David (‘84, computer information systems, accounting) and Ruth Singelyn (‘83, computer information systems), made a significant gift to Cal Poly Pomona’s College of Business Administration, establishing the Singelyn Center for Innovative Analytics. The new center features a visual analytics lab and supports graduate degree programs in analytics.
“This innovative center will provide students the ability to bring technology and data together, learning valuable skills for their careers and society,” David said. “The Cal Poly Pomona experience is different than other educational environments – I applied what I was learning through internships and projects, which solidified the discussions in the classrooms.”
The college recently opened its visual analytics lab, providing a dedicated space for students to work with faculty and professionals using industry-level tools and programs, including new visualization technology and software, interactive displays and collaborative workspaces.
“Part of our reason to give back to the university is that we have such gratitude for the education we received here and pride for being part of the university,” Ruth said. “I feel like Cal Poly Pomona is in our blood – it was where we met, it helped shape our character and our work ethic. We want to continue helping students have the same experience that we did, and better.”
The new center will help students like Kevin Lee, a senior studying computer information systems, who worked on a visual analytics group project for Boeing using real data provided by the company and online resources to determine factors affecting aircraft corrosion.
His team presented their findings through a visual and interactive presentation that allowed the viewers to easily understand the information and strategize about how to use it.
“The methods are important within your analytics team, but the end goal is to present to people outside of your team,” said Lee, who also has a concentration in operations management. “Visual analytics is an art and science – how do you best relay your findings straight to the point and effectively communicate whatever you’re analyzing? Businesses want information in a readily available format, and they trust that you applied the right methods.”
In addition to the new center, the Singelyns’ gift provides funding to enhance current programs, including strengthening the undergraduate curriculum and supporting faculty research. The gift also launched two new graduate degrees, business analytics and supply chain, currently under curriculum review.
“This transformational gift has already been a catalyst for innovation in the college and has been key in providing future-proof skills and experiences for our students, enabling them to provide superior value as graduates,” said Erik Rolland, dean of the College of Business Administration. “We are thankful for David and Ruth’s tremendous generosity, leadership and for their commitment to our students’ success.”
David is the co-founder and CEO of American Homes 4 Rent, which provides renovated rental homes in 21 states. He says that he gives back to the community through his work by providing more than 200,000 people with affordable housing options, rehabilitating neighborhoods and creating jobs. David was invited back to campus to speak alongside his nephew, Ryan Singelyn (’17, marketing management) through the 2017 Dean’s Leadership Forum Speakers Series on his journey to becoming a CEO. This experience introduced to him the idea of giving back to his alma mater.
“It’s a privilege to give back to the school where we started and it’s maybe even a little bit of a duty to give back,” David said. “I hope that what we are doing today is going to provide the tools to students and support the quality staff at Cal Poly Pomona to continue the polytechnic way. We hope to have a very meaningful impact to the next generation of global leaders.”