CA Technologies, a global software firm, has made a gift of $300,000 to the University of Vermont to establish and fund doctoral fellowships in complex systems and data science. The fellowships will provide a competitive tuition and stipend package for up to two Ph.D. students per year for a minimum of three years.

The gift coincides with the launch, in fall 2018, of a new Ph.D. program in Complex Systems and Data Science at the university. (More detail on the program, including information on how to apply is here.)

“We're thrilled to receive this generous gift from CA Technologies, which could not come at a more important time,” said David Rosowsky, University of Vermont provost. "In field after field, there is a tremendous need to structure the glut of raw information the computer age has ushered in and extract meaning from it. These doctoral fellows, and the new doctoral program of which they’ll be an active part, are perfectly positioned to do just that.”

“We’re grateful to CA Technologies for their generosity in funding these positions,” said Peter Dodds, director of the Complex Systems Center. “In addition to the important research the gift will make possible, the funded positions give real momentum to the launch of our innovative doctoral program.”

The doctoral fellows will focus their research on areas of mutual interest to CA Technologies and the Complex Systems Center, with topics ranging from privacy preserving analytics and interpretable machine learning to reply and supply crowdsourcing.

“Because the focus of CA Technologies is broad, and because data scientists are always looking for large data sets they have access to, it will be easy to find areas of overlapping interest,” Dodds said.

CA Technologies has specified that the appointment of the fellows should demonstrate a commitment to women and girls in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). “We hope these fellowships will provide exciting opportunities for women in this field, supporting the next generation of diverse leadership for companies like ours,” said Otto Berkes, executive vice president and chief technology officer at CA Technologies, who also serves on the university's Board of Trustees.

The pan-disciplinary Ph.D. in Complex Systems and Data Science will be housed in UVM’s College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences, providing strong computational and theoretical training that will vary with each student's chosen area of focus. 

Students will work within research groups across campus. With core courses such as Data Science, Principles of Complex Systems and Modeling Complex Systems and electives such as Machine Learning, Complex Networks, Evolutionary Computation, Human Computer Interaction and Data Mining, students will receive training in empirical, computational and theoretical methods for describing and understanding complex systems and predicting, controlling, managing and creating such systems.

UVM has a prior relationship with CA Technologies. James Bagrow, an assistant professor in UVM’s Department of Mathematics and Statistics, is working with the company to develop a data-driven analysis of the effectiveness of teams and team members working together on a project.  

UVM also offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Data Science and a master’s degree in Complex Systems and Data Science.  


Jeffrey R. Wakefield