FVSU lands grant for new math program

jmink@macon.comJuly 4, 2014 

With the help of a national grant, Fort Valley State University will soon add a program to its math and computer science department.

The applied statistics minor was made possible by a nearly $400,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, according to U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop’s office.

The grant is funneled through the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program to help institutions achieve certain goals, which are called Targeted Infusion Projects. For Fort Valley State, the goal is to boost its math and computer science programs with a minor in statistics.

The grant will allow officials to offer five new courses in applied statistics, as well as peer-to-peer advising, faculty mentorships and summer research opportunities, according to a release.

“I am excited about this grant,” said Dawit Aberra, interim chair of the department of mathematics and computer science. “The proposed minor program in applied statistics will change overall student attitude about job markets and will actually broaden job opportunities for students graduating from FVSU with a minor in applied statistics.”

In fact, when he took the helm of Fort Valley State in July 2013, President Ivelaw Griffith’s goals included developing innovative programs and broadening research opportunities.

“Research not only needs to be done by faculty, it needs to be done by students,” he told The Telegraph.

Aberra lauded the research opportunities the new program will bring to Fort Valley State, as well as post-graduation opportunities.

The applied statistics minor should increase the number of African-Americans who enter the data sciences field, Aberra said in a statement.

To contact writer Jenna Mink, call 744-4331.

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