Inaugural Rocket Companies Michigan Data Science Fellow


In Fall 2021, the Michigan Institute for Data Science (MIDAS) put out the call for applications to its Inaugural Rocket Companies Michigan Data Science Fellow position, a position within the Michigan Data Science Fellows Program. MIDAS and Rocket sought an early-career researcher with a keen interest in ethical data science, fairness, and reproducibility in the social sciences. Following the applications round, MIDAS offered the position to Bernardo Modenesi, who has enthusiastically accepted and joined the cohort of fellows.

profile photo of Bernardo Modenesi

Bernardo Modenesi

Bernardo comes to the fellowship with a Ph.D. in Economics and a joint M.A. degree in Statistics from the University of Michigan, focusing on labor market dynamics. His foremost interests include how interdisciplinary methods can address problems within the field and lead to welfare-enhancing policy changes, e.g., employing Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning tools to better measure gender-wage disparities. In addition to practical applications, he also plans to contribute to the research and scholarship on ethics and fairness in AI, noting how the field is still very new and underdeveloped.

When considering post-doctorate options, Bernardo remarked that it was an easy decision to choose MIDAS, given how precisely his interests aligned with the MIDAS’s mission to foster innovative and responsible data science and AI.

Bernardo is the first industry-sponsored postdoctoral fellow in the Michigan Data Science Fellows Program, which was established in 2019. This is one of the few campus-wide postdoctoral programs among US universities that focus on data science and AI, and boasts a group of highly accomplished young scientists who support and collaborate closely with each other and build extensive collaboration across the campus with faculty and other postdocs. The Rocket Companies sponsored fellowship also signifies how academia and industry can leverage the postdoc program to address urgent scientific and societal challenges using data science and AI. “Working with the data science and AI teams at Rocket Companies has been a blast,” says Bernardo, “it’s exciting that we have found ethical AI as the common ground, and the company’s prioritization of industry-university collaboration is giving me a great opportunity to see my research outcomes having real impact.”

Click here to learn more about the Michigan Data Science Fellows Program.