The Atlanta University Center Consortium has announced a new partnership with MasterCard that aims to expand data science studies at historically Black colleges and universities. The partnership with Mastercard advances the AUC Data Science Initiative’s work in building and strengthening data science capacity at HBCUs by expanding industry-informed curriculum, supporting innovation in computer science programs, and building programs supporting student engagement in data science and career development.
The partnership also seeks to develop new or reframed courses created across HBCUs guided by industry needs. New computer science faculty will be hired at an AUC institution and will work across HBCUs to strengthen data-specific curriculum and programming. This partnership will expand successful AUC Data Science Initiative programs such as the PreFreshman Experience summer program, career development, and placement efforts working in collaboration with HBCUs to support students gaining employment in data-intensive jobs. The project will work with the 107 HBCUs nationwide to teach data science and partner with schools on developing data science curriculum for students and faculty.
Talitha Washington, a professor of the mathematical sciences at Clark Atlanta University and director of the AUC Data Science Initiative, will lead collaboration with other HBCUs to create new innovations in curricula and research. “There is a growing workforce need for data scientists and other professionals who possess data science skills,” said Dr. Washington. “Data science impacts everything that we do, and we need all talent at all HBCUs to drive innovations.”
Dr. Washington is a graduate of Spelman College where she majored in mathematics. She holds a master’s degree and Ph.D. both in mathematics from the University of Connecticut.