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Wharton Launches AI for Business With $5 Million Gift

A year after creating the Wharton Analytics initiative, the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School is further extending its commitment to analytics and data with a new program called AI for Business.

The new program is being launched thanks to a $5 million gift from Wharton alumni Tao Zhang and Selina Chin. With AI for Business, the school will expand its teaching and research on the topic of artificial intelligence.

For students, that initiative will create several new opportunities.

One is a wider range of coursework related to AI. The school says it plans to create new courses for MBA, EMBA and executive education students that explore the implications of AI for business and society. 

The new program will also bring guest speakers to Wharton’s campuses in Philadelphia and San Francisco. 

A third priority outlined by the school is to support student engagement in AI-related events and clubs, as well as to create collaborations between Wharton and other University of Pennsylvania schools.

AI for Business will be a part of the school’s umbrella analytics initiative, Analytics at Wharton, which was launched last year with a $15 million gift. 

The new AI-focused program will be led by professor Kartik Hosanagar, who has written a book titled A Human’s Guide to Machine Intelligence: How Algorithms Are Shaping Our Lives and How We Can Stay in Control. This year, Hosanagar began teaching Wharton’s new online Artificial Intelligence for Business course.

Tao Zhang and Selina Chin, who donated the $5 million to launch AI for Business, are both alumni from Wharton’s MBA Class of 2002. Zhang served as co-CEO of internet company Meituan-Dianping while Chin was CFO and vice president of Goodyear Tires. 

According to Zhang, “Selina and I share experience and interest in management, tech, startups, and opportunities for leadership in global business which comes together in AI.” 

He added that “Wharton is the ideal setting for us to enable these experiences for such talented students and renowned faculty.”

With Zhang’s gift, Wharton continues to stand out not just as a top business school with accomplished students and faculty, but as one that has increasingly been putting resources into academic programs that prepare students to make use of analytics and data in a business environment.

For those interested in artificial intelligence and machine learning, the launch of AI for Business reinforces Wharton as a school to consider. 

Of course, as a top business school, admission to Wharton is highly competitive. If you’re wondering how your profile stacks up at a school like Wharton and what you can do to put together an application that emphasizes the unique strengths you would bring, we’re happy to offer personalized feedback. Just ask us for a free MBA application assessment!

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