A grant award was made on August 15th, 2016 to Morehouse College and Spelman College entitled Targeted Infusion Project: Data Science eXtension (DSX): Incorporating data science fundamentals in computing curriculum at Spelman and Morehouse Colleges. The total amount of the grant is $399,903 over three years. The idea behind the grant is to infuse data science concepts throughout multiple classes at Morehouse and Spelman Colleges, create two new data science courses that students at both institutions can take and submit a proposal to develop a minor in Data Science at both Morehouse and Spelman Colleges. Drs. Brandeis Marshall (Spelman College) and Kinnis Gosha (Morehouse College) are the Principal Investigators on the grant. Data science is an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary field focused on processes and systems that extract knowledge and relevant information from either structured or unstructured data (Baker et al, 2011; Chang et al, 2008; Naur 1974). According to the McKinsey Report (Manyika et al, 2011), there will be almost 200,000 positions requiring “deep analytical skills”. The report further outlines the additional job responsibilities of nearly 1.5 million managers and analysts who will need to analyze and interpret data findings in order to make decisions. Given that HBCUs account for only 3% of the higher education institutions, HBCUs are producing nearly 26% of all Black STEM bachelor’s recipients each year with smaller institution endowments and restricted institutional resources (Upton and Tanenbaum 2014). The continued STEM bachelor’s recipient production hinges on sufficient faculty and student exposure and training in emerging fields such as data science. Says Gosha, “This award sets the groundwork to make both Morehouse and Spelman College the national leaders in producing African-Americans data scientists, which will add to the overall push by both colleges to prepare students for outstanding career and graduate school opportunities after graduation.” More information about the award can be found on the National Science Foundation’s website.
Thanks to funding from a 2016 Google’s RISE Award, a week-long camp was held at Morehouse College July 25th-29th to prepare 17 local underrepresented high school students for the Advanced Placement Computer Science course this fall. The grant was submitted by Barbara Ericson (Georgia Institute of Technology) and Dr. Kinnis Gosha (Morehouse College).
On April 22nd, 2016, Dr. Kinnis Gosha delivered a keynote speech for the Albany State University Center for Undergraduate Research (CUR) Undergraduate Colloquium. Gosha, a 2005 Albany State University alum, was introduced by his former Department Chair and director of the Albany State University Center for Undergraduate Research (CUR), Dr. Zephyrinus C. Okonkwo. Dr. Gosha delivered a strong message to the students, which will be later aired on the Albany State University television station in the coming months.
Dr. Kinnis Gosha and Dr. Brandies Marshall have been awarded a collaborative grant of $299,257 from the National Science Foundation (Award #1547793). The overall purpose of this grant is to plan and design a dual institution CREST research center in Socially Relevant Computing at Morehouse and Spelman Colleges. The center will provide interdisciplinary education, undergraduate research, and workforce development for African American computer science students. In addition, the center will create an ecosystem of partners to conduct research that leads to technologies that help solve critical societal problems of national priority.
A collaborative grant between Morehouse and Spelman was submitted and funded by the Association of Colleges of the South. Dr. Kinnis Gosha along with fellow PI from the Spelman Computer Science faculty, Dr. Jerry Volcey, was awarded the grant totaling $11,000. The goal of the grant is to support Morehouse College and Spelman College non-computing faculty with training on how to use the makerspaces at both institutions and integrate it into their current course curriculum.
A new journal has been accepted for manuscript in the International Journal of Education and Human Developments. Dr. Juan Gilbert and Morehouse Junior, Kamal Middlebrook, are co-authors.
It has been a major goal of the United States government to increase the participation of Americans in the fields of Science & Engineering (S&E), especially in under-represented groups. This research examines the use of an embodied conversational agent (ECA) as a virtual mentor to African American undergraduates who are interested in pursuing a graduate degree in computing. Mentoring advice was collected from a group of experts and programmed within the ECA. A between-group, mixed method experiment was conducted with 37 African American male undergraduate computer science majors where one group used the ECA mentor while the other group pursued mentoring advice from a human mentor. Results showed no significant difference between the ECA and human mentor when dealing with career mentoring functions. However, the human mentor was significantly better than the ECA mentor when addressing psychosocial mentoring functions.
Gosha, K., Gilbert, J., Middlebrook, K. (2016) A Qualitative Analysis of Using a Virtual Mentoring Program on Black Computer Science Students. International Journal of Education and Human Developments (ISSN: 2334-2978), 5(1).