Historic $10 Million NSF Grant Establishes the National Data Science Alliance to Expand Data Science at HBCUs

 Clark Atlanta University (CAU) makes history as the first Historically Black College and University (HBCU) to receive a $10 million award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) INCLUDES program to establish the National Data Science Alliance (NDSA).

The NDSA will increase the number of Black people earning data science credentials by at least 20,000 by 2027 and expand data science research that advocates for social justice and strive to eliminate bias. To accomplish this visionary goal, the NDSA will facilitate engagement across all HBCUs with industry and academic collaboration to broaden participation and advance social justice in data science.

“This is a monumental accomplishment for the HBCU community as a whole, and we at Clark Atlanta University are deeply honored to perpetuate institutional mission through data science,” said President George T. French Jr., Ph.D. “Clark Atlanta University has deep roots in conducting data science research that promotes equity, including the seminal works of scholar and former faculty member W.E.B. Du Bois on these hallowed grounds. This historic award exemplifies our commitment to ensuring that competitive advantage for students to succeed and excel in our data-driven society.”

Talitha Washington, the lead and principal investigator of the grant, is the mastermind behind the NDSA. As the Director of the Atlanta University Center (AUC) Data Science Initiative and professor of mathematics at Clark Atlanta University, she is passionate about engaging more HBCUs and building a community to accelerate the preparation of students in data science and discover solutions for data-oriented problems that impact the lives of Blacks.

“We are excited that many HBCUs will collaborate with us to develop new equity-based discoveries in data science and expand student pathways that will change the face of data science,” said Washington.

The NDSA is supported by the AUC Consortium, led by Michael Hodge, with industry-university collaboration led by Moses Garuba (Howard University) and collective impact efforts led by H. Justin Ballenger (Morehouse College). The NDSA’s three regional hubs are led by LaTanya Brown-Robertson (Howard University), Sajid Hussain (Fisk University), and Eric Mintz (Clark Atlanta University). The evaluation will be led by Kavita Mittapalli (MN Associates).

The NDSA will catalyze systemic change at scale by engaging over 1,000 HBCU faculty and will create equity-based data science ecosystems where all students can learn and thrive.

AUC Data Science Initiative

Tommy Taylor Jr.

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Canada – Atlantic Seal Science Task Team to hold a briefing on its newly released Report

Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador – Fisheries and Oceans Canada will facilitate an availability with Glenn Blackwood, Co-Chair of the Atlantic Seal Science Task Team, for media interested in the release of the Atlantic Seal Science Task Team Report.

Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador – Fisheries and Oceans Canada will facilitate an availability with Glenn Blackwood, Co-Chair of the Atlantic Seal Science Task Team, for media interested in the release of the Atlantic Seal Science Task Team Report.

Date:                Thursday, May 12, 2022

Time:               9:30 a.m. (local time)

Location:         Via Teleconference

Note: Fisheries and Oceans Canada is facilitating this media availability in its secretarial role for the Atlantic Seal Science Task Team. Media planning to participate are required to register with Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Media Relations at Media.xncr@dfo-mpo.gc.ca by Wednesday, May 11, at 8 p.m. NDT. A confirmation email with teleconference instructions will be provided to media who have registered. 

Claire Teichman

Press Secretary 

Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

604-679-5462

Claire.Teichman@dfo-mpo.gc.ca 

Indo-German Science and Technology Centre (IGSTC) is all set to propose a joint “Artificial Intelligence” (‘AI’) initiative on healthcare and sustainability


Indo-German Science and Technology Centre (IGSTC) is all set to propose a joint “Artificial Intelligence” (‘AI’) initiative on healthcare and sustainability.


This was stated here by Dr Jitendra Singh, Union Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, during the luncheon meeting hosted by President, DFG (German Research Foundation) Prof. (Dr) Katja Becker, who also happens to be a veteran Medical professional cum researcher.


Dr Jitendra Singh expressed satisfaction that India and Germany science and technology relations have made great strides in recent years and have become truly multidimensional, spurred by a significant convergence of interests, mutual goodwill and high level exchanges. DFG has been playing an important role and we value longstanding partnership with DFG.







The Minister talked about the recently concluded MoU to support the International Research Training Groups (IRTG) program towards capacity building targeting the training of Indian and German students for pursuing the PhD program. A call for inviting proposals from Indian and German research groups has been launched. Both of them agreed that this agreement is truly remarkable for achieving greater objectives in the projects and addressing larger problems.


Dr. Jitendra Singh mentioned that under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi , Government of India in recent time has initiated several new mission mode programs like Cyber Physical System, Quantum Technologies, Future Manufacturing, Green Hydrogen Fuel, Deep Ocean Mining etc. Govt. of India and DFG can explore working together in solving such issues of societal challenges.


Both of them agreed to explore opportunities for bilateral cooperation between India and DFG in the form of funding research projects and to initiate and intensify long-term Indo-German cooperative relationships in research. They also agreed to consider initiating International Research Training Groups (IRTG) programs with other scientific departments.


Both of them expressed happiness that a joint call for proposals in toxicology would be coming up in September 2022.


Dr. Jitendra Singh mentioned that India has taken several steps to harness the power of Quantum computing for societal benefit. The Govt. of India has launched the National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems (NM-ICPS) to make India a leading player in the Cyber-Physical System.


Both of them discussed the new initiatives taken by their respective governments at gender equality and the programs to address the inequalities.







Both the leaders expressed optimism that a common mechanism can be worked out to harmonise the Data protection regulations for scientific research funding between the countries.


Dr. Jitendra Singh expressed optimism at the suggestion of starting the Collaborative Research Centres between the research communities of both countries, with a special focus on urgent and high-end science topics.




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Sports Science sessions on the sidelines of Khelo India University Games 2021 help create awareness


While the organisers of Khelo India University Games 2021 have laid great emphasis on nutrition, they have also held sports science sessions on the sidelines of the prestigious event in order to create awareness among the athletes and coaches.


On Saturday, former badminton ace Aditi Mutatkar was flown down to Bengaluru from Pune to hold a session on mensturation. “Often, women athletes hesitate to open up about their periods and there is still a stigma around it. Our endeavour is to help educate athletes and coaches on mensturation and the effect it has on performance. It’s also very important to help them understand the long and short term effects of not taking care of their bodies particularly during their period cycles. This will greatly help in avoiding injuries,” explained Mutatkar, a Commonwealth Games Silver medalist who is now involved with Simply Sport Foundation, a NGO who are championing the development of sports in the grassroot level across India.


One of the first issues to combat, according to Aditi is create awareness among coaches and get them to make their athletes talk about the issues they face during their period cycle so the training load can be planned accordingly. “Even during my training days, I could never speak about this with my coaches. Neither did I want to express that I can’t train because that imply that I am weak,” she resonated what athletes usually go through.


Among the key aspects her session covered was the importance of period tracking so that the athletes’ load and nutrition intake can be planned accordingly. For example, reduce heavy weight training particular those exercises that has an impact on the back or knees. “Tracking periods would also help understand the athletes’ mood as well. But the first and foremost thing is to have a two-way communication about this,” stated Aditi.


Birbal Wadhera, tennis coach, from Panjab University who attended the session commended the initiative in organising this session on the sidelines of the prestigious Khelo India University Games. He said, “This is a very important subject yet we never talk about it because as coaches we are not sure how the athlete will respond. To have Aditi, who herself has been an athlete at the highest level, talk about what the athletes go through during their periods was extremely informative and definitely we must have such sessions as I surely feel it will only help in improving the performance.”


In another session that drew many participants was the strength and conditioning talk held by trainer Solakumar Rajendran. He touched upon the importance of strength and conditioning for athletes, how it contributes to building muscle fiber. He explained how power athletes have higher ratio of fast-twitch fibers compared to endurance athletes. The session also covered aspects avoiding overload and importance of flexibility.


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Science and technology should be used for common good of the people and to solve their problems – Vice President


The Vice President, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu today emphasized the need to use science and technology for the common good of the people and to solve their pressing problems. He also said that ‘science should serve the cause of society and not of a few elite’, and wanted people’s aspirations and goals to set the agenda for science and technology development.


Addressing the gathering after releasing a publication titled, “Dr. Y. Nayudamma: Essays, Speeches, Notes & Others” at Swarna Bharat Trust, Atkur, near Vijayawada today, Shri Naidu said that science and technology should not turn the people into its slaves. The book, released as part of the Birth Centenary of renowned scientist, Dr. Yalavarthi Nayudamma, has been compiled and edited by the former Commissioner of Income Tax, Dr. Chandrahas and Dr. K. Seshagiri Rao.


Praising the vision of Dr. Nayudamma about the future of science and technology, the Vice President said that he wanted the application of science and technology for the common good, propelled by societal values. “He had outlined a clear set of goals and objectives and the values that should guide their applications as tools of betterment of lives of the people and as catalysts of change for socio-economic development,” he added.


Highlighting the relevance of Dr. Y. Nayudamma’s philosophy, Shri Naidu advised all concerned to read the book to develop a proper understanding of various issues and concerns about the pursuit and application of the tools of science and technology. He also suggested to make the publication a part of the curriculum for students of higher classes to enable budding scientists to acquire a correct understanding and orientation at an early stage of their learning.


Referring to the rapid strides in the fields of science and technology, particularly, during the last two centuries, the Vice President said that the human being has now to be called as the ‘technological animal’. He further observed that the relentless quest for a better living has thrown up some serious issues and concerns about the purpose, relevance, values and consequences of the blind folded pursuit and application of science and technology. He expressed serious concern over the rapid resource depletion, ecological imbalance and inequities as a result of the developmental strategies being followed globally, and called for alternative development models for sustainable and harmonious development.


Describing Dr. Nayudamma as an agent of social change who demonstrated how scientists and technologists could be effective agents of such change, the Vice President said that science pursued in ivory towers may not by itself serve humanity.


Recalling Dr. Nayudamma’s pioneering contribution to change the face and nature of the tannery industry in the country, Shri Naidu said that this profession, pursued by some traditional communities used to be looked down upon by others because of the stench and nature of work.


Dr. Nayudamma made a deep analysis of such issues and was able to make this profession widely acceptable by enabling the removal of stench and improving the skills of those involved in it. Noting that his work helped in enhancing the economic viability of the tannery industry, the Vice President emphasized that ‘the science and technology should enable more gainful employment’.


Terming knowledge as the best resource of every individual, Shri Naidu called for the need to empower all with it. “We need to provide such kind of knowledge that enables the resolution of the problems of our nation collectively,” he said.


Opining that an individual flourishes to his or her best only with a sense of community participation  and in an environment of collective endeavour, the Vice President said that such an eco-system is best provided when we are guided by the spirit of nationalism. “Nationalism, accordingly, is a positive force for rapid progress of our nation by realizing the full potential of every individual. It is not a negative factor as is being sought to be propagated by some,” he further said.


Referring to Dr. Nayudamma’s emphasis on self-reliance, Shri Naidu said that he did not support looking to the west for importing technology and solutions as western remedies may not solve India’s problems, which are different and context specific. This is the essence of the Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative, he added.


Praising many achievements of Dr. Nayudamma, Shri Naidu said that he became the Director General of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research at a young age of 49 years in 1971 and was honoured with Padma Shri in the same year. “It is rare to find such far- sighted and visionary scientists like Dr. Y. Nayudamma. Had he lived longer, our country would have benefitted much more,” he added.


Recalling Dr. Nayudamma’s pioneering works, the Vice President termed him as an important link in the chain of great scientific heritage of our country. Calling for making concerted efforts to make India ‘Vishawaguru’ again, he wanted  everyone to participate in this effort by streamlining our systems of education, modes of science and research.


He complimented the authors and publisher of the book and Nayudamma Foundation for Education and Rural Development for their efforts towards perpetuating the vision and philosophy of Dr. Y. Nayudamma.


During this occasion, Shri Naidu also interacted with the trainees of Swarna Bharat Trust and encouraged them to work hard to succeed in life.


The Governor of Mizoram, Shri K Haribabu, Vijayawada MP, Shri Kesineni Shrinivas (Nani), Chairman of Swarna Bharat Trust, Shri Kamineni Shrinivas, NFERD Chairman, Dr DK Mohan, NFERD Secretary, Shri Gopalakrishna, editor of the book, Dr Chandrahas, trainees and staff of Swarna Bharat Trust and others attended the event.


Following is the full text of the speech:


“Distinguished invitees, brothers and sisters !


The humankind across the world has inherited various ancient civilizations like the Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Babylon, Greece, Chinese and the Indus valley. These civilizations have evolved since the time humans first decided to give up their nomadic, hunter gatherer life style in favour of settling down at one place. It has been a long long journey of thousands of yeasr till we became members of what is called the modern civilization, with it’s common features and aspirations across the globe. What has characterized this journey is the accumulation of knowledge and more knowledge and pursuit of higher standards of living. The driving force of this modern journey is the rapid strides in the fields of science and technology, particularly, during the last two centuries.


So much so, a human being has now to be called as the ‘technological animal’, ever looking for new tools that further his growing ambitions. This relentless quest for a better living has thrown up some serious issues. The rapid evolution and growing application of science and technology to every aspect of our lives has thrown up some serious concerns about the purpose, relevance, values and consequences of the blind folded pursuit and application of science and technology.


As we meet here today commemorating the birth centenary of renowned scientist Dr.Yalavarthi Nayudamma garu, the son of the soil, it is appropriate to reflect on these concerns.


I am happy to release a publication titled, “Dr.Y.Nayudamma: Essays, Speeches, Notes & Others” on this occasion. Preparatory to this occasion, I have gone through some essays contained in this publication.


I am amazed by the vision of Dr.Nayudamma garu about the future of science and technology and various and concerns that revolve around it’s application. He had proposed a philosophy that should guide the application of science and technology for the common good, propelled  by societal values. He had outlined a clear set of goals and objectives and the values that should guide their applications as tools of betterment of lives of the people and as catalysts of change for socio-economic development. He elaborated on his concerns and various issues in a very simple and easily understandable manner.


The founding principles of his philosophy are so appealing and convincing that they are very much relevant for today. In view of the strength of his arguments and the light offered by his philosophy for science and technology, I propose that it should be made part of the curriculum for students of higher classes. This helps in promoting proper understanding about the objectives of the rapidly expanding domain of science and technology so that the budding and aspiring scientists get the right understanding and orientation at an early stage of their learning.


The essays on ‘Management of Science : Challenges and Perspectives’, ‘Social Values and Technology Choice’ and ‘Trinity : In the Service of the Society’ are particularly, illuminating. I advise all concerned to read them for proper understanding of various issues and concerns about the pursuit and application of the tools of science and technology.


I compliment Dr.K.Chandrahas and Dr.K.Seshagiri Rao, Editors of this publication for their painstaking effort in collecting and presenting such illuminating views of Dr.Nayudamma garu that would serve as a  guide to posterity.


Dear brothers and sisters !


The main issues are  whether science and technology should adapt to the people or people should adapt to them? Whether they should emerge from the felt needs and concerns of the people or should be driven from the top? What are the values that should guide and govern the pursuit of science and  technology and their applications? How to contain and handle the undesirable consequences of indiscriminate application of these powerful tools? Whose interests should these tools be serving? Dr.Nayudamma garu offered answers to these questions during his life and works. So, it is worth knowing those answers.


The works and contributions of Dr.Nayudamma garu in themselves held mirror to the objectives of science and technology. He was clearly an agent of social change and demonstrated how scientists and technologists could be effective agents of such change. Science pursued in ivory towers may not by itself serve the humanity. It should be taken to the people in the form of effective technological tools that people could use to solve their problems. Science should be for the society and the people. People’s aspirations and goals should set the agenda for science and technology development.


To further illustrate this point from the works of Dr.Nayudamma garu, he had made pioneering contribution to change the face and nature of tannery industry in the country. The profession of collecting hides and skins of dead animals, pursued by some traditional communities used to be looked down by others. It was because of the bad odour that comes from such activities and the unclean nature of the work. Dr.Nayudamma made a deep analysis of such issues and reflected on how a difference could be made through use of science and technology for making this profession widely acceptable. He succeeded in it by enabling the removal of stench, improving the skills  of those involved in it. He promoted the leather products to improve the incomes of tannery workers. In the process, he proved that application of science and technology should help in enhancing the economic viability of the activity to which these tools are sought to be applied. Science and technology should enable more gainful employment.


As a result, the leather products have come to be more and more acceptable. Indian leather products are in great demand in international markets. In fact, the situation today is that possession of a good quality leather product like shoes, handbags etc have come to be statements of status. People from various communities are now involved in leather industry breaking the traditional barriers and prejudices.


Dr.Nayudamma garu had fervently desired that such socio-economic transformation should flow from the application of science and technology and demonstrated how it could be done. As a scientist, he was an agent of social change.


Values guide the choice of technology. The focal value guiding the people across the globe is ‘materialism and consumerism’. There should be a limit to such values guiding technological development. Such materialistic pursuits for comforts in the name of quality living do not help people living in peace with themselves. Indian philosophy and thought hence, lays stress on spiritual pursuit for internal peace for living in harmony with the society and nature. Competitive pursuit of materialism should not be the goal and serving such ends should not be the agenda for science and technology.


I am struck by the vision of Dr.Nayudamma garu as some of his stated views are now reflected in some major initiates of the Government led by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. I would like to briefly touch upon schemes like Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, Sab Ka Saath-Sab Ka Vikas-Sab Ka Prayas and Atmanirbhar Bharat, in this regard.


Talking about the need for empowerment of all sections of the society, Dr.Nayudamma garu in a context stated that if a woman has a bank account, she would be treated differently and respected in the family. This helps in her emancipation. This is clearly at the core of the launch of Pradhan Mantri  Jan Dhan Yojana under which about 50 crore bank accounts have been opened to enable financial inclusion and empowerment. Cleary, he was ahead of the times and hence, a visionary.


Self-reliance was the core of the philosophy of Dr.Nayudamma garu. He opined that colonial past and  western training,  orientation and education have made us look to the west for import of technology and solutions and western remedies may not solve India’s problems, which are different and context specific. He strongly advocated self-reliance in science and technology. This is the essence of the Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative of Prime Minister Shri Modi.


Referring to the provisions of the United Nations Charter, Dr.Nayudamma garu had emphasized on enabling all to live in dignity, worth, equality of rights, better standards of life, security etc with the participation of all in national endeavors. This is the underlying principle of the philosophy of ‘Sab Ka Sath-Sab Ka Vikas-Sab Ka Prayas’.


It is rare to find such far sighted and visionary scientists like Dr.Y.Nayudamma garu. We pay tributes to such a legend. It was very unfortunate that he died in a plane crash in 1985 when he was only 63 years of age. He rose to become the Director General of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, the apex body for promotion of science and technology in our country at the young age of 49 years in 1971 and was honoured with Padma Shri in the same year. Had he lived longer, our country would have benefitted much more.


Dear brothers and sisters !


Dr.Nayudamma garu was a link in the chain of great scientific heritage of our country. Thousands of years ago, we had great scientists like Baudhayan, Aryabhat, Brahmagupta, Bhaskaracharya, Mahaviracharya, Varahamihira, Kanad, Susruta, Charak, Patanjali etc who made pioneering contributions to various field of knowledge. This tradition had dimmed during the medieval period marked by the onslaught of foreign invasions.


Concerted efforts are now being made to restore the pride of being ‘Vishawaguru’ that India was in the past. All of us need to participate in this effort by streamlining our systems of education, modes of science and research.


We are living in times when knowledge  is the real power. We need to empower all with the knowledge that is the best resource of every individual. We need to provide such kind of knowledge that enables resolution of problems of our nation collectively.


Dr. Nayudamma garu stressed that education is not to provide relief and it should release the inner potential of all for making everyone self-reliant and self-confident. We need such systems of knowledge providers in all domains.


An individual flourishes to her best only with a sense of community participation  and in an environment of collective endeavour. Such an eco-system is best provided when we are guided by the spirit of nationalism. Nationalism, accordingly is a positive force for rapid progress of our nation by realizing the full potential of every individual. It is not a negative factor as is being sought to be propagated by some.


The developmental strategies followed globally based on modern scientific and technological advances are resulting in rapid resource depletion, ecological imbalance and inequities. What is needed is alternative development models for sustainable and harmonious development. Environment is not a piece of real estate. It is a heritage to be held for future generation and is a serious responsibility of all.


Science and technology should serve the people and should not turn the people into it’s slaves.


Dr.Nayudamma garu had reflected on all these issue with utmost clarity and vision. We need to be guided accordingly. Science and technology should serve the cause of the people and not of a few elite. They need to be handled with care for common good.


I compliment the Nayudamma Foundation for Education and Rural Development, operating out of the Nadimapalli village to perpetuate the vision and philosophy of Dr. Y.Nayudamma garu.


Thank you all!”


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MS/RK




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