As part of driving the diversity effort in technology, Yahoo donated 200 servers to Howard University and the University of Texas at El Paso.
In a blog post, Don McGillen, senior campus relations manager at Yahoo, described the donation as an endeavor to “develop and expand relationships with key universities whose mission is to educate talented, diverse student populations.”
Yahoo donated a combined 200 servers to both universities. In his blog post, McGillen noted that the servers will increase Howard University’s CLDC computing capacity. CLDC is Howard University’s Computer Learning and Design Center, a place where students learn the foundations of computer networking and obtain hands-on experience with software management tools. The servers will be used to implement a “private cloud” in which data and resources can be securely uploaded and accessed via the Internet by students and instructors. This private cloud will support computer science coursework in machine learning and big data analytics.
Previously, Yahoo donated 125 servers to Howard University to create the Yahoo Data Center at Howard. Opened in 2013, the Yahoo Data Center is a hub for research in human-computer interaction, artificial intelligence, database security, and more niche areas of computing.
As per statistics from the National Science Foundation, Howard University is the top producer of African American graduates who go on to obtain doctoral degrees in science and engineering.
This is Yahoo’s first server donation to the University of Texas, El Paso. The company donated 480 servers to the University of Texas at Arlington back in June.
Yahoo launched its server donation program to “power innovation at the university level”. It has donated over 5,000 servers to more than 40 academic institutions.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Yahoo and other tech companies have started keeping tabs on internal staff diversity statistics after criticism over the lack of diversity in the tech industry. In July 2013, Yahoo managed to up its employee diversity with an increase in women in both tech and leadership positions, as well as an increase in minority staff–with a significant portion of that statistic comprised of Asians.