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Diverse Issues in Higher Education Highlights Professor’s Grant to Train Faculty in Data Science

April 2017

Big Data at SpelmanA recent article in Diverse Issues in Higher Education on the increasing need for college graduates proficient in data science and analytics (DSA) highlighted a $400,000 grant received by Brandeis Marshall, Ph.D., Spelman associate professor and chair of computer and information sciences.

The grant supports DSA training to faculty at Spelman and Morehouse colleges. The article, “Leading Educators: All Students Need Data Analytics Courses,” cited a recent report that states while 69 percent of employers want candidates skilled in DSA, only 23 percent of college and university leaders say their graduates will have those skills.

As an example of initiatives to address the need for more diversity in the field, the report noted Dr. Marshall’s three-year grant, awarded in 2016, to train faculty to prepare graduates to compete in a data-driven global job market. Dr. Marshall and her team will kick off the initiative with a 10-day training and curricular development retreat June 19-30 in Tapley Hall.

In the fall, they will launch an academic year seminar series, featuring guest presenters, discussions surrounding pedagogical strategies and cohort building activities. Read the article and more about the Spelman-Morehouse project.

Passionately Delving Into Data Science and Analytics

Brandeis Marshall and Big Data"My research interests lie in the areas of information retrieval, data analytics, social networks and computing education," said Dr. Marshall. "We code to build software to help us improve every aspect of our lives, e.g., health, finances, purchases, and so forth. We depend on using reliable data to transform it into relevant content and make decisions. I'm interested in discovering effective ways of handling text-based data and information."

Mentoring the Next Generation of STEM Professionals

Aside from her scholarly endeavors, Dr. Marshall has been actively engaged in mentoring the next generation of STEM professionals, particularly those from under-represented groups. This engagement has included, but not limited to: serving on the program committees for the ACM Richard Tapia Diversity in Computing Conference, serving as a committee member of SuperComputing's Broader Engagement and Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing. Starting in 2012, Dr. Caio Soares and she began co-leading the Broadening Participation in Data Mining Program, co-located with KDD.