The Center for Applied Data Science and Analytics Launched at Howard University

Historically Black Howard University in Washington, D.C., has announced the creation of the Center for Applied Data Science and Analytics. The center, funded by a $5 million grant from Mastercard, will advance Howard’s leadership as a major hub of data science for social impact research and training for the next generation of data scientists with expertise in incorporating analysis of racial bias in financial services.

The center will offer a master’s degree in applied data science and a thought leadership series on racial equity and inclusive growth. Black communities face unique challenges and algorithmic bias in financial services and specifically with credit decisions. The new center will conduct research examining how data science can contribute to minimizing racial bias in credit approval processes.

Howard University professor of biochemistry and molecular biology William Southerland will serve as interim director of the center. “Data science occurs when data is converted into useful and actionable knowledge,” said Professor Southerland. “This process works best for societal advancement when data is approached without preconceptions and knowledge is interpreted without bias. That is why diversity in the data science profession is so critically important, and it’s also why this Mastercard-Howard collaboration is destined to be very impactful.”

“Data science touches everything, and it’s going to continue to be increasingly impactful in everything that we do,” added Howard University provost and chief academic officer Anthony K. Wutoh. “We’re grateful for the partnership with Mastercard in enabling us to use data science to answer some of the broader societal questions we believe Howard can significantly impact, including those around health care and economic disparities”

Related Articles


  1. Howard University need to expend time, money, and resources significantly improving their overall building infrastructure and compared to creating another academic boondoggle new program. I just bet they don’t have the funds, facilities, and certainly not faculty to substantively support this new program. Once again, another so-called Black HBCU president making flawed and incomprehensive decisions.

    • Wrong. Data is a huge field with six-figure salaries. Preparing for the careers of today is a strategic and well-thought-out decision.

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Porché Spence Recognized for Outstanding Commitment to Advancing Diversity in Ecology

Dr. Spence currently serves as an assistant professor of environmental studies at North Carolina A&T State University. Throughout her career, she has developed several educational programs geared towards introducing students of color to environmental science fields.

Prairie View A&M University Establishes “Agletics” Program for Student-Athlete Nutrition Research

The "Agletics" initiative leverages agriculture and nutrition studies into direct support for the university's student athletes. he research program will provide undergraduate students in nutrition with the opportunity to study the effect of nutrition on enhancing athletic performance.

Five Black Leaders Appointed to Administrative Positions in Higher Education

Here is this week’s roundup of African Americans who have been appointed to new administrative positions at colleges and universities throughout the United States. If you have news for our appointments section, please email the information to

Protests of a Different Color: HBCUs and the Student Protest Movements Against the War in the Middle East

Student protests concerning the Israel-Hamas war have been commonplace on the campuses of elite predominantly White colleges and universities. While not receiving a lot of publicity, HBCU students have not sat on the sidelines of the protest movement.

Featured Jobs