Ok, we’re back from our extended holiday hiatus. We’ll be catching up throughout the next day or so, but I thought I’d first post a quick link to this interesting Chronicle of Higher Education Colloquy. It’s entitled “The Computer Science Clubhouse”:
Only 17 percent of undergraduate computer-science degrees were awarded to women in 2004, according to the Computing Research Association, down from 19 percent in 2000. Why is the number so low, and dwindling?
Are women less attracted than men to programming, as an influential study from the late 1990s indicated? Should admissions policies and curricula be redesigned with women in mind? Or will that serve only to marginalize women?
More-recent research suggests that women avoid the field because they are discouraged as children from using or playing with technology, then discriminated against in computer-science classes and high-tech workplaces. What kinds of support systems, such as mentoring programs or alumnae networks, might solve those problems?
Claudia Morrell of the Center for Women and Information Technology at the University of Maryland Baltimore County will answer questions submitted by readers on Thursday, January 12, beginning at 1 pm. So get your comments and questions in now.