Cal State San Bernardino is part of a collaborative effort to advance data science education and increase accessibility into the field with new pathways.

A grant from the California Learning Lab funds the partnership between CSUSB and the University of California, Riverside; California State Polytechnic University, Pomona; Chaffey College; Pasadena City College; Moreno Valley College; Riverside City College; and Norco College.

They have received a $1.275 million, four-year grant to develop data science programs. The grant will expand the data science education infrastructure among the partnering institutions.

“This grant will play a pivotal role in expanding our data science education programs at CSUSB, strengthening our commitment to providing cutting-edge knowledge and computational, communication and critical thinking skills to our students,” said Sastry G. Pantula, dean of the College of Natural Sciences. “We are proud of our faculty who are being role models for interdisciplinary research and training among statistical, mathematical and computational sciences.”

The California Learning Lab grant will help CSUSB develop a new undergraduate program in data science, which will be a joint program between the School of Computer Science and Engineering and department of mathematics. It will also provide support to address equity gaps and transfer student success with a transfer bridge program, peer mentoring and tutoring, and a revamped computing and statistics course sequence.

“Our effort in developing data science programs began in 2019, starting with a summer research program in collaboration with UC Santa Barbara,” said Yunfei Hou, associate professor of computer science and engineering and CSUSB’s principal investigator for the Greater LA Data Science Pathways project (GLADS-PATH). “Then we rolled out a minor in data science, getting some great insights from UC Riverside.

“Today, with the support of the California Learning Lab grant, we’re excited to take our next big step: developing a comprehensive undergraduate major,” said Hou. “Our goal is to provide students with hands-on experiences that tackle real-world problems, equipping them with innovative skills for a successful career in the field of data science.”

CSUSB and the partnering institutions will lead the project Greater LA Data Science Pathways. The project serves the Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties. Ultimately, GLADS-PATH aims to:

  • Establish partnerships at high schools and two- and four-year institutions to create flexible pathways.
  • Develop a Network Improvement Community with partnering institutions, allowing for the exchange of best practices and strategies for curriculum development and student success.
  • Provide support to transfer students with the creation of bridge programs.
  • Create an Undergraduate Learning Assistant program.
  • Advance data science education through course development.

This is the third data science-related grant that the project team at CSUSB has received since 2019. In addition to Hou, the GLADS-PATH co-principal investigators for CSUSB include Jeremy Aikin, professor of mathematics; Hani Aldirawi, assistant professor of mathematics; Ronald Salloum, associate professor of computer science and engineering; and Qingquan Sun, professor of computer science and engineering.

Expanding data science programs is part of the Academic Master Plan at CSUSB. Cal State San Bernardino currently has two data science-related programs: a minor and certificate in the field. The minor in data science is open to all majors, and scholarships are available through the ExCELS program. For more information about the data science minor, visit the 2023-24 Academic Catalog website.