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More musings on CS retention and outreach

Our department head, Virgil Wallentine, gave an interesting talk today about the CIS department mission, undergraduate recruitment and retention, and the worsening gender imbalance in computer science (from 40% female/60% male B.S. graduates nationwide in 1982, to 10-90 in 2003).

Cited were a book titled Unlocking The Clubhouse and The Hacker Diaries.

One interesting point that my teaching assistant made is that blogging communities have a much higher preponderance of female participation, and that such industries would at least serve to bounce the discipline back towards 40% female from 10%. One might well ask whether that is a correct and necessary thing. To put it simply: high school interest surveys indicate that at least 40% would have been about right as an enrollment percentage for female freshman students in CS at the zenith of female participation.

I asked whether it was higher than 10% going in, and was told that it was about 10% throughout.

zengeneral, silpan, chriszhong, scottharmon, hermes_imagod, and robbyjo: you might have heard about this talk, though I didn't see you there. Any comments?

Also discussed:


Opinions, anyone?




Aside: deire, you are just too cool. Warm fuzzies doesn't begin to cover it. I'm sure all our friends will agreen. Oh, and somebody is getting a lont of CHOKLIT, sooner or later.

--
Banazîr

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