Forbes magazine recently published an article titled “Attracting More Women to Study STEM in a World Full of Geek Dude Stereotypes.” Professor Mark Crovella, Chair of BU’s Department of Computer Science, is quoted:
BU’s computer science department changed the introductory courses to “show students, it’s not just about programs.” This past semester, the percentage of women in the introductory computer science course, CS 111, was 40%. “I think what’s being understood is that computer science can [be] just as attractive to women as men,” says Mark Crovella, the chair of BU’s computer science department. “I think they will basically stop seeing computer science as geeks who sit in cubicles and start thinking of them as people who make an impact in this world.”
The growth in the number of women majoring in CS comes at a time when interest in CS across all populations is surging, especially among traditionally underrepresented populations as highlighted in a recent BU Today article. The department continues our efforts in making women specifically feel more welcome, such as supporting the Women in Computer Science group, sending 12 students to this October’s 2016 Grace Hopper Conference Celebrating Women in Computing, and making a point to hire women into undergraduate teaching assistant positions to help all students in our courses.