Duke announced Monday morning that it received $9.75 million in gifts to support a program that explores the uses of big data to solve the world’s most pressing problems.

The gift—the majority of which came from an anonymous donor—will be used to fund the Information Initiative at Duke, an interdisciplinary push to use large volumes of information to address many societal concerns. Remaining portions of the gift came as grants from philanthropists Anne and Robert Bass, who supported the University's launch of the interdisciplinary Bass Connections program in 2013. The iiD—also started in 2013—is the focal point of Bass Connections' Information, Society and Culture theme.

“This infusion of funds will allow us to continue to advance our understanding of how to convert data into knowledge for human benefit, as well as train students in these critical skills,” President Richard Brodhead said in a Duke Today press release.

The funds will provide endowed professorships, fellowships, new educational programming and additional funding that can be used for teaching and research.

Big data—characterized by its scale, diversity, and variability—is already being used by teams at Duke to reverse-engineer the brain and to aid in the delivery of personalized healthcare, among other projects.

“The availability of massive amounts of data within every disciplinary domain is transforming research and education,” said Robert Calderbank, iiD director and a professor in Duke’s departments of electrical and computer engineering, computer science and mathematics, in the release.

The funding for the program is part of the Duke Forward campaign, which seeks to raise $3.25 billion by June 30, 2017, and has made collaborative opportunities for students and faculty through Bass Connections a priority.