Gender differences in computer science tend to dissolve—that is, the spectrum of interests, motivation, and personality types of men and of women becomes more alike than different—as the computing environment becomes more balanced. This finding is emerging from our ongoing studies of the evolving culture of computing at Carnegie Mellon as our undergraduate computer science (CS) environment becomes more balanced in three critical domains: gender, the mix of students and breadth of their interests, and the professional experiences afforded all students.
Computing Research News
Articles relevant to the CRA Committee on Widening Participation in Computing Research (CRA-WP).
Congratulations to CRA-W which was recently selected by the National Science Board to receive its NSB 2005 Public Service Award (Group).
On May 16, 2005, Richard Ladner, Boeing Professor of Computer Science & Engineering (CSE) at the University of Washington, was one of nine individuals to receive the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM) at a White House ceremony. Ladner, who is well known for his work in computer science theory, was recognized for his long-time support of women and people with disabilities in computer science.
The fact that women, minorities, and persons with disabilities remain significantly underrepresented in CISE-related disciplines diminishes us all in our research and education activities, to say nothing of our personal lives. NSF and CISE have long worked to change this situation, but we believe new and strengthened efforts are essential and we are now focusing our attention on doing that.
As we are all aware, the percentage of women in computer science and computing engineering is declining. Often faculty shrug off this disparity as lack of aptitude by women students. Computer science, however, is the only scientific discipline that is not increasing the percentage of women students. Mathematics, for example, has almost reached parity at the undergraduate level. With overall declining enrollments, we need to reach out to make computing and computing research an attractive discipline to be pursued by the brightest students. This is everyone’s responsibility.