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(L-r) DSU student Lydia Daids, FICO Chief Analytics Officer Dr. Scott Zoldi, Visiting Professor Dr. Derald Wentzien, DSU students Deena Johnson, Amir Conwell and College of Business Associate Dean Praveen Pinjani. The three DSU students each represent the three team that will compete in FICO's 12-week Educational Analytics Challenge competition.
In this photo: (L-r) DSU student Lydia Daids, FICO Chief Analytics Officer Dr. Scott Zoldi, Visiting Professor Dr. Derald Wentzien, DSU students Deena Johnson, Amir Conwell and College of Business Associate Dean Praveen Pinjani. The three DSU students each represent the three team that will compete in FICO’s 12-week Educational Analytics Challenge competition.
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FICO visit launches Analytics Challenge Competition at DSU

Thursday, January 18, 2024

FICO, a global analytics software corporation leader, has launched an Educational Analytics Challenge competition at Delaware State University.

Dr. Scott Zoldi, the Chief Analytics Officer at FICO, visited DSU on Jan. 18 to meeting with the three College of Business teams that will compete in the 12-week competition. Dr. Zoldi also gave a presentation on “Responsible AI (Artificial Intelligence)” in the Bank of America’s Longwood Auditorium.

The Analytics Challenge competition will focus the teams on identifying and mitigating bias in data and decision AI models using a historic lending data set collected by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as part of the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act.

The FICO competition was created to amplify diversity, equity and inclusion fairness in data science. The program provides students with real-world practitioner challenges and impart technical skills to prepare them for data science careers in the financial services industry, where firms are operationalizing AI, analytics, and machine learningIn his presentation, Dr. Scott Zoldi no AI model is perfect, but that the distinguishing value are those that are "useful."We are going to work together with these students to focus on how we are going to enable them to look a data bias in lending information,” Dr. Zoldi said. The data source they will have available to them is data that is released by the CFPB, publicly available data that reflects a history of lending decision that have been made on individual. It includes information on race, ethnicity, gender and other details which will elude to bias.”

The Educational Analytics Challenge competition has previously been held at Bowie State University and Alabama A&M University.

“One of the key takeaways the Bowie State and Alabama A&M students took from identifying inherent biases in data is the importance to have a strong and diverse team working diligently to understand, hypothesize, and clean the data,” Dr. Zoldi said. “Students are at the forefront of future AI innovation and gaining valuable experience using AI tools responsibly and ethically.” 

“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. “DSU thanks FICO for creating a program that encourages students to explore complex and life-altering data science decisions, as well as the ability to learn how to use Responsible AI to protect and safely advance analytic practices.”

The Analytics Challenge competition at DSU will be completed in April, during which time the winning team will be announced.