The Center for Applied Data Science and Analytics

Welcome to Howard University's Center for Applied Data Science and Analytics

The Center for Applied Data Science and Analytics (CADSA) was founded to coordinate and facilitate interdisciplinary programs in data science and data analytics; collaborate with other institutes and centers on the campus; expand and coordinate research funding; and develop research and educational linkages that will include internship and placement programs with sponsoring corporations and government agencies.

Director's Message

Data plays an ever-increasing role in contemporary life.  Moreover, the impact of data pervades essentially every aspect our individual and collective lives.  It is also clear that data has become a powerful medium of exchange that impacts healthcare, social well-being, and financial positioning.  The Center for Applied Data Science and Analytics (CADSA) is a tool that ensures that Howard investigators and students are well prepared for managing this powerful medium and insure its equitable application across all segments of society.  This center will send out from Howard University corps of data activists that will ensure equitable application of data in their area of influence.  CADSA ushers in a new and exciting chapter of Howard history and I am very pleased to be a part of it.

William Southerland, Ph.D.
Interim Director


Howard University recognizes the rapid and expanding generation of data in all academic disciplines.  This resulting data explosion holds new and valuable insights into long standing and intractable societal problems and exposes potential for data exploitation on marginalized groups.  The mission of the Howard University Center of Applied Data Science and Analytics (CADSA) is to position Howard as a major hub of data science research and training while solidifying its tradition as an important contributor to the resolution of problems confronting local, national, and global societies.  


CASDA expands and enhances data science research and instruction at Howard University in the following areas: 1) Minority health & health disparities, 2) Social justice, 3) Environmental justice, and 3) Economic empowerment. Collectively, these broad umbrella areas encompass all sectors of the Howard University community. The CADSA research objective is focused on the generation, analysis, and interpretation of data in each of these umbrella areas by expanding the footprint of data science faculty talent at Howard and by developing courses of study designed to insure the data science competency of the Howard student body. 


The Center for Applied Data Science and Analytics at Howard University (CASDA) coordinates and facilitates interdisciplinary data science research and instruction in the primarily in the following areas:

• Economic empowerment
• Minority health & health disparities
• Social justice
• Environmental justice

To address these issues, CADSA provides the HU investigator community the resources needed to develop data-driven understandings of the current state of each of these research areas. Additionally, CADSA will develop proper insight into research trend directions and how the HU research effort can position itself to both benefit from and influence the developing trend directions. In summary, the CADSA is an HU institutional tool of inquiry that produces new information that can then be used to address important human problems. As a result, the research philosophy of the CADSA will be to inquire, to inform, and to intervene. The CADSA will implement this three-fold research philosophy as described below.


The process of inquiry will involve the probing analysis of new and/or existing data to generate new information. The ultimate outcome of inquiry will be the conversion of data into useful information, the ‘inquire’ process will be driven by posing pertinent research questions that will provide meaning and understanding to available data1 from existing sources or emanating from the pursuit of original research.



Data that is understood or appreciated in the proper context is viewed as information1. Communication both with peers, funders, and the public is an important aspect of competitive research, especially research that is focused on problem resolution. The research arm of the CADSA will be very active in communicating new information to all relevant stakeholder communities. This is critical to ensure discipline-based and community-based consensus regarding newly generated information and its potential use or applicability for problem resolution.



Knowledge may be viewed as categorized or organized information1. As a result, when new information is considered in context of relevant categorized/organized existing information, it contributes to the expansion of the knowledge pool and expands the problem-solving potential of the information collective. Problem solving occurs when relevant knowledge is applied to address a current applicable problem. For problem solving to occur, knowledge intervention into the current status of problems must occur.


Research Strategy Summary

It should be noted that this research approach is applicable to each of the umbrella research areas of the CADSA. Moreover, these umbrella research topics hold potential to engage faculty investigators from all HU schools and colleges and ensures a broad and interdisciplinary approach to solving critical challenges to the African American community and the African diaspora.

CADSA Initiatives

Social justice
Minority health & Health disparities
Environmental justice
Economic empowerment

Core Values

CADSA recognizes the ubiquitous nature data generation and its application in all academic disciplines.  The inequitable application of data across marginalized communities can instill negative consequences for these communities during a time of technological advancement.  As a result, CADSA strives to ensure equitable data access and application to all segments of society; thereby, narrowing the ever-widening digital divide in service to the communities that Howard serves as an institution. 


Interim Director

William Southerland, PhD
Professor of Biochemistry
Principal Investigator of HU Research Centers in Minority Institutions (RCMI) Program
Director, HU Center for Computational Biology & Bioinformatics (CCBB)

Director of Graduate Studies

Amy Yeboah Quarkume, PhD.
Associate Professor of Africana Studies
Andrew Mellon New Direction Fellow 
NCAR/ UCAR Innovator Fellow

Administrative Assistant

Janelle Black

HU Data Science Faculty Committee


William M. Southerland, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology/Medicine

Amy Yeboah Quarkume, Afro American Studies

Barron Harvey,School of Business/Office of the Provost

Legand Burge, Computer Science/Engineering & Architecture

Gloria Washington, Computer Science/Engineering & Architecture

Bourama Toni, Mathematics/COAS

Danda Rawat, Computer Science/Engineering & Architecture

Curtis Cain, Information Systems & Supply Chain Management/School of Business

John Kwagyan, Community & Family Medicine/Medicine

X. Simon Wang, Pharmaceutical Sciences/Pharmacy

Krishna Kumar, Biopharmaceutics & Pharmacokinetics/Pharmacy

Haydar Kurban, Economics/COAS

Yan-Liang Yu , Sociology/COAS

Zaki Sherif, Biochemistry/ College of Medicine

Abiodun Otolorin, College of Medicine

LaTanya Brown-Robinson, Economics/ COAS