New UNT NSF grant opens door to data analytics for underrepresented populations

Friday, March 8, 2019 - 12:23

Junhua Ding

Professor Junhua Ding (Left) lectures to students.
Department of Information Science - College of Information

Tags: #Research

The University of North Texas College of Information was recently awarded a three-year, $359,879 grant by the National Science Foundation to develop and operate three 10-week intensive programs that will allow students to immerse themselves in data analytics and conduct research in the field.

The program, which aims to provide a supportive and engaging learning environment, is targeting students from populations typically underrepresented in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields, such as Hispanic, African-American and female students, according to Junhua Ding, information science professor and principle investigator. 

As a REU site, UNT will provide lectures, workshops, research seminars and other activities to enhance participants’ research experience. Students will be housed on campus at no cost. Each will receive a $5,000 stipend along with money for food and materials.

“The activities we have planned will introduce students to different research opportunities through research projects such as the data analytics of biomedical images, content-based image retrieval, information retrieval of large-scale text collections and social media information retrieval for disaster research,” said Information Sciences chair and professor Jiangping Chen, who also is a principle investigator on the project.

The program will be held each summer for the next three years and is open to college juniors and seniors with a strong academic record, pursuing their undergraduate degree in almost any major. Preference will be given to students in specific areas, such as computer science, data science, math and engineering. The program is limited to 10 participants and up to five positions can go to UNT students. Half of the openings will be filled by students from populations underrepresented in the data analytics field. 

The 2019 session will run from May 26 through Aug. 6. The deadline to apply is March 20. For more information on the program and the application process visit the application site.

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