The 2018 ACM Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing Conference, presented by CMD-IT, was held September 19-22 in Orlando, Florida. The Tapia conferences bring together undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, researchers, and professionals in computing from all backgrounds and ethnicities.
Computing Research News
“Expanding the Pipeline” is a regular column in Computing Research News. The column serves both as a vehicle for describing projects and issues related to women and underrepresented groups in computing. The column is guest-authored by individuals who share their insight and experiences from their active participation in programs designed to involve women, minorities, and persons with disabilities in education and research. Patty Lopez is the column editor.
These guidelines were established to articulate successful strategies for mentoring African-American doctoral students in Computing Sciences (CS). iAAMCS defines “student mentoring” as the process of supporting, encouraging and guiding students’ academic and social progress with the goal of facilitating career and personal development. Grounded in project-based results and similar empirical research, the following guidelines emerged: (1) recruit strategically, (2) establish community, (3) foster a research culture, (4) provide holistic advising, (5) provide funding and (6) promote professional development. iAAMCS hopes that institutions, departments and faculty use these guidelines to bolster the participation of African-American students pursuing doctoral degrees in CS.
Although the iAAMCS Guidelines serve as best practices for mentoring African-American students in computing, these strategies are useful for optimal mentoring all students.
At the recent CRA Conference at Snowbird several sessions focused increasing diversity in computing. The conference provided an excellent opportunity to spread the message of increasing inclusion in computing to a wide audience of department chairs and leaders of government and industrial laboratories.
The National Girls Collaborative Project (NGCP) brings together organizations throughout the United States that are committed to informing and encouraging girls to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, computer science, and mathematics. NGCP serves more than 35,000 programs in 41 states and uses a collective impact model that builds the capacity of educational programs.
Supporting, celebrating, and advocating for women in computing is the mission that lies at the heart of the activities of ACM-W. Our longstanding projects of scholarships, celebrations, and student chapters provide opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to increase their technical knowledge while networking and building community. Recently we have begun to expand our activity to include projects that support populations of women in computing beyond students. This article provides an overview of all of our projects, old and new.
The Computing Alliance for Hispanic-Serving Institutions (CAHSI) is a consortium of Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs) committed to consolidating the strengths, resources, and efforts of public, private, federal, state, and local organizations that share the core value of increasing the number of Hispanics who pursue and complete baccalaureate and advanced degrees in computing areas. CAHSI plays a critical role in evaluating, documenting, and disseminating effective practices that support students in computing disciplines at the critical junctures in the academic pipeline.
The conference featured several inspiring keynotes, including one by CRA-W board member Ayanna Howard, Georgia Institute of Technology. CRA-W also presented career mentoring content for GHC attendees interested in research.
This article outlines several activities at UIUC geared towards encouraging women to join and stay in a computing major. As the authors note, the link between UIUC’s efforts and the uptick in women in computing at UIUC is speculative, as no formal evaluation has been conducted. Nevertheless, the level of engagement in broadening participation in computing at UIUC is encouraging. Of note, UIUC is one of many computing departments and organizations working to increase the representation of women in computing courses and majors. This article is the first in a series highlighting some of these departments.
The CS undergraduate program at the University of Illinois is among the largest in the nation. It has grown by 250 percent over the last decade to nearly 1,800 undergraduates—and it is still growing. In the last four years, the percentage of women in our CS programs rose from 10 percent to more than 25 percent. And our freshmen class in the College of Engineering rose from 11 percent women in 2012 to about 45 percent in 2016.
Retention and graduation of underrepresented minorities and students with disabilities is critical to creating a strong pipeline of employees for both industry and academia. In early 2017, the Center for Minorities and People with Disabilities in IT (CMD-IT) announced the call for nominations for the first annual CMD-IT University Award for Retention of Minorities and Students with Disabilities in Computer Science. The University Award was created to recognize a U.S. academic institution that has demonstrated a commitment and shown results for the retention of students from underrepresented groups in undergraduate computer science programs over the last five years.
The dialogue about broadening participation in computing must extend beyond a narrow focus on women, in general, to one that focuses on the intersectionality of race and gender if the computing educational community will be more inclusive. Engaging more diverse perspectives in computing education can be described as a social justice issue, but also promoted as a necessity to increase innovations in industry (National Science Foundation and National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, 2013). More specifically, to succeed in increasing the participation of black women in computing, there must first be an acknowledgement that black women’s experiences in computing are different from those of other groups. Subsequently, an educational framework can be developed to address these differences.
The Women in Engineering ProActive Network (WEPAN) held the 2017 Change Leader Forum in Westminster, Colorado from June 12 – 14, 2017. The Forum provided attendees an unparalleled opportunity to engage with diversity and inclusion advocates, and learn research based best-practices related to gender equity and inclusion in engineering. Nearly 200 attendees representing a variety of institutions and roles participated in the Forum, including university leaders, corporate partners, engineering faculty, K-12 teachers, and academic diversity officers. CERP Director Jane Stout was a panelist on the opening keynote panel presentation “A Research Agenda on Gender in Engineering and Computing.”