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We had an outstanding day this week at the University of Notre Dame meeting with guests from the Indiana State Police and Indiana Office of Technology Management and Performance Hub. This was the culmination of the joint curriculum project for Notre Dame’s ESTEEM (Engineering, Science & Technology Entrepreneurship Excellence Masters) program which began earlier this semester.

The ESTEEM program had agreed to work with Indiana’s Management Performance Hub this semester to analyze traffic crash data as part of the new class.  The (MPH) is connected to and builds on the data-rich Indiana Transparency Portal by increasing the accessibility and usability of key information -- the state's financial health, the status of executive agencies' key performance indicators and Governor Mike Pence's six road map goals and their progress.  Indiana has become a very innovative and nationally recognized SAP business partner in using data analytics.  In particular the Indiana State Police sponsored the class project and shared a very large data set of traffic crash data spanning ten years for use in the class.  The police force is looking at ways to reduce fatalities and other traffic incidents on state roads and had asked students to make recommendations based on the data.  Students presented their findings back to state leaders on Wednesday as the final segment of the class here on campus.  These findings will be used by state officials as a foundation for further research and potential policy considerations.

Rob Simpson of the Indiana State Police summed up his experience as follows:  “I was pleased to be a part of the audience who witnessed the ESTEEM student’s presentation of the Indiana crash data.  It was very obvious to see the dedication put forth to this project by these students from the very valuable information they were able to provide.  We look forward to continuing our efforts to make Indiana roadways safer through data analytics and the partnership we have developed with Notre Dame University.  Once again, thank you for the hard work put forth in this project by everyone”

David Ryan and Josh Marshall, leaders in the Indiana Office of Technology, joined the Indiana State Police to hear the presentations.  While they were on campus, we had the opportunity to meet with several graduate students who had also reviewed the crash data and provided insights back to our guests.

These students work with Dr. Nitesh Chawla who leads iCeNSA, an interdisciplinary research center organized around network science problems in social, biological, biochemical, physical, environmental, financial, organizational, technical and defense systems.  The students are experts in data analytics and provided many unique observations on the data set.  A group of undergraduate business students also worked on the data set for a class project as part of the regular SAP Analytics curriculum here.

ESTEEM is an innovative 11-month entrepreneurship master’s program designed to equip a person with the specific skills required to launch a business.  Unlike the traditional M.B.A., an entrepreneurship master’s focuses on the direct application of business skills to an entrepreneurial environment. ESTEEM sets itself apart from other entrepreneur master’s programs by putting students in the middle of real-time startup development.  In addition, a wide network of investors and alumni is available to help launch ventures inspired by students' capstone projects.