Archive for March 7, 2013

Percent of women graduates BS in CS: National, UW, GT

In the context of David Notkin’s receipt of the 2013 Computing Research Association A. Nico Habermann Award for outstanding contributions to supporting underrepresented groups in the computing research community, Lecia Barker of the National Center for Women & Information Technology (we hosted their Washington State Awards for Aspirations in Computing last weekend) sent us the chart to the right, comparing UW CSE’s performance to the national average in granting bachelors degrees to women.

via UW CSE News » Women in Computer Science: UW CSE is a pacesetter.

It was really great to see these results in the U. Washington CSE News, but it got me to wondering: Did all the big R1 institutions rise like this, or was this unusual at UW?  I decided to generate the GT data, too.

I went to the GT Self-Service Institutional Research page and downloaded the degrees granted by college and gender in each of 2005, 2006, and on up to 2011.  (All separate spreadsheets.)  I added up Fall, Spring, and Summer graduates for each year, and computed the female percentage.  Here’s all three data sets graphed.  While GT hasn’t risen as dramatically as UW in the last two years (so UW really has done something remarkable!), but GT’s rise from 2005 far below the national average to above the national average in 2009 is quite interesting.

Why is UW having such great results?  Ed Lazowska claimed at SIGCSE 2013 that it’s because they have only a single course sequence (“one course does fit all,” he insisted) and because they have a large number of female TAs.  I don’t believe that.  I predict that more courses would attract more students (see the “alternative paths” recommendation from Margolis and Fisher), and that female TA’s support retention, not recruitment.  I suspect that UW’s better results have more to do with the fact that GT’s students declare their major on their application form, while UW students have to apply to enter the CSE program.  Thus, (a) UW has the chance to attract students on-campus and (b) they have more applications than slots, so they can tune their acceptances to get the demographics that they value.

20052006200720082009	2010	2011 National 	17	15	13	12	12	12	13 U. Washington	21	18	18	19	21	21	28 Georgia Tech	8.802816901	7.441860465	8.791208791	12.15469613	13.92405063	11.65048544	14.34599156

Percentage of females in BS CS graduates, by year, nationally, for U. Washington, and for Georgia Tech.

March 7, 2013 at 9:26 am 11 comments

‘STEAM’ education gains momentum in schools: More focus on design

I’ve heard about the STEAM movement (STEM + Art) and thought it was a good idea.  Thinking of the “Art” piece as also including Design makes it a great idea.

According to the website, the movement aims to include art and design in STEM policy decisions; encourage the integration of art and design in K-20 education; and influence employers to hire artists and designers to drive innovation.

“Design is increasingly becoming a key differentiator for technology startups and products,” the website states, and art and design “provide real solutions for our everyday lives, distinguish American products in a global marketplace, and create opportunity for economic growth.”

via ‘STEAM’ education gains momentum in schools | eSchool News.

March 7, 2013 at 1:23 am 4 comments

Computer Science Education Had A Good Day In America | TechCrunch

A nice upbeat piece!  I hadn’t talked about the Code.org video here — I recommend checking it out.  (I will point out that Chris Bosh who “coded in college” according to the video, was at Georgia Tech for his one year in college.)

America’s elite institutions came out in full force for computer science education. First, the House of Representatives voted to update its traditional students arts competition to include a nationwide mobile apps competition. Then, to top off the day, the nation’s leading geeks, from Mark Zuckerberg to Bill Gates, helped launch a national nonprofit to encourage young programmers.

via Computer Science Education Had A Good Day In America | TechCrunch.

March 7, 2013 at 1:10 am 2 comments


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