A $1 million investment by TD Bank Group into data analytics teaching and research in Western’s Faculty of Science will position the University as a hot spot for solving some of the world’s most complex problems.
Data analytics — the science of extracting meaning from large volumes of complex information — has diverse applications currently being researched by Western experts, including disaster risk analysis and response planning, health analytics, finance and banking, ecosystem analysis and real-time brain imaging.
Insights drawn from this research is helping build smart power grids, prevent bank fraud, plan for and mitigate damage from forest fires, and even improve affordable housing.
The TD Bank Group’s $1 million gift will enable Western to expand its capabilities by:
- Establishing a new physical space on campus – the TD Analytics Hub — where collaborative research and problem-solving will take place;
- Creating the TD Professorship in Data Analytics – a position that will shape the Master of Data Analytics and Data Science program to prepare students for industry needs in data research;
- Creating four annual TD Women in Data Analytics Bursaries, designed to encourage greater gender equity and provide meaningful financial support to women entering this discipline; and
- Supporting a year-end competition, judged by industry experts, for Master of Data Analytics students to present key learnings from their internships.
“This is a substantial investment from an outstanding, long-term philanthropic partner,” said Western President Amit Chakma. “New technologies are churning out massive amounts of data and TD’s generosity demonstrates their confidence that Western’s faculty and students will translate that data into solving highly complex issues facing Canada and the world.”
“Data and analytics have the power to help us create truly personalized experiences and solutions for our customers. As we continue to implement our data and analytics strategy, we are creating diverse teams with new perspectives that will help us think differently about how we can enrich our customers’ lives and help them succeed,” said Christian Nelissen, Senior Vice President, Enterprise Data and Analytics, TD Bank Group. “Partnerships with leading educational institutions like Western University are playing a key role in developing the talent that will continue to move Canada’s financial industry forward. As a key innovation hub in Southwestern Ontario, we support Western University’s focus on diversity and applaud the importance they are placing on creating new opportunities, specifically for women, to excel in the fields of data science and analytics.”
Western has seen rapid growth in the discipline recently: its Master of Data analytics program launched in September 2017, through the School of Mathematical and Statistical Science as well as the Department of Computer Science in the Faculty of Science. An undergraduate program in Data Science will begin in September, 2018.
“TD Bank Group’s gift positions the school to grow its expertise in an important field of study,” said Pauline Barmby, Acting Dean, Faculty of Science. “They are enabling students and faculty the opportunity to become leaders in data translation. Their investment to attract female students demonstrates their belief in employing the best minds to find solutions in an increasingly complex world.”
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