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Google awards Dr. Ping Zhang $10,000 in funding to teach advanced technology classes

An Alcorn State University chairperson’s dedication to enhancing his students’ technological skillset paid off, as the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science recently received funding from one of the world’s tech giants.

Google awarded Dr. Ping Zhang, professor and department chairperson, an unrestricted gift of $10,000. The award will be used to develop Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) courses. TensorFlow courses, one of two primary ML software packages developed by Google, have been used in the classroom and in student projects.

In 2021, the Google Machine Learning Research Team worked with the academic community to support universities in developing Machine Learning courses to offer college students. Google’s research team contacted Alcorn’s Department of Mathematics and Computer Science to help computer science professors develop ML courses. 

Zhang feels honored to be one of the team’s leading members that secured the funding. 

“I am honored to represent Alcorn’s faculty in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science,” said Zhang. 

Dr. Ontario Wooden, provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs, expressed pride in Zhang’s accomplishment and looks forward to future developments. 

“This funding from Google aligns with Alcorn’s mission to support the success of our students,” said Wooden. “We’re excited for Dr. Zhang, our students in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, and our ongoing partnership with Google. This collaboration allows us to prepare our students for the modern workforce.”

Zhang looks forward to the funding being utilized to enhance the learning and skills of the department’s students.

“The funding will support course development, purchase video recording equipment, and anything else needed to help develop and teach machine learning and artificial intelligence courses and related activities.”

The University’s partnership with Google is one that Zhang is thankful for and proud of. He’s confident Alcorn students will soar to new heights in their learning through this collaboration.

“Google will provide more technical support for Alcorn to develop more research and teaching. Google’s research team provided our students and professors with a software portal and library. Also, scientists from Google had a workshop for our students and faculty members. The University’s partnership with Google will benefit our students by allowing them to learn the newest technologies to be successful in the global marketplace.”