The NASA DIRECT-STEM Program has an overarching goal of recruiting highly competitive, historically under-represented students, giving them direct NASA research experience in scientific computing and data analysis, and inspiring them to become future leaders in STEM-related professions. We are currently on our 6th year of no-cost extension to graduate our last cohort of research students.
What is our mission?
- To recruit highly competitive, historically under-represented students, giving them direct NASA research experience in scientific computing and data analysis
- To inspire our students to become future leaders in STEM-related professions
- To encourage the exchange of intellectual and human resources pertaining to NASA-related research; expanding research and educational capacity and infrastructure at Cal State LA and beyond
- To increase collaborative research projects among Cal State LA, NASA centers, Research Universities, other educational communities, and industries.
- To promote STEM literacy to communities in the greater Los Angeles Basin.
Accomplishments During the 5 years
- We graduated 102 students (79% are students of color; 95% are first-generation and/or immigrants and/or low income) who completed at least one direct research project related to NASA missions and worked at one of the three NASA centers of JPL, AMES, and Armstrong. 25 students went to a Ph.D. program with a full scholarship package, 8 are full-time employees at one of these NASA centers, and many went on to competitive professional jobs in private and public sectors.
- We had 316 unique students completed our 1-year data science and coding workshop series (Python and Unix Operation Environment). Many of them had research experiences with their faculty, REU centers across the country, or international research facilities.
- We produced 89+ peer-reviewed publications by our faculty and students.
- We secured an additional over $3 million in funding to support students' research
- We supported 3 science education Ed.D. candidates and trained 193 science teachers and indirectly impacted 16,947 middle-to-high school students.
A message from DIRECT-STEM (2021 Summer:
We would like to congratulate all of our students this year who completed the pre-trainee program! This was our biggest pre-trainee cohort to date and it was filled with wonderfully dedicated students. We wish you all the best and hope that you continue to expand your computing skills!
We would like to thank our faculty, Dr. Nerenberg, Dr. Liu, and Dr. Zhong for creating the curriculum and leading the workshops. We would also like to thank our TA’s for all of their help this year. A special thank you, to the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE) team for their support and teamwork this semester. With their help we were able to transition our last two workshops online due to the COVID-19 crisis.
We would also like to congratulate all of our research students graduating this semester. You have been one of our most diverse and dedicated group of students. We wish you all the best in the next chapter of your lives!
2020 Graduating Student Placements
Christian Pelayo – Will pursue a Ph.D. in Climate Science at Scripts Institute of Oceanography
Antonio Magana-Ceballos – Accepted a Mechanics Engineer position at Northrop Grumman
Chelsy Salas – Will pursue a Ph.D. at the U. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Daniel Chou – Accepted a position at JPL
Eduardo “Ricky” Vargas – Accepted a position at NASA’s Ames Research Center
Jessica Kromer – Will pursue a Ph.D. at Pennsylvania State University
Sara Johnson – Will pursue a Ph.D. at Ohio State University
Nikita Aggarwal – Will pursue MS in Computer Science at Cal State LA
Justine West - Will pursue MS in Computer Science at Cal State LA
Luyi Ren – Accepted a position at JPL
Mariam Ayad – Will pursue a Ph.D. in Ocean Science at UC Santa Cruz
Edgar Chavez - Will pursue MS in Structural Engineering at Cal Poly Pomona
Gabriela Alvarado - Will pursue MS in Computer Science at Cal State LA
Isaac Cano - Accepted a Software Engineer position at Northrop Grumman, Mission Systems
David San - Will pursue MS in Computer Science at Cal State LA
Joe Rosalez - Will pursue MS in Engineering at Cal Poly Pomona
Joseph Iorio - Accepted an internship to full-time position at SpaceX
If you haven’t already please join our LinkedIn group to stay in touch, https://www.linkedin.com/groups/13739889/.
Stay safe and healthy!
XSEDE's successful advanced computing training partnership with Cal State Los Angeles NASA DIRECT-STEM Program
Read XSEDE's Newsletter Spotlight:
Thank you to Linda Akli (XSEDE) and Rosalia Gomez (TACC) for helping us coordinate this partnership with XSEDE!