By Aparna Dhinakaran
Doris Lee is the CEO and co-founder of Ponder, which recently closed a $7 million seed round led by Lightspeed Venture Partners with participation from Intel Capital, 8VC, and The House Fund. The company, which promises to solve usability challenges with data science tools at scale, is already achieving momentum in-market due in no small part to the founding team’s ample contributions to the open source community. While completing her PhD in Information Management and Systems at the University of California, Berkeley, Lee developed Lux – a widely-used Python library for accelerating and simplifying the process of data exploration – and attracted the attention of Facebook, winning the company’s 2020 fellowship for systems in machine learning.
I’d love to start with a quick overview on your background and research at UC Berkeley and why you decided to pursue a PhD in information systems.
I studied Physics and Astrophysics as an undergraduate at Berkeley. At the time, data science was still a nascent field and I was really interested in applying some emerging data science techniques to my astronomy research. So I started diving into tools like Jupyter notebooks and Pandas and many other amazing open source tools, picking things up along the way...
Doris Lee is a 2021 School of Information Ph.D. program alumna.