Salesforce Executive Peter Coffee to Deliver a Big Data Lecture

December 04, 2015

MISSOULA – The University of Montana’s leading research and programmatic development in big data has gained the attention of a top executive at Salesforce. Peter Coffee, vice president for strategic research, will visit UM on Monday, Dec. 7, to deliver a talk about how big data is transforming society.

Coffee will present “Big Data Goes to Work: Liberating Latent Value in a Connected World” from 3:10. to 4 p.m. in Gallagher Business Building Room 106. A reception will follow from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the Davidson Honors College Lounge. Both events are free and open to the public.

The presentation is part of UM’s Mathematical Sciences Colloquium, organized by UM math Professor Leonid Kalachev. It will focus on the ways data helps businesses document past behaviors, seek opportunities and build predictive tools that have the power to change behaviors and create new value.

With revenue of more than $6 billion annually and a market capitalization of $53 billion, Salesforce has established itself as an undisputed thought leader in cloud-computing and customer relationship management software.

Coffee’s UM presentation is the result of a conversation that started more than a year ago between Coffee, Kalachev and Brian Steele, a UM math professor involved in teaching big data courses, Kalachev said.

In addition to the work done by the mathematics department, UM has established numerous interdisciplinary programs in the big data space, including computer science, marketing and management information systems.

UM’s School of Business Administration offers a certificate degree in big data analytics and is close to finalizing a Master’s of Science in Business Analytics, said David Firth, a UM professor of management information systems.

Missoula tech company ATG will sponsor the reception following Coffee’s lecture. ATG has been the beneficiary of numerous graduates from these programs.

“The University of Montana has been a key component to ATG’s dramatic growth over the past few years, and much of our work is within the Salesforce ecosystem,” ATG Vice President Tom Stergios said. “We are excited to hear what will come out of the collaboration between Salesforce and the University of Montana.”

For more information call Kalachev at 406-243-4373 or email


Contact: Leonid Kalachev, professor/chair, UM Department of Mathematics, 406-243-4373,