STEM Grant Will Increase Degree Programs and Training at Cal State L.A.

A NASA grant for a research center would train more minority and low-income students in aerospace, hydrology and other science and technology fields.

by Carla Rivera Los Angeles Times / May 5, 2015 0
California State University, Los Angeles, received a $5 million grant to build a research center that will train future hydrologists and workers in other STEM fields. By Anlace at en.wikipedia, licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

(TNS) — Cal State Los Angeles was awarded a $5-million NASA grant to establish a new research center focused on the study of hydrology, climate change and other science and technology fields, officials announced Monday.

The goal of the five-year grant is to train students in aerospace research and development and increase science, technology, engineering and math degrees, especially for minority and low-income students.

The new Data Intensive Research and Education Center in STEM will be housed in the Department of Geosciences and Environment and, along with water patterns and climate change, will explore such issues as computational physics and cloud computing that relate to NASA's mission.

"We're looking forward to collaborating with NASA to create a center where research and scholarship can flourish for the benefit of our students, our region and our nation," Cal State L.A. President William A. Covino said in a statement.

The new Cal State center will partner with UC Irvine's Data Science Initiative and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Center for Data Science and Technology.

Cal State L.A. was one of 10 universities nationwide to receive a grant under NASA's Minority University Research and Education Project. Other recipients include San Jose State and UC campuses in Riverside and Merced.

"With rapid development in scientific research technologies for handling massive data, there is a pressing need to train a new generation of scientists and engineers with skills in scientific computing and data analysis," said Hengchun Ye, a geosciences professor who prepared Cal State L.A.'s proposal.

The campus, located east of downtown, previously was awarded $11 million in NASA grants to establish laboratories devoted to control engineering and flight dynamics. 

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