BDPA Co-Founder, IT Hall of Famer, and Tech Industry Legend Earl A. Pace, Jr. passes away at 79

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

By Norman Mays, Kenneth Wilson, and Sharrarne Morton, BDPA

Earl A. Pace, Jr.

National BDPA photo by Charlie Perkins

LARGO, MD (BDPA) – Earl A. Pace, Jr.,  a computer programmer trainee at the Pennsylvania Railroad who went on to become an entrepreneur, an iconic figure of civil rights in the tech industry, and a staunch proponent of technology inclusion initiatives, died February 19, 2022, after enduring a long illness his family said in a statement.  He was 79.

“All of us will miss his caring, his love and his sound wisdom as co-founder of Black Data Processing Associates (BDPA). The date and details of a memorial service will be announced in the near future. Please keep us in your hearts and prayers.”

A distinguished alum of The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State), Mr. Pace has been in the Information Technology (IT) industry since 1965. He left the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1967. Over the next decade he rose through the ranks of programmer, programmer analyst, programming manager, and on to Vice President of a financial telecommunications company in Philadelphia, PA. He became a business owner in 1976 when he incorporated Pace Data Systems, a full service information technology firm providing services and support through its Philadelphia, PA and Washington, D.C. offices primarily to banks and savings banks.

In 1975, Mr. Pace co-founded BDPA  in Philadelphia and operated as its president for two years.  In 1978 he coordinated the formation of BDPA into a national organization and functioned as its first National President until 1980. National BDPA has grown into one of the largest professional organizations representing minorities across the IT industry.  In 1992, the BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF or BDPA Foundation) chaired by Mr. Pace, was founded to support the education and technical programs of BDPA. In 2011, Mr. Pace was the first IT Innovator honored during CompTIA’s IT Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

Within BDPA and on a broader industrial scale, Mr. Pace was a vocal advocate for business ownership. His primary message since starting BDPA has always been minorities should strive to rise above just ‘getting a job’ while pursuing  ownership, operating their own businesses, and landing a position on a Corporate Board of Directors.

About BDPA

BDPA, formerly known as Black Data Processing Associates, is an international organization with a diverse membership of professionals and students at all levels in the fields of information technology, computer science, data science, and related science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. Founded in Philadelphia, PA in 1975, BDPA Members and BDPA Student Members remain actively engaged in serving their respective communities through technology inclusion programs and STEM outreach events while charting the futures of IT and digital inclusivity with Industry. 

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Contact

Norman Mays
216.310.2173
info@bdpatoday.org
Kenneth Wilson
216.773.0700
info@bdpatoday.org
Sharrarne Morton
240.463.6915
media@bdpadc.org

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This book was written to enrich lives. It is a story about helping people grow, build, and achieve greatness. The story of the Black Data Processing Associates (BDPA) – a non-profit organization of African-American computer professionals growing, building, and achieving success together – is one of developing diverse talent and improving their career options in the Information Technology industry. BDPA was born in 1975 because its founders believed African Americans in particular were marginalized in the burgeoning field of data processing, known today as information technology (IT), STEM, and cyber.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise wins $2B HPE GreenLake contract with the National Security Agency

HOUSTON – September 1, 2021 – Hewlett Packard Enterprise (NYSE: HPE) today announced that it has been awarded a $2B contract, that will be leveraged over a 10 year period, with the National Security Agency (NSA) to deliver HPE’s high performance computing (HPC) technology as a service through the HPE GreenLake platform.

The new collaboration will enable the NSA to harness rapidly growing AI and data needs more efficiently to create insights and other forecasting and analysis with optimal performance. By using HPE’s HPC solutions through the HPE GreenLake platform, which provides fully managed, secure cloud services on-premises, the NSA will benefit from an agile, flexible, and secure platform to meet their growing data management requirements.

  • The National Security Agency is gaining industry-leading HPC solutions to tackle AI needs with an as a service experience Share

Implementing artificial intelligence, machine learning and analytics capabilities on massive sets of data increasingly requires High Performance Computing (HPC) systems” said Justin Hotard, senior vice president and general manager, HPC and Mission Critical Solutions (MCS) at HPE. “Customers are demanding HPC capabilities on their most data-intensive projects combined with easy, simple, and agile management. By using the HPE GreenLake platform, which delivers secure on-premises solutions as a service, the National Security Agency (NSA) is gaining industry-leading HPC solutions to tackle a range of complex data needs, but with a flexible, as a service experience.” 

Photo credit: National Security Agency


Harnessing data growth with purpose-built HPC and AI solutions

The new service includes a combination of HPE Apollo systems and HPE ProLiant servers, which ingest and process high volumes of data, and support deep learning and artificial intelligence capabilities. As part of the HPE GreenLake service, HPE will build and manage the complete solution that will be hosted at a QTS data center, a hosting facility that delivers secure, compliant data center infrastructure and robust connectivity to support scaling of operations. The new service will go into use starting in 2022.

For more information on HPE GreenLake, please visit: https://www.hpe.com/us/en/greenlake.html

About Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (NYSE: HPE) is the global edge-to-cloud company that helps organizations accelerate outcomes by unlocking value from all of their data, everywhere. Built on decades of reimagining the future and innovating to advance the way people live and work, HPE delivers unique, open and intelligent technology solutions delivered as a service – spanning Compute, Storage, Software, Intelligent Edge, High Performance Computing and Mission Critical Solutions – with a consistent experience across all clouds and edges, designed to help customers develop new business models, engage in new ways, and increase operational performance. For more information, visit: www.hpe.com .

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The IBM-HBCU Quantum Center grows rapidly in size and scope

ARMONK, NY—When IBM launched the IBM-HBCU Quantum Center last September, our goal was to collaborate with historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in a way that would advance not only quantum information science, but also STEM-based opportunities for these traditionally underrepresented communities. We are proud to report that this initiative in the quantum computing field is off to a fast start, as HBCUs, students, and faculty begin to explore the Center’s vast potential.

Membership has nearly doubled in less than six months to a total of 23 HBCUs. We have created a community of students and faculty, including the start of an undergraduate research program where students are exploring quantum computation with Qiskit, and have contributed to a pre-print on arXiv that investigates the use of machine learning and quantum computing to better understand unknown quantum systems.

Expanding the IBM-HBCU Quantum Center

Today, we’ve announced a slate of new members for the Center, with 10 historically Black colleges and universities joining the Center’s 13 founding institutions. The new schools (in alphabetical order) are:

Distinguished faculty

In addition to this rapid growth, we are honored to have distinguished faculty as members of the Center, including Howard University associate professor of physics Thomas Searles, winner of the inaugural Joseph A. Johnson III Award for Excellence; Serena Eley, an assistant professor of physics at the Colorado School of Mines and head of the Eley Quantum Materials Group; and Anderson Sunda-Meya, an associate professor of physics at Xavier University of Louisiana and recipient of the 2021 American Physical Society Excellence in Physics Education Award.

Professors Eley and Searles have also received grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF) through the organization’s Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program. The program supports early-career faculty who have the potential to become academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in their department or organization.

Inclusion from the start

The Center is a multi-year investment designed to prepare and develop talent at HBCUs from all STEM disciplines. IBM’s goals are to build a sustainable quantum research and education program by increasing the number of Black students educated in Quantum Information Science and Engineering (QISE), strengthening research efforts of faculty at HBCUs in QISE, and providing opportunities for scholarship, fellowships, and internships for HBCU undergraduate and graduate students.

The IBM-HBCU Quantum Center’s mission is to educate, foster collaboration on joint research, and ultimately create a more diverse quantum-ready workforce for students studying everything from physics and chemistry to computer science and business. The Center’s members collaborate across their respective institutions, and are building regional interactions to strengthen both faculty and student engagement.

Black and Latinx students leave STEM majors at nearly twice the rate of white students, due largely to the lack of a support structure and access to resources as they pursue their academic goals, according to EAB, a Washington-based education research company. We see the need for an inclusive, supportive space where these students and their professors are able to collaborate and explore emerging technologies. This collaboration with HBCUs, which educate 27 percent of African American graduates with STEM degrees, will increase opportunities for faculty and students to identify and launch successful careers in the budding field of quantum computing.

Since IBM first put a quantum computer on the cloud almost five years ago, it has pushed the boundaries of both access and enablement for quantum computation at a global scale. One example is our Qiskit Global Summer School, which delivered an undergraduate-level course on quantum algorithms to a global audience of over 4,000 students in over 100 countries. Another example is our partnership with The Coding School expanding quantum education to high schools by educating thousands of students around the world for a full academic year.

Read more on Qiskit Medium: How Howard University Students Are Hoping to Change the Future of Quantum Computing

We know that early touch points with new technology can help increase the likelihood of capturing interest in the subject and is critical for underrepresented communities. In return, we envision quantum computing benefitting greatly from a diverse community of researchers and industry professionals that can help advance the technology and identify commercial applications.

Looking forward

As the Center continues to develop, we are measuring success on a number of metrics, including student engagement, talent and workforce development, and research capacity. We hope to apply these best practices as we build the quantum workforce, especially at community colleges and undergraduate and minority-serving institutions, which all serve traditionally underrepresented communities in STEM.

Source and photo credits: IBM | February 22, 2021 | Written by: Dr.  Kayla Lee and Benita Zazueta

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High Performance Data Processing: COBOL Programmers needed for huge surge in jobless data

TRENTON, NJ (BDPA-NJ) — “New Jersey needs COBOL Programmers.” At a press conference today, governor Phil Murphy asked for the help of volunteer coders who still know how to program in COBOL.

In New Jersey and perhaps other states with “legacy systems”, experts are urgently needed to fix COBOL-based unemployment insurance systems—some at least four decades old—that are overwhelmed due to COVID-19 related job losses.

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The state recently experienced a 1,600% increase in claims volume in a single week, said labor commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo during today’s briefing, stating that “over the prior two weeks we saw more than 362,000 people apply for unemployment as a result of this public health emergency.”

March 2020 | Womens History Month

Tech industry and cybersecurity experts feel such “volunteers”, similar to demographics of National BDPA’s founding members, are likely well over 60 years old making them especially vulnerable to COVID-19. Whether they would risk venturing back out to work or volunteer to update legacy systems that should have been updated decades ago remains an open challenge, especially if they cannot remotely perform emergency upgrades from home or a secured facility.  bt

Discover more. Preview related technical content, archives, or career articles from Industry and local BDPA Chapters via LinkedIn and Pinterest.

— Sources: New Jersey Department of Labor, Quartz, and BDPA-NJ
Top courtesy photo: Newark, NJ

Visit page 4 (COBOL | Mainframes: Admiral Grace Hopper) of your March 2020 special Womens History Month edition of bdpatoday.

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