Clemson University Launches Major Effort to Increase the Number of Blacks in Computer Science

200px-Clemson_University_Seal.svgClemson University in South Carolina received a $5 million grant from the National Science Foundation to increase the number of African Americans who pursue degrees in computer science and to improve retention of Black students in these programs. The university will establish the Institute for African American Mentoring in the Computer Sciences. The institute aims to increase the number of African-American doctoral graduates who enter the workforce with a research focus; retain and advance African-American doctoral students, faculty and researchers in computing; and develop future African-American leaders with computing expertise in the academy, government, and industry.

The program will be under the direction of Juan Gilbert, presidential endowed professor and Shaundra Daily, an assistant professor in the School of Computing.

gilbert_lg“African-Americans represent about 1 percent of the computer science faculty and researchers in the U.S.,” Professor Gilbert said. “We formed this institute to increase the number of underrepresented groups earning computing science doctoral degrees and researchers in the academy, government and private sector.”

Dr. Gilbert is a graduate of Miami University in Ohio. He holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Cincinnati.

PhD candidate and member of ACME Shaundra  Bryant Daily“Computing enables almost every sector of our economy and is among the fastest-growing areas of projected job growth,” Dr. Daily said. “The institute will not only mentor future leaders with established computing expertise, but also encourage underrepresented groups to explore the field of computing.”

Dr. Daily holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Florida A&M University and a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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