Represents values and purpose of the RADIAL Program
Image Credit: Christopher Fuller

RADIAL

The Radio Astronomy Data Imaging and Analysis Lab (RADIAL) is an intentional partnership between NRAO, 14 minority-serving institutions (MSIs) of higher education, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-M) Center for High-Throughput Computing (CHTC) to establish a virtual institute (‘RADIAL’) for data-intensive research in radio astronomy.

RADIAL seeks to accomplish its goal of placing MSIs at the forefront of data-intensive radio astronomy research within six “pillars”. 

  • Collaborative, research-based, and student-centered K-12, undergraduate and graduate curricula that integrate astronomy, computer science and data science. Educators and faculty will receive hybrid module training  
  • Research and training experiences opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students at the NRAO, 12 MSIs, UW-Madison, or industry, as well as an annual Big Data in Radio Astronomy Summer School for undergraduates
  • Tier, near-to-peer, and peer mentors assigned to each undergraduate and graduate student for the duration of the academic year, and a tier mentor assigned to each student participating in a RTE for the duration of their experience
  • In-depth professional and personal development programs for educators, faculty and students
  • A virtual affirmative space, administered by the students, where undergraduate and graduate students can meet to discuss academic, professional and personal challenges and receive support 
  • A public outreach program focused on underrepresented minority community members: STEM students’ parents and home communities, as well as Grade 5-12 students needing to convince their parents to allow them to enter STEM and be supportive of their decision and needs.

ODI provides project management expertise and administrative staff to support the work of the partnership. RADIAL program director, and representative to RADIAL, Anja Fourie, meets with RADIAL partners regularly to determine needs, co-design projects, and assess progress, particularly in the areas of academics, infrastructure, human resources, and budget. Anja is able to coordinate resources to implement projects that fill those needs, providing support beyond what is possible at the individual institutions.

Additionally, representatives from all partner MSIs gather annually for the RADIAL Development Lab, where they are able to share individual accomplishments and needs, and refine the collective work towards project goals. Partner MSIs are: Agnes Scott College; Florida A&M University, Morehouse College, Morgan State University, New Mexico Tech, Norfolk State University, South Carolina State University, Spelman College, Texas Tech University, University of California Santa Cruz, University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez, University of Texas San Antonio, University of the Virgin Islands, and the University of the West Indies. 

How To Get Involved

The NRAO is currently actively seeking partners with an interest in collaborating with RADIAL partners in their efforts. To learn more, please contact Anja Fourie at afourie@nrao.edu.