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First IdeAlytics Fest emphasizes intersection of creativity, analytics

IdeAlytics Fest

The Center for Analytics and Creativity at the Muma College of Business hosted the first IdeAlytics Fest on Thursday, April 2.

The event, which was well-attended by students, faculty, and members of the business community, celebrated all things creative and analytical by building bridges between data-driven insight and artful innovation.

The IdeAlytics Fest featured two keynote speakers from big data companies and innovation think tanks, as well as local innovators that cut across the arts and sciences. The event gave participants an opportunity to engage and interact with keynote speakers as well as with other analytical innovators from the area.

Gerard Tellis, a professor at the University of Southern California, and Chris Volinsky, assistant vice president of big data for AT&T, were the two keynote speakers at the event.

Tellis is the Jerry and Nancy Neely Chair in American Enterprise and professor of marketing, and the director of the Marshall Center for Global Innovation at USC. An author of more than 100 academic articles, Tellis specializes in innovation, global market entry, new product diffusion, quality, and advertising.

Volinsky is the assistant vice president for big data research at AT&T and is the head of AT&T's Data Science Center, which includes research departments in statistics, data visualization, and database technologies. Volinsky and his team won the prestigious $1 Million Netflix Prize, a data mining competition which attracted over 40,000 teams from 186 countries.

Moez Limayem, dean of the Muma College of Business, said the IdeAlytics Fest aligned perfectly with the college's distinctive identity of analytics and creativity. He thanked the center's co-directors, Wolfgang Jank and Timothy Heath, for organizing and hosting the event, which the center plans to host annually.

"Reaction from internally and externally about the combination of analytics and creativity is just amazing," Limayem said. "The IdeAlytics fest was an incredible event that showcased not only the importance of data in making decisions, but the additional edge that creative thinking can give businesses that think outside the box. It also helps strengthen the position of the Muma College of Business as a thought-leader in these areas."