Island University Research to Benefit Hispanic Students in Computer Sciences Through a $3.9 Million NSF Grant

Published: February 06, 2017

Island University Research to Benefit Hispanic Students in Computer Sciences Through a $3.9 Million NSF Grant

With the increase of Hispanic student enrollment and the challenges faced in certain fields, it becomes more important to take necessary steps to ensure quality education for underserved students. Dr. Ahmed Mahdy, Associate Vice President for Research, Commercialization and Outreach at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi joins the Computing Alliance of Hispanic-Serving Institutions (CAHSI), along with other universities across the nation.

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi will receive funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) through a $3.9 million grant, which includes funds for Hispanic students, staff and faculty for research, development and coordination in computing. This grant, led by the University of Texas at El Paso, has the primary goal to establish a strong network that would foster the growth of CAHSI by addressing the underrepresentation of Hispanics in computing sciences.

“We need to develop an ecosystem that promotes diversity and celebrates a multicultural platform. It is the objective of CAHSI to advocate for inclusive environments through activities based on research in climate and culture,” said Mahdy.

CAHSI has implemented programs that create learning experiences in leadership and research to prepare students for graduate studies. CAHSI institutions typically graduate Hispanic students at a significantly higher rate than the national average for Hispanic baccalaureates in Computing. The future goal is to inspire Hispanic students to pursue a doctoral degree and serve as role models for the next generation.

Mahdy will represent the Island University in this program and co-lead the southwest branch. CAHSI aims to address the demands and challenges of the 21st century by increasing research in cybersecurity, cyber-physical systems, and the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative. The Brain Initiative’s goal is to create a dynamic understanding of the brain function through supporting innovative technologies. 

The Island University’s Department of Computing Sciences offers undergraduate programs in Computer Science and Geographic Information Science. Computer Science consists of Computer Information Systems, System Programming, Cyber Security and Infrastructure, Computer Game Programming, and Computer Science Education. The department also offers graduate programs in Master of Computer Science, Master of Geospatial Surveying Engineering and a Ph.D. in Geospatial Computing Science.

To learn more about computing sciences at the Island University, visit