The AAPHDCS list is designed to foster the development of a virtual community of PhD-level researchers, educators, and students who are African-American and other minority groups. The list has been in existence since 1996. It was developed by Vernard Martin and Charles R. Hardnett while at the Georgia Institute of Technology. During this time, the list has seen many student matriculate through PhD programs across the country and we have witnessed members receive awards for innovative research, tenure, and upper-level management promotions. The list has also fostered a number of personal relationships that I hope will continue to grow through the years, and as intended, the list has provided a vehicle for research collaborations that have been substatially funded.
Some of the plans for the future of AAPHDCS will include:
1. Development of a website to further enhance the aaphdcs community. This site will feature the work of everyone that is a part of the apphdcs community, blogs, collections of professional insights designed to help us succeed, and serve a general repository/archive of aaphdcs.
2. Additional focus on Broadening Participation Issues that reach back into K-12 in a coordinated and focused way to bring more students into science and hopefully into Computer Science.
3. Research on the progress of minority PhD students in graduate programs, and the progress of those who have obtained the PhD. We want to study the questions that relate to the type of job offers, the tenure and promotion process in the university system and the promotion process in industry, grant writing, preparation and positioning ourselves for the future in terms of careers, research areas, etc.
For those that are into historical artifacts. Below is the original message I wrote to the aaphdcs back in 1996. There were about 30 members on the list at that time, and now there are over 130 members on the list.
Charles R. Hardnett
My name is Charles Hardnett, and I am 5th year PhD student in computer science. I attend the Georgia Institute of Technology. I have some concerns about the past, present, and future state of African-American participation in the Computer Science Community at the PhD level. I am sure that each of you will have similar concerns as well as others, and please make them known to the people on this mailing list. Firstly, this mailing list is composed of African-Americans with a PhD in Computer Science as well as current PhD students. My hope is that this message can be the beginning of an organization and networking of African-Americans in Computer Science.
Well, lets get to some of my concerns/goals:
1. The number(absolute or percentage) of African-Americans with a PhD in CS is very low. I do not know what that number should be, but I do know that 1 person per year(0.9% of all PhDs earned in CS per year) is not good. The other fact about this, is that African-American women are a very small
fraction of this at least until 1992. I have complete data from NSF from 1982-1992.
2. The students could greatly benefit from a support group to overcome the professional, social, and economic hurdles associated with obtaining the degree.
3. This small group of professionals and students can be very powerful politically and economically.
4. There should be forums to address issues in the workplace or school.
5. We can have a another forum for publishing research.
6. Many HBCUs have computer science programs, but they are struggling from the lack of faculty and funding.
7. We should KNOW each other by name, if not by face i.e. to beat a dead horse, we need to network.
Consider the above as a brain dump. I think there are other reasons for this message, but I did not want this to be a long message. So this is my
We begin by organizing ourselves via E-Mail. I will look into getting an automated mailing list stationed here at GA Tech. This will allow everyone
to join and send messages to the group effortlessly. In becoming organized, we should spread the word to people you do not see on this header, and get their input and support.
Everyone should think about the concerns I have raised as well as any concerns you have, and articulate them to the group. We need to begin with a little brainstorming, just to get a feel for the issues and concerns. In addition, there are some questions that come to mind that everyone will need to address:
1. Is this an important organization to you? Why?
2. What can you contribute to this organization?
As I said before, this message is meant to be a catalyst for some discussion. Until I have notified you of an actual automated mailing list, I will take on the responsibility of maintaining the list and sending out updates so that you can update your alias.
To see the collection of prior postings to the list,
visit the aaphdcs
(The current archive is only available to the list
Subscribe to aaphdcs by filling out the following
You will be sent email requesting confirmation, to
prevent others from gratuitously subscribing you. Once
confirmation is received, your request will be held for approval
by the list moderator. You will be notified of the moderator's
decision by email. This is also a private list, which means that the
list of members is not available to non-members.