About Us

Our Mission

Education is the cornerstone of AI for Business. Through interdisciplinary courses and experiential learning opportunities made possible by a generous gift from Tao Zhang, WG’02, and Selina Chin, WG’02, we prepare undergraduate and graduate students for the advancing field of AI. Our focus is to help students expand their knowledge and application of machine learning and understand the business and societal implications of AI.

AIB also provides exceptional educational resources for business professionals looking to understand machine learning fundamentals. Tomorrow’s business leaders need to understand where and how to apply AI within the enterprise. AIB bridges the gap between business practitioners and data scientists while also equipping business professionals with strategic frameworks to bring AI to the center of business transformation efforts.

Our programs seek to make the field more inclusive and diverse by attracting curious students and business professionals who have never been exposed to the possibilities of how AI can transform business and society.

Wharton AI for Business was established with the support and partnership of Tao Zhang, WG’02 and Selina Chin, WG’02.

Our Leadership


Kartik Hosanagar

Kartik Hosanagar is the John C. Hower Professor of Technology and Digital Business and a Professor of Marketing at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Kartik’s research work focuses on the digital economy, in particular the impact of analytics and algorithms on consumers and society, Internet media, Internet marketing, and e-commerce.

Kartik serves as a department editor at the journal Management Science and has previously served as a Senior Editor at the journals Information Systems Research and MIS Quarterly. He is a ten-time recipient of MBA or Undergraduate teaching excellence awards at the Wharton School and has been recognized as one of the world’s top 40 business professors under 40. Kartik’s research has received several best paper awards. Kartik cofounded and developed the core IP for Yodle Inc, a venture-backed firm that was acquired by Web.com. Yodle was listed by Inc. Magazine among America’s fastest growing private companies. He has served on the advisory boards of Milo (acq. by eBay) and is involved with many other startups as either an investor or board member. His past consulting and executive education clients include Google, American Express, Citi and others. Kartik was a co-host of the SiriusXM show The Digital Hour.

Kartik graduated at the top of his class with a Bachelor’s degree in Electronics Engineering and a Masters in Information Systems from Birla Institute of Technology and Sciences (BITS, Pilani), India, and he has an MPhil in Management Science and a PhD in Management Science and Information Systems from Carnegie Mellon University.

Outside of Wharton, he likes to make short films and work on and with startups.

Contact Kartik at kartikh@wharton.upenn.edu.

John C. Hower Professor
Professor of Operations, Information and Decisions
Faculty Co-Lead, AI for Business

Prasanna (Sonny) Tambe

Prasanna (Sonny) Tambe is an Associate Professor of Operations, Information and Decisions at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. His research focuses on the economics of technology and labor. Recent research projects focus on 1) understanding how firms compete for software developers, 2) how software engineers choose technologies in which to specialize, and 3) how AI is transforming HR management.

Much of this research has uses Internet-scale data sources to measure labor market activity at novel levels of granularity. His published papers have analyzed data from online job sites and other labor market intermediaries that generate databases of fine-grained information on workers’ skills and career paths or on employers’ job requirements. He is a co-author of “The Talent Equation: Big Data Lessons for Navigating the Skills Gap and Building a Competitive Workforce,” published by McGraw Hill in 2013.

His research has been published or is forthcoming in a number of academic journals including Management Science, Information Systems Research, MIS Quarterly, The Review of Financial Studies, Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Communications of the ACM, and Information Economics and Policy and it has been supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. His research has also won a number of awards, including the Best Published Paper in Information Systems Research and two papers have been nominees for the Best Published IS Paper in Management Science. He currently serves on the editorial board of Management Science and in the past, has served on the editorial board of Information Systems Research.

Professor Tambe received his S.B. and M.Eng. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his Ph.D. in Managerial Science and Applied Economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Associate Professor of Operations, Information and Decisions
Faculty Co-Lead, AI for Business

Mary Purk

As the Executive Director of AI for Business, Mary Purk leads initiatives in academic research, student curriculum, and thought leadership to advance the application of cutting-edge artificial intelligence methods. Ms. Purk is also the Executive Director of Wharton Customer Analytics.

Ms. Purk has held other principal roles at Nielsen and IRI developing and implementing enterprise-wide analytic platforms focused on customers and brand equity. Her expertise includes forecast models, consumer segmentation, marketing mix models, product assortments, pricing, and digital strategies.

Other work experience includes leading the Retail Research Center at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and consulting roles with Accenture and AT Kearney.

Ms. Purk is a proud MBA alumnus of the University of Chicago Booth and the University of Illinois. Ms. Purk has designed and instructed executive education courses, presented at numerous conferences, and published papers in the Journal of Marketing and Journal of Retailing.

Contact Mary at marypurk@wharton.upenn.edu.

Executive Director, AI for Business
Executive Director, Wharton Customer Analytics

Our Team


Matthew Gray

At Wharton AI for Business, Matt leads the initiative’s business operations including financial, HR, and administrative matters. Additionally, Matt oversees student experiential learning programs in AI to solve business problems. Matt develops and manages datathons, workshops, analytics challenges, and competitions with corporate partners using real-world datasets. Matt is AIB’s liaison to Penn and Wharton student organizations that focus on analytics, data science, AI, and marketing. Prior to coming to The Wharton School, Matt worked in admissions and marketing communications at several Philadelphia-area universities. 

Contact Matt at mattgray@wharton.upenn.edu

Senior Associate Director, Operations

Maddie Lasser

Maddie Lasser is the Associate Director, Experiential Programs and Events at AI for Business. Maddie manages logistics for a portfolio of events for students, industry professionals, and alumni. Additionally, Maddie develops and manages student programs including the Analytics Accelerator and datathons, as well as AIB’s relationships with student organizations. Maddie comes from an event planning background, with professional experience working for the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Terrain at Styers. Maddie holds a B.A. in Business Management from Goucher College.

Contact Maddie at mmlasser@wharton.upenn.edu.

Associate Director, Experiential Programs and Events
Nicole Wang-Trexler-b&w

Nicole Wang-Trexler

Nicole Wang-Trexler, Ph.D. is the Associate Director of Data Science and Research for AI for Business. She supports the design, scope, and execution of experiential learning and research projects. Nicole holds a dual titled Ph.D. in Learning, Design, and Technology and Comparative International Education from the Pennsylvania State University, and an MS.Ed. from the University of Pennsylvania. She has 10 years of research experience in data analytics across different fields. She is also the founder of Penn Alumni Club of Central PA.

Contact Nicole at nicolewt@wharton.upenn.edu.

Associate Director of Data Science and Research

Contact Us

Academic Research Building
265 S. 37th Street
Analytics Suite, Third Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19104

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