The founding director for UW-Madison’s new School of Computer, Data and Information Sciences, Tom Erickson, aims to boost industry-sponsored research by working more closely with company partners.

“We want to dramatically increase the collaboration we have with industry,” Erickson told

As a veteran entrepreneur who’s worked with more than 10 software companies around the world, he brings “a number of fresh ideas about what’s going on in business.” In a recent interview, Erickson noted the university often falls behind peers in terms of industry-sponsored studies, but he sees the new tech-focused school as an opportunity to do more.

As an example, he says data scientists could work with researchers from the School of Human Ecology to leverage complex data on pricing and purchasing trends for retailers in the state.

“What should Kohl’s be doing to create new pricing mechanisms based around supply and demand of certain products?” he said. “We want to open up and create ways to collaborate with faculty.”  Read the full story here.