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MassMutual data science center in Amherst to launch Monday with ‘Tech Trek’ event



Last modified: Tuesday, October 06, 2015
AMHERST — MassMutual’s data science center at the Kendrick Place mixed-use building in downtown Amherst will launch Monday afternoon with an event featuring regional and statewide professionals involved in promoting “big data.”

As part of the first MassBigData “Tech Trek” to take place in western Massachusetts, executives from several prominent organizations driving big data innovation — including MassMutual, National Grid, EnerNOC, Lexalytics and MachineMetrics — will be on hand for the event, scheduled for 5 to 7 p.m. at the 57 East Pleasant St. building.

Speakers will include Richard K. Sullivan Jr., president and CEO of the Western Massachusetts Economic Development Council; Pat Larkin, director of the Innovation Institute at the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative; Katie Stebbins, assistant secretary for Technology, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship in the state’s Office of Housing and Economic Development; Sears Merritt, vice president of data science at MassMutual; Marc Maier, data scientist at MassMutual; National Grid data analyst Kristin Vincent; Jeff Catlin, founder of Lexalytics; Angela Bassa, director of Data Science at EnerNOC; and Jacob Lauzier, cofounder and CTO of MachineMetrics.

The aim of their talks — which represent the fields of financial services, energy, technology and manufacturing — is to help cultivate and inspire the next generation of talent in computing and analytics. About 80 undergraduate and graduate students from the Five College area are participating.

In addition to opening the new data science center within walking distance of the University of Massachusetts and Amherst College campuses, MassMutual has also supported big data education in western Massachusetts through a $2 million, four-year effort to support “Women in Data Science” programs at both Smith College and Mount Holyoke College.

The MassBigData Tech Trek series is part of the state’s big data initiative, managed by MassTech.

More than 60 similar events and numerous related to big data have already been held this year in the Boston area.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at smerzbach@gazettenet.com.