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FICO Brings Analytics Challenge to Delaware State University to Empower the Next Generation of Data Scientists

The FICO® Educational Analytics Challenge allows students from data science, engineering, and technology backgrounds to improve their analytics skills

Global analytics software leader FICO is expanding its FICO® Educational Analytics Challenge to students at Delaware State University, the third Historically Black College and University (HBCU) to adopt the program. This semester’s Analytics Challenge at Delaware State focuses on identifying and mitigating bias in data and decision models using a historical lending data.

The FICO® Educational Analytics Challenge was created to amplify diversity, equity and inclusion in data science. The program provides students with real-world practitioner challenges and imparts technical skills to prepare them for data science careers in the financial services industry where firms are operationalizing AI, analytics, and machine learning. FICO is providing students access to their data scientists for technical/project support and mentoring opportunities. FICO’s Chief Analytics Officer, Dr. Scott Zoldi, will also present an in-person lecture on campus on Responsible AI and discuss the Analytics Challenge problem with student participants. In addition, the program provides financial support for each participating HBCU, enhancing analytics study and creating potential career opportunities for students after graduation.

“We are looking forward to working with FICO’s data science team to help enrich our students’ college experience with real-world knowledge and opportunities before they enter the workforce,” said Michael H. Casson Jr., Dean of College of Business at Delaware State University. “Thank you to FICO for creating a program that encourages students to explore complex data science decisions, as well as the ability to learn how to use Responsible AI to protect and safely advance analytic practices.”

FICO first launched the Analytics Challenge with Bowie State University and Alabama A&M University in the Fall 2023 semester. Working with students from a variety of backgrounds across both schools, the challenge empowered the universities and students to further their work in the data science field.

“The Analytics Challenge is a passion program of mine, and I am looking forward to meeting and working with the Delaware State students this semester. Of the most important lessons that the Bowie State and Alabama A&M students learned from identifying inherent biases in data was the need for a strong and diverse team working diligently to understand, hypothesize, and clean the data,” said Dr. Scott Zoldi, Chief Analytics Officer at FICO. “Students are at the forefront of future AI innovation and gaining valuable experience now using AI tools responsibly and ethically is critical.”

FICO has a long-standing commitment to innovation and views diversity as critical for success. Dr. Scott Zoldi is set to launch a fraud-specific FICO® Educational Analytics Challenge program for the Fall 2024 semester. College participants and additional details forthcoming.

About FICO

FICO (NYSE: FICO) powers decisions that help people and businesses around the world prosper. Founded in 1956, the company is a pioneer in the use of predictive analytics and data science to improve operational decisions. FICO holds more than 215 US and foreign patents on technologies that increase profitability, customer satisfaction and growth for businesses in financial services, insurance, telecommunications, health care, retail, and many other industries. Using FICO solutions, businesses in more than 100 countries do everything from protecting 2.6 billion payment cards from fraud, to improving financial inclusion, to increasing supply chain resiliency. The FICO® Score, used by 90% of top US lenders, is the standard measure of consumer credit risk in the US and has been made available in over 40 other countries, improving risk management, credit access and transparency.

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This semester’s Analytics Challenge at Delaware State focuses on identifying and mitigating bias in data and decision models using a historical lending data.


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