The American Family Insurance Data Science Institute (DSI) began in July 2019. DSI’s mission is to perform cutting-edge research in the fundamentals of data science and catalyze the translation of this research into practice to advance scientific discovery in collaboration with researchers across campus and beyond.

Three primary functions will drive the work of DSI: Innovation, Translation, and Collaboration. Cutting-edge research projects will bring together multiple PIs to develop innovative data science methodology. Teams of data scientists and domain research scientists will translate frontier research methods into practical, adaptable resources. Collaboration staff, working through the Data Science Hub, will connect researchers from all disciplines with available data science resources, experts, and efforts through facilitation guidance, training, and events. The enterprise-wide scale of the DSI will greatly enhance the university’s productivity in today’s data-rich research environment.

The Data Science Institute COVID-19 Research Group is one example of the DSI’s mission in action. Over 100 people in this group are working together to interpret data and create models that can potentially inform public policy responses to this pandemic. Through interdisciplinary collaboration, the DSI is harnessing the power of data science to solve problems and, hopefully, save lives.

brian yandellBrian Yandell, Director of the Biometry Program and Professor of Statistics and Horticulture, will be the interim director of the American Family Insurance Data Science Institute. He is also a co-lead of the Data Science Hub.


  • Perform cutting-edge research in the fundamentals of data science
  • Translate this research by partnering with key application areas
  • Collaborate with researchers across divisions to advance scientific discovery

The American Family Insurance Data Science Institute is administered through the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education with an endowment from American Family Insurance.

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