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The Data Science Fire Next Time: Innovative strategies for mentoring in data science

by   Latifa Jackson, et al.
Howard University

As data mining research and applications continue to expand in to a variety of fields such as medicine, finance, security, etc., the need for talented and diverse individuals is clearly felt. This is particularly the case as Big Data initiatives have taken off in the federal, private and academic sectors, providing a wealth of opportunities, nationally and internationally. The Broadening Participation in Data Mining (BPDM) workshop was created more than 7 years ago with the goal of fostering mentorship, guidance, and connections for minority and underrepresented groups in the data science and machine learning community, while also enriching technical aptitude and exposure for a group of talented students. To date it has impacted the lives of more than 330 underrepresented trainees in data science. We provide a venue to connect talented students with innovative researchers in industry, academia, professional societies, and government. Our mission is to facilitate meaningful, lasting relationships between BPDM participants to ultimately increase diversity in data mining. This most recent workshop took place at Howard University in Washington, DC in February 2019. Here we report on the mentoring strategies that we undertook at the 2019 BPDM and how those were received.


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