Women in Computer Science @ Harvey Mudd College: Three Promising Practices
Presented by Professor Christine Alvarado
Historically, Harvey Mudd College (HMC) had about as much success attracting women to the study of computer science as the average institution--in other words, very little. Until 2005, women at HMC chose CS less than any other field of study. In 2006 HMC began three practices in order to increase the number of women studying and majoring in CS: a redesigned CS1, trips for first-year students to the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computer Science, and CS research experiences for rising sophomore women. These practices have now been in place for almost 5 years. In this talk I will describe these practices and present a thorough evaluation of the quantitative and qualitative differences that have accompanied them. In sum, these efforts have rebalanced our department by significantly increasing women's participation in our computer science program. Women now represent approximately 42% of HMC's CS majors, and this number reflects the percentage of women at the college as a whole. I will end with an informal discussion of the implementation details of these practices (including what worked and what didn't), and I will present recommendations based on our experience for applying these ideas in other contexts.
Tagged under: education@google,women computer science
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