchers within the I School and beyond. I made it a goal to gain experience in academic research during my time in MICS. The class that gave me this opportunity was Usable Privacy and Security. After learning the foundations of how to build a usable security product, my classmates and I conducted research on password manager applications as our final project. This project continues until this day! We have presented our research at conferences such as RSA and publications such as PCMag have written about our research. I wouldn’t have had this opportunity without resources and access to great researchers from the I School.
You’re currently a Director of Product Management at Salesforce, what compels you to work in the field of data science and machine learning?
We live in a world where 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created every day ranging from photos, videos, messages, and email. The volume of data generated will exponentially grow in the near future and with a rise in data, there will be more data breaches and cybersecurity incidents. To prepare and defend against these attacks, organizations must leverage data science and machine learning to make their systems more resilient.
You have spent time giving back to the community—by volunteering to speak on panels for student events and serving as a MICS student representative. Why do you volunteer your time to the community?
I am lucky to have had many great mentors early in my career, and each of them has shaped who I am today. The I School also has impacted me in a very positive way and I cannot think of a better feeling than to pay it forward by volunteering my time to this community. At the end of the day, what makes the I School amazing are the collective individuals of this community.