The University of Illinois today announced that Synchrony (NYSE: SYF), a leading consumer financial services company, has opened the Synchrony Emerging Technology Center at the University of Illinois Research Park.
The Emerging Technology Center will focus on advancing Synchrony’s finance and technology capabilities as well as providing real-world skills for students in artificial intelligence, data science, human-centered design and other emerging technologies. Current projects include ‘Ensemble Methods,’ exploring the potential applications of machine learning to credit risk modeling, and the ‘Machine Vision’ project, aimed at transforming the in-store shopping experience by removing the need for the traditional checkout process.
“Developments in artificial intelligence and machine learning have the potential to reshape entire industries. The key for the financial services and retail sectors now lies in understanding how to best harness these technologies to solve real-world problems and deliver better hyper personalized customer experiences,” said Greg Simpson, Chief Technology Officer and Artificial Intelligence leader at Synchrony. “By bringing together the sharpest minds from Synchrony and the University of Illinois, we now have the ability to accelerate the development of these artificial intelligence solutions while building our pipeline of technology talent.”
The students in the program will work closely with Synchrony technology experts to commercialize solutions for the company’s partners. Projects can range across multiple disciplines, such as basic market and technology research, big data analytics, proof-of-concept creation, data visualization, and software development. Synchrony VP of Technology Ujjval Patel will recruit and train student talent for the Emerging Technology Center.
The new partnership builds upon Synchrony’s existing relationships with other educational institutions and complements the company’s four global Innovation Stations.
“Synchrony is developing the future of finance, and what better place than the University of Illinois where it can leverage our expertise in data sciences and computing,” said University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign chancellor Robert J. Jones. “Synchrony’s brand of financial firepower presents interesting opportunities that will engage University of Illinois faculty and students alike.”
Synchrony (NYSE: SYF) is a premier consumer financial services company delivering customized financing programs across key industries including retail, health, auto, travel and home, along with award-winning consumer banking products. With more than $130 billion in sales financed and 74.5 million active accounts, Synchrony brings deep industry expertise, actionable data insights, innovative solutions and differentiated digital experiences to improve the success of every business we serve and the quality of each life we touch. More information can be found at www.synchronyfinancial.com and through Twitter: @Synchrony.
About the Research Park at the University of Illinois
The Research Park at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is a technology hub for startup companies and corporate research and development operations. Within the Research Park there are 115 companies employing students and full-time technology professionals. More information at researchpark.illinois.edu. Find the Research Park on Twitter at @UIResearchPark.