Houston is once again the most diverse city in America, says a new report. Photo by Zview/Getty Images

Diversity is currently at the forefront of the U.S. conversation, as anti-Asian hate crimes have spiked nearly 150 percent in 2021 and the Derek Chauvin trial currently broils in Minneapolis.

But now, a new study sheds some good news on the Bayou City, as Houston has once again claimed its title as the most diverse city in America. Finance website WalletHub released its report on 2021's Most Diverse Cities in America, and Houston tops out not only as the most diverse city, but also as the most diverse big city in the U.S.

To crown the diversity champion, WalletHub compared the profiles of more than 500 of the largest cities across five major diversity categories: socioeconomic, cultural, economic, household, and religious.

The annual report drills down into metrics and creates a point system on items such as industry diversity, income, age, religious affiliation, education, language, worker class, and marital status.

Towards that end, here's a breakdown of Houston's rankings (with 1 equaling most diverse and 250 equaling "average"):

  • 49th – educational-attainment diversity
  • 40th – racial and ethnic diversity
  • 26th – linguistic diversity
  • 246th – birthplace diversity
  • 15th – industry diversity
  • 173rd – occupational diversity
  • 228th – marital-status diversity

While not standing out in any one particular measurable, Houston narrowly edged out Jersey City, New Jersey with an overall diversity score of 71.87; Jersey City scored a 71.7. The next major city behind Houston is New York City at No. 3 (71.59).

Dallas follows closely behind at No. 4 overall and a ranking of 71.52. Dallas scored best in religious diversity (43rd overall) and cultural diversity (43rd overall), followed by socioeconomic diversity (68th), household diversity (159), and economic diversity (190).

Elsewhere in Texas, Arlington follows at No. 8 overall and a score of 71.19. The city scored best in cultural diversity (38) and religious diversity (90), followed by socioeconomic diversity (111), economic diversity (117), and household diversity (237).

Fort Worth comes in at No. 25 and a score of 70.12. It scored best in cultural diversity (60), followed by socioeconomic diversity (95), economic diversity (119), religious diversity (161), and household diversity (245).

Meanwhile, Austin ranked 38th overall with a score of 69.67. The Capital City scored an impressive No. 3 overall in socioeconomic diversity, followed by cultural diversity (74), household diversity (192), economic diversity (205), and religious diversity (253).

Further down the list is San Antonio at No. 66 overall and a 68.6 score. San Antonio scored best in household diversity (92), followed by religious diversity (102), cultural diversity (137), economic diversity (143), and socioeconomic diversity (205).

Houston's top ranking should come to no surprise to locals. The city topped WalletHub's diversity ranking in 2019.

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This article originally ran on CultureMap.

The Bayou City has staked its claim as most diverse city in the nation. Photo by Tim Leviston/Getty Images

Houston crowned most diverse city in America by new report

We're No. 1

Last year, many locals cried foul when Houston was named the No. 2 most diverse city in the nation, behind — gasp! — Jersey City, New Jersey. But a new report confirms what we here already know: Houston is, indeed, the most diverse city in the country.

The new ranking comes courtesy of personal finance website WalletHub, which, in 2018, placed Houston in a dubious second place. "Yes, Jersey City may be listed as more ethnically diverse," Dr. Stephen Klineberg, noted local demographic expert, told CultureMap last year. "But it's much smaller." (Some consolation: Last year's WalletHub report found Houston was the most diverse big city in America.)

To crown the diversity champion, WalletHub compared 501 of the most populated cities in America across five key dimensions: socioeconomic diversity, cultural diversity, economic diversity, household diversity, and religious diversity. The report drills down into metrics such as industry diversity, income, age, religious affiliation, education, language, worker class, and marital status.

While not standing out in any one category, Houston toppled Jersey City by achieving an overall diversity score of 71.6; Jersey City scored a 71.52. Houston scored best in industry diversity (No. 16) and racial and ethnic diversity (No. 33), while scoring lowest in marital status diversity (No. 226).

Elsewhere in Texas, Dallas comes in at No. 5 overall, with an overall ranking of 71.12. Arlington follows at No. 9, with an overall ranking of 70.87. Fort Worth comes in at No. 25, with an overall score of 69.88. Further down the list is Austin at No. 42, with an overall score of 69.2. Plano comes in at No. 57, with an overall score of 68.55, while San Antonio follows at No. 62 with an overall score of 68.42.

The least diverse city in America? The scenery apparently doesn't change much in Provo, Utah, which comes in last on WalletHub's list.

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This article originally ran on CultureMap.



2019's Most Diverse Cities in the U.S. www.youtube.com

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CultureMap Emails are Awesome

Houston expert on the advantages of adopting robotic dog technology

guest column

What has 4 legs, can recognize your face, and precisely obey commands on cue? If you guessed a dog, you’re half right.

I’m referring to robotic dogs, a modern marvel of innovative engineering. AT&T recently expanded our solution offers to include network-connected robotic dogs for public safety, defense, federal and state agencies, local police and fire departments, and commercial customers. We do this in collaboration with a leading provider of robotic dogs, Ghost Robotics.

Robotic dogs are just one way we are proving the innovation and transformational possibilities of 5G and IoT. Network-connected robotic dogs can deliver a broad range of IoT use cases, including many that have previously required putting personnel in dangerous situations. Here’s a quick look at some of the fantastic capabilities network-connected robotic dogs deliver.

  • Our robotic dogs can support public safety agencies and organizations on FirstNet – the nation’s only network built with and for America’s first responders. FirstNet delivers always-on prioritized network connectivity for these “first responder” robotic dogs, helping them stay connected during disaster response and recovery, facilities surveillance, and security operations. They can support search and rescue, venture into areas that could imperil human lives, and support the ability to reestablish local communications services following major infrastructure damage.
  • We can integrate Geocast into the robotic dogs to provide Beyond-Visual-Line-of-Sight (BVLOS) operational command and control so that operators of the dogs can be located virtually anywhere in the world and remotely operate them. Geocast is an AT&T innovation covered by 37 patents.
  • The robotic dogs can be equipped with sensors that allow them to operate autonomously without human intervention. They can be outfitted with drones that can launch and return to their backs while in motion, allowing the drones and dogs to perform missions as an integrated team.
  • Rugged terrain? Water? Not a problem. These robotic dogs can move across natural terrain, including sand, rocks, hills, rubble, and human-built environments, like stairs. They can operate fully submerged in water and, like living dogs, can swim.
  • An early use case adopted by the military involves equipping our robotic dogs with wireless network-connected cameras and deploying them to patrol military bases. Robotic dogs we provided to the Air Force at Tyndall Air Force Base in the Florida panhandle are doing just that. Our robotic dogs patrol the flight line and base perimeter at Tyndall, feeding video data in real-time to base personnel who can safely track activity 24/7/365 and support the safety of base operations. They can perform the same task for commercial users, indoors or outdoors. For example, they can patrol the perimeters of large warehouses or outdoor fence lines.
  • They can also support hazmat efforts, inspect mines and high-voltage equipment, and detect explosive devices including improvised explosive devices (IEDs): all while keeping people out of harm’s way.
  • Another interesting use case involves equipping robotic dogs with Long Range Acoustic Devices (LRADs). LRADs are sound cannons that produce noise at high decibels and varying frequencies. We have discussed with the Navy the possibility of outfitting our robotic dogs with sound cannons to warn off wild boars and feral dog packs that have impeded operating crews working on telecommunications infrastructure located in remote areas of one of its bases.

Commercial applications for network-connected robotic dogs are proliferating. Utility companies, for example, are using robotic dogs equipped with video cameras to perform routine equipment inspections in substations. Human inspection requires operators to shut down the facilities during inspections; the robotic dogs eliminate the need to take this precaution. Allied Market Research projects a $13.4 billion global market for the particular use case of robotic dogs performing such inspections.

Our robotic dogs can also be equipped with technology that extends network connectivity into difficult-to-reach areas or mechanical arms that can grip and carry materials such as tools. Their use cases include Pick and Pack capabilities for warehouse operations to improve order fulfillment efficiency.

And this is just the beginning. We’ve said from the outset that the 5G journey of innovation and solution development would evolve to deliver new ways to conquer many challenges.

Now, we’ve let the dogs out.

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Lance Spencer is the Houston-based client executive vice president of defense at AT&T Public Sector.

Exclusive: Hardtech-focused program announces Houston expansion, seeks local leader

changing the world

An organization that directs support to scientists developing impactful technology has decided on Houston for its fifth program.

Activate was founded in Berkeley, California, in 2015 to bridge the gap between the federal and public sectors to deploy capital and resources into the innovators creating transformative products. The nonprofit expanded its programs to Boston and New York before launching a virtual fellowship program — Activate Anywhere, which is for scientists 50 or more miles outside one of the three hubs.

"Our mission is to empower scientists to reinvent the world by bringing their research to market," Aimee Rose, executive managing director of Activate, tells InnovationMap. "There's so much technical talent that we educate in this country every year and so many amazing inventions that happen, that combining the two, which is the sort of inventor/entrepreneur, and giving them the support mechanisms they need to get on their feet and be successful, has the potential to unlock an incredible amount of value for the country, for the environment, and to address other social problems."

This year, Activate is planting seeds in Houston to grow a presence locally and have its first set of fellows in 2024. While Activate is industry agnostic, Rose says a big draw from Houston is the ability to impact the future of energy.

"We're super excited about Houston as an emerging ecosystem for the clean energy transition as being the energy capital of the world, as well as all the other emerging players there are across the landscape in Houston," Rose says. "I think we can move the needle in Houston because of our national footprint."

The first order of business, Rose says, is hiring a managing director for Activate Houston. The job, which is posted online, is suited for an individual who has already developed a hardtech business and has experience and connections within Houston's innovation ecosystem.

"We want to customize the program so that it makes the most sense for the community," Rose says about the position. "So, somebody that has the relationships and the knowledge of the ecosystem to be able to do that and somebody that's kind of a mentor at heart."

The program is for early-stage founders — who have raised less than $2 million in funding — working on high-impact technology. Rose explains that Activate has seen a number of microelectronics and new materials companies go through the program, and, while medical innovation is impactful, Activate doesn't focus on pharmaceutical or therapeutic industries since there are existing pathways for those products.

Ultimately, Activate is seeking innovators whose technologies fall through the cracks of existing innovation infrastructure.

"Not every business fits into the venture capital model in terms of what investors would expect to be eventual outcomes, but these these types of businesses can still have significant impact and make the world a better place," Rose says, explaining how Activate is different from an incubator or accelerator. "As opposed as compared to a traditional incubator, this is a very high touch program. You get a living stipend so you can take a big business technical risk without a personal risk. We give you a lot of hands on support and mentoring."

Each of the programs selects 10 fellows that join the program for two years. The fellows receive a living stipend, connections from Activate's robust network of mentors, and access to a curriculum specific to the program.

Since its inception, Activate has supported 104 companies and around 146 entrepreneurs associated with those companies. With the addition of Houston, Activate will be able to back 50 individuals a year.

Four Houston scientists named rising stars in research

who to watch

Four Houston scientists were named among a total of five Texas rising stars in research by the Texas Academy of Medicine, Engineering, Science & Technology, or TAMEST, last month.

The group will be honored at the 2023 Edith and Peter O’Donnell Awards by TAMEST in May. According to Edith and Peter O’Donnell Committee Chair Ann Beal Salamone, the researchers "epitomize the Texas can-do spirit."

The Houston winners include:

Medicine: Dr. Jennifer Wargo

A physician and professor of surgical oncology and genomic medicine at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Wargo was named a 2023 honoree for her discoveries surrounding the "important connection between treatment outcomes and a patient’s gut microbiome," according to a statement from TAMEST.

Engineering: Jamie Padgett

The Stanley C. Moore Professor of Engineering at Rice University, Padgett was honored for her work that aims to "enhance reliability and improve the sustainability of critical community infrastructure" through developing new methods for multi-hazard resilience modeling.

Physical sciences: Erez Lieberman Aiden

As a world-leading biophysical scientist and an associate professor of molecular and human genetics at Baylor College of Medicine, is being honored for his work that has "dramatically impacting the understanding of genomic 3D structures." He is working with BCM to apply his findings to clinical settings, with the hope that it will eventually be used to treat disease by targeting dark matter in the body.

Technology innovation: Chengbo Li

As a geophysicist at ConocoPhillips, Li is being recognized for innovations in industry-leading Compressive Seismic Imaging (CSI) technology. "This CSI technology allows the oil and gas industry to produce these seismic surveys in less time, with less shots and receivers, and most importantly, with less of an environmental impact," his nominator Jie Zhang, founder and chief scientist of GeoTomo LLC, said in a statement.


James J. Collins III at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas was also named this year's rising star in the biological sciences category for his research on schistosomiasis, a disease that impacts some of the world’s poorest individuals.

The O'Donnell Awards have granted more than $1.5 million to more than 70 recipients since they were founded in 2006. Each award includes a $25,000 honorarium and an invitation to present at TAMEST’s Annual Conference each year, according to TAMEST's website.

The awards expanded in 2002 to include both a physical and biological sciences award each year, thanks to a $1.15 million gift from the O’Donnell Foundation in 2022.