Anderson, Indiana

Computer science grad innovates through technology

Fri, 2013-09-13 09:48 -- univcomm
Matt Donovan
September 13, 2013

Matt Donovan, a 2008 graduate of Anderson University, recently began working at the corporate headquarters for State Farm Insurance. However, he is not an insurance salesman; he is part of the Technology Innovation Team.

“State Farm Insurance recently started an innovation team that is responsible for finding new markets to do business in,” said Donovan. The team Donovan is part of is responsible for looking at technology that encourages new ideas, markets, and opportunities. Currently, Donovan is working with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

“I am working with MIT to better understand how technology can detect physical changes in the body to predict emotional states. Using that information we are trying to see if we are able to avoid unnecessary negative emotional experiences so people can be happier, safer, and more self-aware,” said Donovan.

This type of research requires outside–the-box thinking, a technique Donovan learned at Anderson University. “AU shaped the way I think about things,” said Donovan. “I learned to think critically, and this prepared me to embrace a mentality of seeing the possibility of things that may not exist today. My job requires this line of thinking all the time.”

Sam Blanchard, assistant professor of computer science at AU, worked with Donovan through AU’s Software Research Center and attests to his skills in technology. “He showed a real interest in both the technical aspects of computer science and the meaningful things you can accomplish with this knowledge. Matt is skilled in systems administration, client/server programming, and a broad range of Internet studies.”

The faculty and staff at AU not only contributed to Donovan’s success at AU, but also encouraged him to continue his education. “Matt has jumped from his entry-level, in-demand technical job, leveraged employer-supported graduate work, and demonstrated the open-endedness of an AU education,” said Blanchard.

Moving forward in his career, Donovan is thankful for the time spent at AU. “The faculty really seemed to care about me and my development. The friends I made were people of character and integrity and were doing things to make the world a better place,” said Donovan. “I felt like I belonged to a new, larger family.”

— Allison Kohl is a junior from Springfield, Ohio, majoring in communications arts. Kohl is an associate with Fifth Street Communications®, writing on behalf of the Anderson University Office of University Communications.

Anderson University is a private Christian university of about 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America's top colleges by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, music, nursing, and theology.