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Women's under-representation in computer science

CMU's project (started 1995)

Carnegie Mellon's Women In Computer Sciences succeeded in increasing female participation and retention (from less than 8% to 42% and still rising). This alone shows that changes to how a course is run can transform successful participation by particular groups many times over. I believe that one of their interventions was to change the content of examples to something that might relate to the experience and interests of young women. This issue may be putting off young men too: many of the examples look like the kind of thing familiar to those doing A-level physics 30 years ago (formulaic conversions etc.) -- but not to recent school-leavers.


Other papers

  • Cohoon, J.M.G. (2001) "Toward improving female retention in the computer science major" CACM vol.44 no.5 (May) pp.108-114   doi:10.1145/374308.374367   or

    Other Margolis papers