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New data science minor funded by National Science Foundation grant

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded Johnson C. Smith University $149,466 to fund the development of a minor in data science. The award begins Aug. 1, 2018 and is under the direction of Dr. Felesia Stukes, assistant professor of computer science.

“Data science is an interdisciplinary field that utilizes computing to create or extract insights from data in various forms to derive social and economic value. With the rapid growth of data sets in various industries such as healthcare, sports, government and business, there is unlimited career potential for undergraduates with this high-demand expertise,” Stukes said. “JCSU is in a great position to build the needed expertise in response to the big data challenges faced by our region.”

Data is being leveraged by everyone from Google to the United States government, making data science broadly relevant as a discipline. Using emerging computing technologies, students will gain proficiencies in data analysis, ethical problem-solving, and computational thinking.

“This is an exciting time to become involved with data science,” Stukes said. “Our students will have the opportunity to use data science to solve new kinds of social or business problems and impact their communities in a powerful way.”

This project at JCSU provides a strategic approach to enhance the computer science curriculum in the area of data science to increase student recruitment, retention and success. The curriculum will be developed with collaborative input from an advisory committee comprised of industry and academic representatives. Five new courses will be developed and one existing course will be enhanced. Special consideration will be made to support the inclusion of interested students with little or no prior computing experience. The project is guided by formative and summative evaluation.

The abstract and other information regarding this award is publicly available via the NSF Award Abstracts database at  

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