Data Science at the IMA

Data Science Consortium

Data science touches upon many different disciplines though its underpinnings are mathematical and algorithmic. With the creation of a new data science consortium, the IMA will address the mathematical foundations of data science and its applications. Leveraging its experience developing sustainable research communities in nascent fields of the mathematical sciences, the IMA will continue to build connections between academia, industry, and applied mathematics and bring together researchers from different disciplines to address the gap between data science practice and its foundations. Industrial collaboration from corporate members also provides a broader variety of problems that will allow academia to expand the boundaries of data science.


  • Foster creativity and stimulate exploration at the forefront of data science with an eye towards industrial applications,
  • Provide innovative and mathematically rigorous solutions to problems facing industry,
  • Strengthen industry’s ability to recruit and retain talent.

Corporate members

Cargill, Inc.
Target Corporation

Companies that are interested in joining the IMA Data Science Consortium should contact


  • Industrial postdoctoral fellow program; consortium members will have access to joint postdoctoral researchers who will divide their time between a company-directed project and their own research at the IMA.
  • Thematic programs that explore topics in data science with the goals of pushing the boundary of knowledge and developing the methods for new challenges that arise in industry.
  • Summer training program for graduate students on topics relevant to corporate members.
  • Professional development for company personnel to incorporate emerging technologies on company problems and networking opportunities for information exchange and recruitment.

Thematic programs

Each academic semester features a three-month program that focuses on a basic research theme of common interest to academics and the consortium’s corporate members. Programs include two workshops organized by leaders in the field and invited experts for long-term visits at the IMA to conduct research related to the theme and interact with Minnesota’s data science community. See a full list of data science programs.

Scientific Advisory Board

The scientific advisory board consists of corporate representatives and distinguished researchers with broad interests and knowledge. The advisory board is charged with identifying research topics and identifying research leaders in each topic.

Paritosh Desai Target
Katherine Ensor Rice University
Peter Glynn Stanford University
Piotr Indyk Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Gilad Lerman University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
Joel Tropp California Institute of Technology
James Weed Cargill

Each new consortium member will designate their own board representative.

Industrial Postdoctoral Fellows

Hossein Keshavarz Cargill, Inc.
Stuart Rogers Target Corporation
Dongmian Zou Cargill, Inc.
Guanglin Xu Cargill, Inc.

Data Science Lab

The IMA Data Science Lab is a center for mathematical knowledge and expertise in data science. It aims to serve as a hub for collaboration between industry and academic researchers and to use cutting-edge research to develop tools for the analysis of big data. Read more about the IMA Data Science Lab.

Data Science Seminar Series

The data science seminars are a forum for academic and industrial data scientists to discuss and learn about recent developments in the broad area of data science. Talks will include members of the IMA Data Science Lab, IMA industrial postdoctoral fellows, and local and visiting data scientists. Read more about the data science seminars.