A Leading Community Tech-Inclusion Conference Returns—BDPACON22 heads to Atlanta

ATLANTA—One of the nation’s leading technology inclusion conferences is back and in-person from Thursday, August 18, 2022, through Saturday, August 20, 2022, in Atlanta, Georgia.

This year’s 44th annual BDPA Technology Conference (BDPACON22) and Career Expo theme is “Honoring our Legacy, Accelerating the Pace.” In special ceremonies throughout the year, BDPA continues to honor its co-founder, the late Earl A . Pace, Jr., who passed away in February.  For the association, 2022 marks another  special year for recovery, advocacy, and co-hosting local BDPA Chapter reunions while developing stronger partnerships with Industry.

For BDPA, 2022 is a great year for community action refocusing on technological barriers, challenges, and policies facing underserved communities. BDPA continues to raise community awareness as the association explores better solutions with new opportunities from diverse and  innovative perspectives. Increasing STEM and cybersecurity engagements with local non-profits, small businesses, HBCUs, JROTC units, and media remain very high priorities for the association as planning for their 50th anniversary in 2025 and sponsored events begin to unfold.

BDPA Onsite Registration
Onsite registrations during BDPACON

BDPA’s annual career fair is free and open to the public. To attend BDPACON22, registrations are requested to participate in career fair engagements, workshops, or to receive special invitations from industry-sponsored events. Join BDPA at the Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, for a few days of signature events and powerful engagements with Industry by visiting https://conference.bdpa.org.

For media, an all-access Press Pass registration may be requested by emailing: info@bdpatoday.org .

About BDPA

Established in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1975 as Black Data Processing Associates, BDPA is an international organization with a diverse membership of professionals and students in the fields of information technology, computer science, data science, and related science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. BDPA Members and mission partners engage in serving local communities through professional outreach events, technology conferences, research and development (R&D) summits with youth STEM competitions, while advocating and charting the future direction of information and communications technology (ICT) industries. For corporate, professional, or student engagements, visit BDPA.org.


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Google + BDPA

RSVP Google+BDPA Meet & Greet
Google is proud to be supporting BDPA, its community, and the 44th annual Technology Conference in Atlanta, Georgia on August 18 – 20, 2022! 

Octo Holds Grand Opening of oLabs™ Innovation Hub

Octo celebrated its expanded oLabs™ innovation space with a grand opening attended by Senator Mark Warner and other notable VIPs committed to serving the Federal Government.

RESTON, VA—Octo, the premier provider of emerging technology and modernization for the Federal Government, yesterday celebrated the grand opening of its new oLabs™ innovation hub. Housed in a brand new, custom-built 14,000 square foot facility at Octo’s headquarters in Reston, Virginia, oLabs is the largest privately-owned R&D facility in the DC metro area dedicated to the Federal Government.

Octo invested more than $10 million in the expansion of oLabs which now offers an enormous amount of highly sophisticated compute power including more than 15 petaflops of AI compute and 2 petabytes of FlashBlade storage among others. In addition to the many new development tools for specialized R&D and a space purpose built to facilitate collaboration between Octo’s staff and its federal customers, oLabs will be a hub for internal collaboration and product development focused on solving federal agencies’ most complex issues.

In his comments to attendees, U.S. Senator Mark Warner said, “Innovation isn’t all happening in the Valley. It’s happening in the DMV.” He said he was excited about Octo as a mid-size GovCon company inviting other companies to work side by side on innovation. “We appreciate all Octo does helping the Federal Government.”

U.S. Senator Mark Warner and Octo CEO Mehul Sanghani address VIPs and attendees during Octo’s oLabs ribbon-cutting ceremonies in Reston, VA. — BDPA NoVA photo © 2022 bdpatoday

Octo’s CEO Mehul Sanghani said, “We are ecstatic to see the official launch of this new space and all that it offers. Octo is dedicated to finding the best solutions for customers, those that make missions happen. That can only be accomplished with powerful technology resources and a commitment to R&D. Using next-gen IT and a collaborative approach, oLabs is accelerating and validating proof-of-concepts to create transformative solutions that can’t be found anywhere else in the region. This space allows us to be in alignment with our customers future goals, and also gives us a competitive advantage over our peers.”

Sujey Edward, CTO at Octo, said, “At the end of the day, you can’t solve the hardest problems in the world without three things: the best technical talent, real world experience, and next generation technology. In this space we have all three. Anything less than that is just a glorified conference room.

“Octo has invested millions of independent research and development dollars into building oLabs, the industry’s most capable center for innovation. We’ve also perfected a collaborative approach to working with our customers supported by an extraordinary facility full of exceptionally talented and passionate emerging technology professionals. Our team isn’t just technical. They have relevant real-world experience in our core domains also. They are former special operators, data scientists pulled from some of the largest companies around the world, DevOps engineers, and AI/ML engineers who understand the scenarios in which our solutions will be deployed.”

oLabs products and solutions are used and are in testing by customers including the U.S. Army, Marine Corps Special Operations Command, the U.S. Navy, and others. Customers who could not attend the grand opening are invited to tour the space. Learn more at olabs.octo.us.

Octo, Platinum Sponsor of national BDPA’s Greater Washington, D.C. Chapter, is a technology firm dedicated to solving the Federal Government’s most complex challenges, enabling agencies to jump the technology curve. We don’t just modernize. We create lasting change through best practices that help agencies implement and integrate at-scale next-generation technology and innovation. With a mission and service first mentality, we provide Agile, DevSecOps, Artificial Intelligence, Cybersecurity, Blockchain, Cloud, Open Source, and Data Science solutions, collaborating to solve customers’ pressing problems. Headquartered in Reston, Virginia, Octo delivers proven technology vital to the intelligence community and health care, defense, national security, and civilian agencies that directly impact our nation.

— Source: Octo/Business Wire


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Octo
https://www.octoconsulting.com/

State Legislative Bodies Advance Computer Science and Technology bills for High School Graduation and new Workforce STEM Requirements

NASHVILLE, TN—Tennessee’s General Assembly reconvened January 11, 2022 and on April 14, 2022 the Tennessee Senate unanimously passed Senate Bill 2406 (SB 2406) requiring their Department of Education (DOE) to adopt standards for computer science education by the 2023-2024 school year. Under the new bill, by the 2024-2025 school year all high school students in Tennessee would be required to take a full year of computer science education in order to graduate and middle schoolers would have to take at least one computer science course.

CodeCrew Code School helps connect families and young adults in Memphis, TN.
Photo courtesy: CodeCrew Memphis

SB 2406 and its companion bill in the Tennessee House of Representatives, HB 2153, stipulates Tennessee [DOE] will provide in-person and online computer science courses for public school students at no charge by the start of the 2023-24 school year. To this end, DOE would also provide a computer science education professional development program at no cost to educators. Additionally, SB 2406/HB 2153 creates new computer science requirements and stronger academic standards for K-12 students with a requirement Tennessee schools implement these standards beginning in the 2024-25 school year when enacted.

BDPA Alumni and BDPA Memphis Chapter Student Members with (L-R) Bryce Ellis, Naim Hakeem, Kareem Dasilva, Judy Lane, Melaati Jayah, Jada Thorium Mykaila Johnson. Photo: BDPA Memphis

Nebraska Advances High School Computer Science and Technology Bill

Nebraska lawmakers also approved a bill last month to ensure students receive computer science and technology education prior to high school graduation. Introduced by Senator Terrell McKinney of Omaha, LB 1112 would require every public school district in Nebraska to include computer science and technology education within legacy instructional programs of its elementary and middle schools beginning in school year 2024-25.

Nebraska’s students would be required to complete at least one five-credit high school course in computer science and technology prior to graduation. These courses can be provided across traditional in-person classroom settings or blended learning environments.

Upskilling JROTC with STEM Education and Cybersecurity Training for Workforce Pipelines  

JROTC Cadets from Dunbar High School in Washington, D.C. attending BDPA-DC’s annual Community Technology Awards. BDPA photo © 2019 by Roy Lewis

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2022, Public Law 117-81, authorized $187.6 million and modifies a grant program supporting science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education in JROTC to include quantum information sciences. NDAA 2022 also requires the Secretary of Defense (SECDEF) to submit to the Committees on Armed Services of the Senate (SASC) and the House of Representatives (HASC) a briefing on the status of the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) programs of each Armed Force. SECDEF’s briefing must include the following:

(1) an assessment of the current usage of the program, including the number of individuals enrolled in the program, the demographic information of individuals enrolled in the program, and the number of units established under the program

(2) a description of the efforts of the Armed Forces to meet current enrollment targets for the program

(3) If applicable, an explanation of the reasons such enrollment targets have not been met
(4) a description of any obstacles preventing the Armed Forces from meeting such enrollment targets

(5) a comparison of the potential benefits and drawbacks of expanding the program; and

(6) a description of program-wide diversity and inclusion recruitment and retention efforts

Tech Industry Certifications Before High School Graduation

In Virginia, the commonwealth’s  Board of Education has approved many exams for the purpose of awarding verified credit, specifically designated as “Student-Selected Verified Credit.” In Fairfax County, just outside of our Nation’s Capital, many  Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses prepare students for industry certification opportunities. Students who desire this professional credential must pass an industry-developed, industry evaluated exam at the end of the CTE course. Earning an industry credential demonstrates professional skill levels students and JROTC cadets have achieved while providing industry-recognized proof that students are prepared for career-related responsibilities or post-secondary education or training.

Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) provides a broad range of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) opportunities and academic opportunities that support pathways to STEAM jobs and careers. In Fairfax County, and across the National Capital Region, the greatest job growth continues to come largely from STEAM-related professions.

Sources: Tennessee and Nebraska General Assemblies; FCPS; Code Crews; BDPA Memphis; and BDPA-DC. Cover photo credit: Charlie Perkins, National BDPA. BDPA Southern Minnesota Coding Team shown during National BDPA’s annual High School Computer Competition (HSCC).

FCEDA

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Exascale Day with BDPA!

It’s October 18th 2021.  Happy Exascale day!

WASHINGTON—As we enter a new era in research and development (R&D) or modeling and simulation, exascale computing will rapidly transform our abilities to do just about anything with any connected or remote device on, in, or near our planet. 

Exascale systems and supercomputers are able to achieve over 1 quintillion operations per second. That’s 10 to the 18th power (10^18), or a “1” followed by 18 zeros. On National Exascale Day,  National BDPA, local BDPA Chapters, bdpatoday, and PTTV  celebrate  our 10th month on its 18th day.

Our Exascale Era will have very profound impacts on all industry market segments from energy, health,  manufacturing, logistics, and supply chain management to all modes of transportation, infrastructure, new technologies and policy.

So how will these advanced technologies all work together with our village and in your ‘hood?  How could more data from satellites, sensors, devices, and people, really work well atop newly secured platforms with compute at the edge in our new era?  

To view what a few Industry insiders have to say, visit our Exascale Day playlist and check out https://www.000000000000000000.com/ from HPE, one of National BDPA’s mission partners and longtime High School Computer Competition (HSCC) coding sponsor.

Sources: HPE and bdpatoday


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BDPA Welcomes Northwestern Mutual

MILWAUKEE, WIBDPA would like to welcome Northwestern Mutual as a Gold Sponsor! This partnership is an opportunity to work with Northwestern Mutual to discover new insights and to create new opportunities through networking and potential employment. During the 43rd Annual Conference, this partnership will be highlighted in several ways.

BDPA’s Data Science Academy (DSA) and Northwestern Mutual are partnering to provide experiences for educational and career growth through research and lab-based programs for students and professionals.

Message from Northwestern Mutual

Message from Northwestern MutualOur BDPA partnership extends beyond the sponsorship and funding.

It provides opportunities to build relationships with diverse talent, especially students, opening the door for future tech talent to participate in our world class tech internships program and the possibility of a tech career at Northwestern Mutual and beyond.

At the same time, we can support our communities and grow local tech talent through working with the BDPA Milwaukee chapter.

“We’re excited to work with a new group of data and analytics
professionals to deliver impactful learning experiences that attract,
develop, and retain the best talent in the industry.”


KERI MCCONNELL, SENIOR DIRECTOR DATA SCIENCE & ANALYTICS, NORTHWESTERN MUTUAL, & CO-DIRECTOR, NORTHWESTERN MUTUAL DATA SCIENCE INSTITUTE





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