PhD pipeline

The University of Texas at Arlington News Releases

A University of Texas at Arlington computer science professor has received a $1.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education, supplemented with $300,000 in UTA matching funds, that will significantly increase the number of doctoral students, especially among women and minorities.

Ishfaq Ahmad, UTA professor of computer science and engineering

Ishfaq Ahmad, UTA professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, will lead the project. Co-principal investigators are Ramez Elmasri, Leonidas Fegaras, Manfred Huber and Bahram Khalili, all in CSE.
This grant, when combined with Ahmad’s recent $350,000 National Science Foundation grant, will also aid interdisciplinary research efforts to design assistive technologies for people with disabilities.
The grant is part of DOE’s Graduate Assistance for Areas of National Need, or GAANN, program. The highly competitive GAANN awards will provide fellowships over the next three years to assist doctoral students of superior ability who demonstrate financial need. Women and minorities are particularly encouraged to apply.
“UTA is building a niche in this research area of assistive technologies,” Ahmad said. “We are also achieving our goal of graduating more domestic Ph.D. students. With our previous GAANN award, we built a pipeline, which is now full and is beginning to produce PhD graduates.”
He added that the GAANN program will aggressively recruit the finest doctoral candidates from across the state and nation.
Some of the assistive technologies – considered a “national need” – involve devices and systems that make life easier for people with disabilities, including: designing smarter sensors, artificial intelligence and data-enabled software, devices, systems and environments that can improve the quality of life for a disabled person’s home to caregivers.
Hong Jiang, chair of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, said Ahmad has led the effort to increase the number of doctoral students in CSE.
“It’s important to not only the world of computer science but also …

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