ShareThis Page

Big Four auditor investing $11 million in CMU

Aaron Aupperlee
| Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2017, 11:45 a.m.

PwC US, an international consulting firm — formerly PricewaterhouseCoopers — and one of the Big Four auditors, will invest $11 million this year and potentially $31 million over the next five years in Carnegie Mellon University to establish a Risk and Regulatory Services Innovation Center.

The center will be housed inside CMU's H. John Heinz III College.

The center will use data science and social science to better understand how people react to emerging technologies and new services, said Ramayya Krishnan, dean of the Heinz College.

Krishnan said faculty and students will focus on public safety and safe cities, information privacy and cyber security, and how advanced technologies like artificial intelligence and automation could transform the field of auditing. The partnership combines PwC's real-world ties with CMU's strong academics, Krishnan said.

“They are constantly seeing problems out there in the real world caused by all the problems that we are talking about,” Krishnan said.

CMU President Subra Suresh said in statement that the center will give faculty and students an opportunity to work on real-world business problems. Dean Simone, U.S. risk assurance leader at PwC, said in the same news release that the firm is looking to help its clients use technology to solve challenges and build trust.

The investment from PwC will go toward the center, a faculty chair and fellowships. The center will support and conduct education and non-federal research, develop executive training courses for chief risk officers and chief privacy officers and study how businesses use technology to solve organization-wide issues and address compliance requirements, a news release from the university stated.

Krishnan said the center could look at issues such as how a community feels about policing or other government services using hard data and softer, anecdotal information. The center could tackle questions of security and trust posed by the expansion of the Internet of Things, the realm of internet-connected devices such as refrigerators, baby monitors and thermostats.

CMU's announcement of the investment and center comes two months after K&L Gates gave the university $10 million to study the ethics of artificial intelligence. The university said it has partnerships with more than 350 U.S. companies.

Aaron Aupperlee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.