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The Data Science Institute (DSI) is a University of Chicago initiative defining the growing field of data science through research, outreach, and education. The DSI is a leader in cutting edge research, an innovator and provider of data science education at the undergraduate, graduate and professional levels, and a catalyst to boldly engage outside the walls of the University through meaningful partnerships with industry, government and the community.

The DSI Industry Affiliates Program lowers barriers to collaboration between companies and academic researchers and students, connecting industry partners to groundbreaking data science research, emerging technologies, and talent acquisition opportunities at UChicago. Members become part of the field-defining UChicago data science research ecosystem, forming mutually beneficial, long-term partnerships with our world-class, interdisciplinary experts across domains to address the most challenging and promising questions in this emerging field.

The DSI Industry Affiliates Program welcomes members from startups to Fortune 500 companies. Core affiliates receive opportunities for exclusive events, student recruitment, professional education, and engagement with faculty and researchers. Industry partners also may provide projects for the UChicago Data Science Clinic, an experiential course at the heart of the new undergraduate major in data science.

Over the past decade, DSI leadership has engaged with over 100 companies in partnership driving innovation, research, and student education in data science, machine learning, and data analytics through AMPlab at University of California, Berkeley and The Data Institute at University of San Francisco.

As the industry affiliates program expands, partners will be able to join DSI research initiatives in Internet Equity, AI + Science, and Data & Democracy, as well as help shape new initiatives in areas such as the impacts of climate change and the economics of data. By participating in DSI activities, companies directly work with and hear from leading UChicago faculty in data science, computer science, and statistics, as well as experts in fields such as economics, physics, medicine, and computational social science.

These academic-industry partnerships will set the intellectual agenda for the field of data science: defining its foundational principles, advancing innovative applications, and anticipating its ethical and societal impacts.

“Data science is going to be integral to solving many of the societal issues we will face in the future,” said Kjersten Moody, Chief Data Officer of Prudential Financial, one of our Founding Partners. “We looked at a number of different institutions to potentially partner with, and the University of Chicago stood out because of its multidisciplinary approach to the topic. It’s not the mathematical skills or the computational skills that will take a practitioner of data science to the leading edge of this field. It is the interdisciplinary approach and the ability to ask questions and to see problems from multiple perspectives. Diversity of thought matters, and that’s why we are seeking talent that shares our appreciation for seeing things through the eyes of others.”

Membership Benefits

The DSI Industry Affiliates program offers several levels of membership.

Core Members, our highest tier of membership and the most in-depth level of engagement, are eligible for up to 3 Data Science Clinic teams per academic year, a named postdoctoral fellow, a seat on the DSI Industry Advisory Council, curated UChicago recruiting opportunities, reserved speaking events with faculty, discounted professional development and specialized training programs, and the opportunity to designate a Visiting Scientist at the DSI.

Key Members are eligible for 1 clinic team, discounted professional development and training programs, and sponsored UChicago recruitment opportunities.

Startup Membership is reserved for companies with fewer than 200 employees, early stage and non-publicly traded companies. Startup Members receive 1 clinic team, access to UChicago recruitment opportunities, and discounts on professional development programs.

To learn more please contact Mindi Mysliwiec, Senior Director of Outreach, Data Science Institute.

Data Science Clinic

All Industry Affiliate program members are eligible to participate in the Data Science Clinic. The Data Science Clinic is an experiential project-based course where students work in teams as data scientists with real-world clients under the supervision of instructors. Students are tasked with producing deliverables such as data analysis, open-source software, client presentations and reports. Through the clinic course, Affiliate members gain access to undergraduate or graduate student teams to work on data science projects, experiment with proof of concepts and identify top student talent. Projects are tailored and scoped to address company objectives with all deliverables overseen by the Clinic Director.

These unique collaborations allow industry partners to supplement their internal data science teams with outside support and perspectives, enlarging their capacity to experiment with new ideas. They also give students a window into a data science career, learning how companies build and use these tools internally.

Watch a panel discussion from the 2022 Data Science Institute Summit on a clinic project with founding member Prudential Financial.

Professional Education

Demand for professionals with expertise in machine learning, cybersecurity, and analytics is exploding. Designed for working professionals, DSI professional education programs provide an opportunity to learn from world-renowned experts through innovative virtual certificate programs or intensive in-person courses. All courses are taught by University of Chicago faculty and managed by DSI. Members will receive early access and discounted tuition on certificate programs.

Programs include topics such as: