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Alabama A&M in FICO pilot analytics program

BOZEMAN, Mont. — Alabama A&M University has been named to participate in a pilot analytics program for the global analytics firm FICO.

The company’s Educational Analytics Challenge program us for students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

The semester-long program features remote mentoring from FICO data scientists and in-person lectures by FICO’s Chief Analytics Officer Dr. Scott Zoldi.

The program was created to help promote diversity, equity and inclusion in data science, engineering and technology fields. FICO has had a long-standing commitment to innovation and views diversity as critical for success.

“Being a part of the educational analytics program launch is extremely important to us as it provides our students with experience in solving a real-world problem, and encourages diversity, equity, and inclusion in data science,” said Dr, John D. Jones, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Alabama A&M University. “We are committed to teaching skills and challenging our students to empower the next generation of innovators and social justice seekers driven to stamp out analytic bias.

“Our data science network is thankful to be supported by Dr. Scott Zoldi and FICO’s team of mentors.”

The challenge presents students with a real-world analytic problem to solve focused on bias identification and mitigation in housing data and resultant decision models. The pilot program allows students to work in teams to sharpen their analytics skills and provides access to FICO analytics subject matter experts for technical/project support and mentoring opportunities. The project also provides financial support to enhance analytics study for each participating HBCU and create potential career opportunities for students for employment after graduation.

“One of the biggest challenges of building predictive models is identifying and handling inherent biases in the data,” said Zoldi. “To help further inclusion by fighting biases in models, we are training and supporting a diverse and talented group of young people to drive the future of AI innovation and propel Responsible AI practices forward.

“I am pleased to be able to meet with students at their schools to both share ideas at lectures and engage in informal mentoring conversations.”

The program is also running at Bowie State University for the fall semester.

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