Supporting Pacific indigenous computing in excellence

Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science (INCLUDES) initiative, the SPICE project will enhance U.S. leadership in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) discoveries and innovations by focusing on diversity, inclusion, and broadening participation in these fields.

The two-year INCLUDES SPICE pilot led by TACC, Chaminade University of Honolulu (CUH) an Georgia Institute of Technology's Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, & Computing (GIT-CEISMC), will establish a model for data science preparation of Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (NHPI) students at the high school and undergraduate levels.

SPICE has three goals:

  1. perform original research and program development to bridge computation and culture;
  2. implement a Data Science, Analytics and Visualization Summer Immersion Experience; and
  3. build capacity in data science at a NHPI-serving undergraduate institution through the development of an undergraduate Certificate in Data Science.

The month-long summer training for 25 NHPI high school students and undergraduates takes place at CUH and focuses on data science, visualization, and virtual reality, including working on problem sets that require data science approaches and incorporate geographically, socially- and culturally-relevant research themes.

"Agency over ‘big data' sets, and contemporary skills in data science, analytics and visualization are the next frontier in educational disparities for this population of students. For example, students will learn how to conduct data analytics so they can do visual reasoning." Kelly Gaither, Principal Investigator of the project and Director of Visualization at TACC.

"Analyzing and applying big data has the potential to change lives in Hawai'i for the better, and we want our students to be part of that better future." Helen Turner, Professor of Biology, Vice President for Innovation at CUH, and Chief Education Officer of the project.

For more information, please contact kelly@tacc.utexas.edu.


Rosalia Gomez
Education & Outreach Manager