The Data Science Institute strives to be a force for change. We acknowledge that DSI should do more within our own unique community to address racial equity gaps and to increase diverse representation in data science research and education. We will engage in proactive measures to dismantle systemic racism, racial inequity in data science, racial inequity across the Columbia community, and racial inequity across academia more broadly.

The initial DSI Racial Equity Action Plan includes the following:

  1. Create a faculty-led DSI Race and Equity Advisory Council by January 2021. 
  2. Add a DSI Racial Equity Statement to the DSI website.
  3. Require proposals to the DSI Seed Grant program to state explicitly how projects will ensure that the data collected and analyzed are done in a fair, just, and ethical manner.
  4. Promote research that addresses issues on racial equity and fairness in data science, e.g., in training data, machine learning algorithms and models, and automated decision making.
  5. Instill a culture of shared responsibility among DSI staff, faculty, and researchers for upholding the DSI commitment to racial equity and justice. 
  6. Actively seek racially diverse individuals to apply to DSI programs.
  7. Collaborate with university partners, including the School of Engineering and Applied Science and Arts and Sciences, on actions to support racial diversity, equity, and inclusion for the M.S. in data science program.
  8. Continue to support the DSI Task Force on Racial Equity through Fall 2020: (a) to establish partnerships with external organizations toward achieving shared goals on racial equity; (b) to address issues of climate and culture; and (c) to develop plans for a DSI Working Group on Race and Equity. 

This initial plan is just a small step toward making progress for the long term. We commit to executing this plan with the same rigor as our other research, education, and outreach efforts.

A Message from DSI Director Jeannette M. Wing
Data Science Institute Racial Equity Action Plan

We are pleased to offer fellowships for M.S. in Data Science students from historically underserved or underprivileged populations through the JPMorgan Columbia University Data Science Institute Master’s Diversity Fellowship Award Program. Support is guaranteed for two semesters of full-time study, including full tuition, fees, and a stipend to cover living expenses in New York City. Fellows will also be invited to complete an internship with JPMorgan. Renewal for the third and final semester of the program is contingent on completing the internship. Prospective students must submit a 250 – 500 word reflection that provides insight into how their identity, life experiences, and perspective would advance diversity in the data science community as part of the admissions application. Please note: Applicants for these fellowships should be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.