Carnegie Mellon University
August 04, 2023

Immersion Connects Students with Data Analytics Opportunities

By Kirsten Heuring

Jocelyn Duffy
  • Associate Dean for Communications, MCS
  • 412-268-9982

Yeritmary Rodríguez Delgado first heard about Carnegie Mellon University's Data Analytics for Science Immersion Experience (DASIE) at the Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science fall conference in 2022. Excited by the opportunity to expand her research skills, she attended the program this summer.

"The resources and connections DASIE provided to me were really helpful in terms of me gaining more knowledge about this field," said Rodríguez Delgado, a rising senior at the University of Puerto Rico-Cayey. "There's not a lot of scientists that do machine learning at my home institution. Gaining exposure and getting mentored through DASIE confirmed that studies I want to develop and create are possible."

In partnership with — and fully funded by — Dow and Accenture, Carnegie Mellon's Mellon College of Science hosted a program for undergraduate students from underrepresented backgrounds who attend institutions outside of Carnegie Mellon. DASIE introduces students to data analytics in different scientific contexts, inspiring them to consider future careers in the field or to pursue further education in the discipline. Students, who received a stipend, could network and connect with scientists and industry leaders who actively use data analytics in their careers.

"This week, we embarked on a journey of discovery, learning and collaboration," said Michael Young, MCS associate dean for diversity, equity and inclusion. "We brought together a diverse group of scholars who share a passion for discovery."

The first week was held at Carnegie Mellon's Pittsburgh campus, where students attended classes from MCS professors, toured the Carnegie Mellon University Cloud Lab and spoke with professors and alumni.

Latia Carter, a rising senior majoring in mathematics at Coppin State University in Baltimore, said meeting with people in the field gave her a greater resolve. While at Carnegie Mellon, she met with Ogechi Nwaobia, one of the Dow visiting partners.

"She's a black woman in STEM, and it gives me a bit more confidence," Carter said. "We do belong here, and we can do this just as well as everyone else."

Ademola Idowu, R&D Fellow and Global Process Technology Leader at Dow, said that providing experiences like DASIE is important.

"If you give people the opportunity, they perform," Idowu said. "When you see an opportunity, grab it, and create opportunities for others. I hope that the students will use this experience to advance their career. There are many career opportunities for them at Dow, Accenture, Carnegie Mellon University and other places. After two years of outstanding success with sponsoring this program, we are looking forward to scaling it up with the support of more industry partners."

Rick Hall, Technology Leader at Accenture, was excited for Accenture to participate.

"Accenture joined the DASIE partnership with Dow and Carnegie Mellon University to help unlock the talent that exists across a diverse pool of undergraduate students pursuing STEM degrees and to grow the skills needed for careers in science," Hall said. "Throughout the program, we were excited to see that the students had a passion for learning while supporting one another to achieve the objectives of DASIE. Programs like DASIE help to increase data and digital literacy needed to power innovation and discovery."

During the second week, students traveled to the Global Dow Center in Midland, Michigan, to learn more from Idowu as well as others at Dow. They shadowed researchers in their lab settings, learning more about how data analytics looks day to day.

Students also visited the Accenture Innovation Center in Livonia, Michigan, where they participated in Accenture's innovation design process.

"The entire experience has given me a lot of insight on what I can do with my major other than just programming or writing code," Carter said. "With data analytics, it's so many different paths, and my world just got a lot bigger. I have a lot more decisions to make. I have so many more options now, and I'm grateful for it."

— Related Content —