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Bowie State University has joined other historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) to develop a data science consortium. According to the University System of Maryland member institution, the new HBCU Data Science Consortium has received a $100,000 seed grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) South Big Data Hub – the program’s only large-scale grant awarded this year.

“We are looking forward to collaborating across institutions and disciplines to prepare data science professionals from diverse backgrounds,” said Bowie State University (BSU) assistant professor Velma Latson in a statement.

Latson, who is part of  BSU’s Department of Technology & Security and BSU’s lead faculty for the consortium, stressed the importance of the consortium “for underrepresented communities or communities that are often not part of data science.”

The partner institutions include Alabama A&M University, BSU, Florida A&M University, Johnson C. Smith University, Morehouse College, and Norfolk State University.

The HBCUs will host the inaugural HBCU Data Science Workshop in February to assess the needs of faculty and students to grow their data science programs, as well as provide access to a range of experts in panel discussions.

Additionally, the consortium will hold monthly workshops to share best practices and trends in the field. Over the next year, the consortium will also award five mini-grants to help the institutions build their capacity in data science education and research.

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