Immediate Relevance

The AUC Data Science Initiative was founded in 2019 by AUC Presidents George T. French Jr. (Clark Atlanta University), David Thomas (Morehouse College), Valerie Montgomery Rice (Morehouse School of Medicine), and Mary Schmidt Campbell (Spelman College) through a major investment to the AUC Consortium from the UnitedHealth Group and has since been supported by the government agencies, private foundations, corporations, and individual donors. The Institute benefits from its strong ties to the AUC institutions and other HBCUs to advance data science education, research, and outreach programs. The Information Sheet highlights the Initiative’s activities and impacts.  

There is a growing workforce need for data scientists and other professionals who possess data science skills. From healthcare to retail and advertising to finance, data science and analytics are used by almost all industries and functional areas. The ability to extract actionable insights from data is empowering organizations across all sectors and has catalyzed the need for professionals who possess both a technical ability to manipulate data and the critical thinking skills needed to analyze how these insights can lead to efficiencies and value. 

The AUC Data Science Initiative will have a considerable impact on broadening participation in the field by dramatically increasing the number of black data scientists in the workforce.

Our Vision

To be the leading institute that provides a forum for the convergence of higher education institutions, industry, and governmental agencies to advance data science on topics that impact Black America and to develop practices that diversify the data science workforce.

Our Mission

The AUC DSI is committed to advancing data science by supporting students and faculty to engage with external stakeholders to develop innovations in research, best practices, and educational activities.

The Atlanta University Center (AUC) Data Science Initiative assists in the envisioning, building, promoting, and development of new data science research and education that increases the number of Blacks with credentials in data science and data analytics and advances research enabled by data science including research areas focused on social justice. 

Our Work

The AUC Data Science Initiative works to enhance the collective capability of the AUC in data science and data analytics as a center for ideas, collaboration, expertise, infrastructure, and resources, with an intensive focus on achieving critical goals:

Developing Talent: Become the largest producer of African Americans with expertise and credentials in data science.

  • Ensure every student has access to data science experiences
  • Prepare students to earn advanced degrees in data science and data science-related fields
  • Engage with industry to enhance research, teaching, and learning
  • Develop innovative data science pathways for K-12 students, adult learners, and the broader HBCU community

Creating New Knowledge: Lead national efforts to address race, gender, and social justice aspects of data science.

  • Develop data science, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and cybersecurity techniques that address ethics and bias, with a focus on topics that impact Black America
  • Expand collaborative research opportunities for the AUC and other HBCUs
  • Cultivate and support faculty development and research
  • Create a data science hub to develop best practices in pedagogy and culturally relevant data science

“Data Science often studies people and hence it is a social science.”

— Dr. Unislawa Williams, Political Science, Spelman College