MassMutual donates $500K to University of Vermont for data science

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MassMutual is providing the University of Vermont $500,000 to fund a pilot program within the educational institution's data science unit.

The grant for UVM's Complex Systems Center, which supports data science and complex systems education through interdisciplinary learning, is the largest since its inception in 2009. It follows a $2 million program with Mount Holyoke College and Smith College, as well as a $15 million donation to UMass Amherst, as MassMutual continues a corporate effort to develop data science talent in the northern New England region.

The UVM partnership will support:

  • A four-year MassMutual Ph.D. fellowship for a student researching "the intersection of human health and well-being, data science, and complex systems"
  • A named research fund that will "support exploratory questions related to wellness, human behavior and networks with a team of interdisciplinary faculty"
  • A visual data artist-in-residence that will partner with Complex Systems Center students and faculty, as well as MassMutual's data science team to create visualizations that allow people to easily understand and interact with complex data.

"We are excited to be working with the Vermont Complex Systems Center, and the world class research talent it brings to our strategic initiative of blending and applying academic and industrial capabilities to many fundamental issues," says Sears Merritt, MassMutual's head of data science. "Our partnership with UVM aims to enable the development of novel quantitative methods, as well as uncover new insights related to changes and patterns in human behavior and the determinants of social well-being."

[Go inside MassMutual's data science lab with Merritt]

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