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The Radio Astronomy Data Imaging and Analysis Lab (RADIAL)

The Radio Astronomy Data Imaging and Analysis Lab (RADIAL) is an intentional and authentic network of diverse partners that use radio astronomy high-throughput computing (HTC) challenges to recruit, train, sustain and accelerate the progress of students from under-represented minoritized groups in fields required by the radio astronomy sector and other scientific disciplines that utilize HTC.

The RADIAL network currently consists of the following 13 diverse minority-serving institutions (MSIs): Agnes Scott College, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, Morehouse College, Morgan State University, New Mexico Tech, Norfolk State University, South Carolina State University, Spelman College, Texas Tech University, University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez, University of Texas San Antonio, University of the Virgin Islands, and University of the West Indies. The NRAO provides project management and support. As a network, the RADIAL partners collaborate with the University of Wisconsin Madison and the Spectrum X Center.  

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Figure 1: A graphic representation of project Radial. The image was created with CoPilot.

Project Components

I. Distributed High Throughput Computing Network - dHTC compute systems will be installed at each interested RADIAL partner institution, creating a network of dHTC hubs for processing VLASS data and large datasets at MSI host sites.

II. Curriculum development -Creation of undergrad/graduate astronomy, computer science, and data science curriculum related to radio astronomy. The curriculum will be accessible via an online, open-access platform (SuperKnova) and provide access to coursework that may not be readily available at a partner institution.  

III. Community Engagement - Focus on local community feeder schools through the development of middle and high school radio astronomy curriculum accessible via an online, open access platform (SuperKnova); and a pre-college STEM program offered to high school students in each partner MSI’s feeder schools.

IV. Mentorship -  An innovative approach to mentorship through the development of a mentorship program for URM students specifically designed to address the unique needs of URM students in STEM that includes access to peer-to-peer mentoring, near-to-peer mentoring and faculty-to-student mentoring pathways.

V. Professional Development - Creation of a collaborative professional development program for partner representatives, MSI faculty, mentors, URM students and educators.

VI. Research and Training - Facilitation of research experience and internship/traineeship opportunities for undergrad/graduate URM students.

 

Activities and projects conducted under Project RADIAL have received funding from a variety of sources including, the NSF, the NRAO, Sloan Foundation, and through collaborative efforts with the SpectrumX Center and CARSE (Center for Advanced Radio Science and Engineering).