ASU Awarded Grant for Data Science

News Date
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ASU's Dr. Michelle Foster, interim-chair, Mathematics & Computer Science (photo credit: David Campbell/ASU).

ASU Awarded $10-K HBCU Data Science

Consortium Mini-Grant!

- Funded by the South Big Data Hub's Southern Engagement and Enrichment in Data Science (S.E.E.D.S.) Program.

- Grant establishes a pilot-program to enhance data science knowledge among underserved students. 

By: Kenneth Mullinax/ASU 

An HBCU mini-grant has been awarded to Alabama State University as part of the HBCU Data Science Consortium, which is a pilot-program that will help establish a community of knowledge and learning for underrepresented students in data science at the University. 

The $10,000 grant is awarded to ASU from the South Big Data Hub's Southern Engagement and Enrichment in Data Science (S.E.E.D.S.) program, according to Dr. Michelle Foster, interim-chair of ASU's Mathematics and Computer Science department and the author of the grant. 

"Because of this new grant, our ASU students will be able to take new courses in data science, partake in an HBCU guest lecture series, and participate in peer mentoring and data science workshops," said Foster, who will help administer the grant. "My goal is for this grant to increase interest in data science among the students at the University and impact our students' sense of belonging in the discipline." 

She said that by the fall semester, approximately 14 ASU students will be selected for the pilot program, and ASU will see new academic courses created in both data science and python programming. Eligible students must have a firm background in computer science and mathematics and a minimum GPA of 3.0. 

Executives with the HBCU Consortium said the group received numerous submissions, all of which were "very competitive" within its review process, and after careful consideration, Alabama State University's proposal was accepted for funding.   


The S.E.E.D.S. program is designed to promote collaboration and support the interfacing of data, ideas and tools across a wide array of disciplines which include educational institutions, government and industry. 

The major goals and priorities of the effort includes making progress and helping put together solutions for issues in such areas as:

•Health disparities

•Smart cities and communities

•Materials and advanced manufacturing

•Team science

•Data sharing and cyber-infrastructure

•Data science education and workforce development 


ASU's Foster said that examples of some of the activities that will be funded by the grant may include stipends for professional mentoring of underserved students and communities; professional development of workshops, forums, webinar series; and the establishment of new academic curriculum. 

"I hope to see us best utilize this grant to better engage our student's interest in data science and engage more underserved students to go into the data science profession," Foster added. 

News media contact: Kenneth Mullinax, 334-229-4104.