Faculty invited to workshop to form diversity, data science partnerships

September 10, 2021

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Addressing issues of diversity is rarely straightforward, but institutions nationwide have found success when experts in data science collaborate with diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) experts and stakeholders. In March 2021, participants of a symposium organized by the Institute for Computational and Data Sciences (ICDS) at Penn State, titled "Harnessing the Data Revolution to Enhance Diversity," had a chance to learn about some of these success stories.

Now, ICDS seeks to move those discussions into action by organizing a workshop that pairs data scientists, DEI experts and University stakeholders who have access to institutional data both at Penn State and other Big Ten schools. The workshop will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Oct. 28 at the Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center on the University Park campus. It is open by application to faculty and is limited to 35 participants. Applications are due by Oct.15. 

This highly interactive workshop will kick off with brief presentations by representatives of several Penn State units that deal with DEI or data science, including the Office of Human Resources; the Penn State Administrative Data Accelerator; the Office of Undergraduate Education; Teaching and Learning with Technology’s Data Science team; the Office of Planning, Assessment and Institutional Research; and ICDS’s Research Innovations with Scientists and Engineers (RISE) team. 

Attendees will then, through facilitated networking, find collaborators, identify timely research ideas, and focus on the data and data science techniques needed to achieve their goals.

“This will be a ‘sandbox’-style workshop in which everyone will be contributing their ideas in small groups as a way to find commonalities, build new partnerships, and find ways to address pressing issues in diversity, equity and inclusion,” said Ed O’Brien, associate professor of chemistry and an Institute for Computational and Data Sciences co-hire, who is chairing the planning committee for the workshop.

ICDS will support several pilot projects that emerge from this workshop through a competitive funding opportunity, which will require collaborations that will be cross-cutting across campuses, colleges, departments or academic areas. The most successful pilot projects will then have the opportunity to seek larger seed grant funding in early 2022.

Any faculty member or University community member can apply to attend the workshop here.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated September 16, 2021