Posts tagged ‘NCWIT’

STEM: Closing the Gender Gap | Pearson

Colleagues at Pearson asked me to share this announcement with you.

Join Pearson and learning leaders from Higher Ed, K–12, and STEM industries in Silicon Valley to discuss strategies for closing the gender gap in STEM. We’ve partnered with Google,, Maker Ed, Girls Who Code, and the City of San Francisco to bring you lively discussions and presentations on how educators and industry leaders can work together to close the gap in STEM education and STEM careers.

Event Highlights

  • Keynote presented by Mona Akmal, Director of Product at
  • Google presentation of the company’s research report Women Who Choose Computer Science—What Really Matters
  • Google campus tour
  • Panel discussion featuring Susan Nesbitt from Girls Who Code & Patrick Mitchell from TechSF, City & County of San Francisco
  • Presentation about the gender gap’s economic implications by J. Robert Gillette, Associate Professor of Economics, Gatton College of Business & Economics, University of Kentucky
  • Presentation “Imagine a World Where Women Feel Safe: Break the Silence” by Deborah Acosta, Chief Innovation Officer for the City of San Leandro
  • Panel discussion, moderated by Lisa Regalla, National Program Manager at Maker Ed, featuring secondary-school and college women discussing their interest in STEM careers, mentorship, and other topics
  • via STEM: Closing the Gender Gap | Pearson.

January 9, 2015 at 7:45 am 1 comment

Research about Gender in the STEM Workplace: An Annotated Bibliography

Below is just a bit of a really terrific annotated bibliography about gender in the STEM workplace — including a lot on computer science.  Great resource!

Science Faculty’s Subtle Gender Biases Favor Male Students by Corinne A. Moss-Racusina et al. In a study with 127 science faculty at research-intensive universities, candidates with identical resumes were more likely to be offered a job and paid more if their name was “John” instead of “Jennifer.” The gender of the faculty participating did not impact the outcome.

How Stereotypes Impair Women’s Careers in Science by Ernesto Reuben et al.Men are much more likely than women to be hired for a math task, even when equally qualified. This happens regardless of the gender of the hiring manager.

Measuring the Glass Ceiling Effect: An Assessment of Discrimination in Academia by Katherine Weisshaar. In computer science, men are significantly more likely to earn tenure than women with the same research productivity. [From a summary]

A Study on the Status of Women Faculty in Science at MIT by the Committee on Women Faculty. Reveals significant differences in terms of the distribution of resources and rewards to faculty by gender.

via Slow Searching: Research about Gender in the STEM Workplace.

January 8, 2015 at 8:37 am 2 comments

On Nerd Entitlement: Those who feel underprivileged are now the privileged

Interesting blog post about a discussion going on with MIT Professor Scott Aaronson on his blog (see here). The point of the post linked below is that some white males may feel underprivileged, attacked because of their geekiness as kids, but are actually in-charge now. Those who felt underprivileged are now privileged and may not realize it, and that might be what’s making it so hard to change computing culture.  (Later update in The Chronicle blog here.)

Scott, imagine what it’s like to have all the problems you had and then putting up with structural misogyny on top of that. Or how about a triple whammy: you have to go through your entire school years again but this time you’re a lonely nerd who also faces sexism and racism. This is why Silicon Valley is fucked up. Because it’s built and run by some of the most privileged people in the world who are convinced that they are among the least. People whose received trauma makes them disinclined to listen to pleas from people whose trauma was compounded by structural oppression. People who don’t want to hear that there is anyone more oppressed than them, who definitely don’t want to hear that maybe women and people of colour had to go through the hell of nerd puberty as well, because they haven’t recovered from their own appalling nerdolescence. People who definitely don’t want to hear that, smart as they are, there might be basic things about society that they haven’t understood, because they have been prevented from understanding by the very forces that caused them such pain as children.

via On Nerd Entitlement.

January 7, 2015 at 7:37 am 11 comments

Makers are mostly rich white guys: Broadening participation in computing requires formal education

“I’m tired of organizations being set up to tell young women and young brown and black men that they should aspire to be young white men.”

Leah Buechley makes a compelling case in the below video that the Maker movement is not reaching the kind of audience that we might have hoped for.  It’s mostly talking to “rich white guys.”  This is another example of what Fields and Kafai were talking about at WIPSCE 2014 (see my description here) — informal education mostly attracts the most privileged groups.  Here’s an interesting blog post on how to create Maker spaces that bridging gaps.

December 17, 2014 at 7:59 am 2 comments

The by-gender vs by-discipline view of women in STEM from Valerie Barr #CSEdWeek

Valerie Barr has written a Blog@CACM post (linked below) where she considers a by-gender view of women earning STEM or CS, vs the more traditional by-discipline view.  She’s computing the number of degrees who go to women in CS over all the degrees that women earn.  It’s an interesting argument and well-worth exploring.

My concern about this perspective is that it’s politically more complicated when arguing for resources to promote women in computing.  You only grow the by-gender number by convincing women not to go into a different field — it’s a share of all women on-campus/graduating.  That puts you in a tug of war with others on campus.  In a by-discipline perspective, you can improve your share by drawing more women in (or by the number of men decreasing, as seems to have happened in our CM degree, see here).

While the by-discipline view of STEM degrees is far from rosy, this by-gender view of the data facilitates a more accurate assessment of the situation for women in STEM, and we can build on this to understand the ways in which the by-discipline view can mislead. If there were parity between men and women in STEM disciplines then they would graduate with degrees in those fields at the same rate relative to the size of their respective pools. We see this only in Biology where the graduation rate is almost equal (7% of women’s 2012 degrees were earned in Biology versus 6.77% of men’s 2012 degrees). In all other STEM fields men earned degrees at a higher rate and women are far from parity.

via Women in STEM, Women in Computer Science: We’re Looking At It Incorrectly | blog@CACM | Communications of the ACM.

December 12, 2014 at 8:32 am 3 comments

Google aims to address the challenge of rapidly increasing CS enrollments and increasing diversity #CSEdWeek

I wrote a blog post in October (link here) about the rapidly rising enrollment in computer science and how that will likely reduce diversity in computer science —- again, as it did in the mid-1980’s. I don’t know any obvious solutions, since mechanisms like a lottery are pragmatically and politically infeasible (see “Gas Station without Pumps” analysis of the lottery problem).

Google is stepping up by providing funds to colleges and universities who have ideas for managing the rise. They are providing mini-grants to find ways to increase capacity for CS enrollments. And their criteria for funding explicitly requires increasing diversity.

The focus for all grants is education innovation, and specifically not investment in capital projects or faculty hiring. The proposed program must be:

  • Scalability and sustainability: Proposals must address scalability, preferably with models that can scale beyond a single University. Programs must also be self-sustaining within 3 years.
  • Measurability: Proposals must define and include success metrics, including year-over-year enrollment growth and retention of women and diverse students. Second- and third-year funding will be decided based on measurable success.
  • Diversity: We want to see growth in areas of historically underrepresented groups in computer science: women, underrepresented ethnic minorities, and first-generation college students — and will prioritize Proposals that have a specific strategy for positive impact in this area.

Currently, the program is invitation-only to a select set of 35 colleges and universities as part of a pilot program. You can read the Request for Proposals (RFP) here. The program comes out of Maggie Johnson’s ENGedu group at Google, and Chris Stephenson was a champion for the program.

It’s hard to manage increasing enrollments without giving up on diversity. It’s even harder to meet the demands and increase diversity. Google is helping the community significantly by funding efforts to find those hard solutions.

December 9, 2014 at 8:01 am Leave a comment

Talk at Rutgers on Dec 9: Creative Expression to Motivate Interest in Computing

If you’re in the New Jersey area on Tuesday December 9:

Library & Information Science Department Guest Lecture, open to the Rutgers Community….

Dr. Mark Guzdial and Barbara Ericson

Scholarly Communication Center at Alexander Library (4th Floor lecture hall)

Tuesday, 12/9/2014, 12-1:30pm

Title: Creative Expression to Motivate Interest in Computing

Abstract:  Efforts in the US to promote learning about computer science and computational thinking emphasize the vocational benefits.  Research on end-user programming suggests that for every professional software developer in the United States, there are four more professionals who program as part of doing their job.  Efforts in other countries (UK, Denmark, New Zealand) instead emphasize the value of computing as a rigorous discipline providing insight into our world.  We offer a third motivation: computing as a powerful medium for creative expression.  We have used computational media to motivate children to study computing, to go beyond thinking about “geeks” in computing.  We use media computation to encourage teachers and introductory students at college. The approach draws in a different audience than we normally get in computer science The BS in Computational Media at Georgia Tech is the most gender-balanced, ABET-accredited undergraduate computing degree in the United States.  We use these examples to paint a picture of  using creative expression to motivate interest in computing.


  • Mark Guzdial is a Professor in the School of Interactive Computing at Georgia Tech. He is a learning scientist who focuses on computing education research. He invented the Media Computation approach to teaching introductory computing. He serves on the ACM’s Education Council, and is on the editorial boards of the “Journal of the Learning Sciences,” “ACM Transactions on Computing Education,” and “Communications of the ACM.” With his wife and colleague, Barbara Ericson, he received the 2010 ACM Karlstrom Outstanding Educator award.  He was also the recipient of the 2012 IEEE Computer Society Undergraduate Teaching Award.
  • Barbara Ericson is the Director of Computing Outreach and a Senior Research Scientist for the College of Computing at Georgia Tech.  She has worked at Georgia Tech to increase the quantity and quality of secondary computing teachers and the quantity and diversity of computing students since 2004. She is currently also pursuing a Human-Centered Computing PhD at Georgia Tech. She has co-authored four books on Media Computation.  She was the winner of the 2012 A. Richard Newton Educator Award.  She has served on the CSTA’s Board of Directors, the Advanced Placement Computer Science Development Committee, and the NCWIT executive committee for the K-12 Alliance.

December 3, 2014 at 8:11 am 4 comments

Older Posts Newer Posts

Recent Posts

March 2015
« Feb    


Blog Stats

  • 1,030,547 hits

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 3,449 other followers

CS Teaching Tips


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,449 other followers