Eric Roberts: "Maintaining Diversity in Computer Science in the Face of Capacity Limitations"
In 1984, women’s participation in computer science began a dramatic decline that has continued until the last few years. Although there are many reasons behind that decline, one important factor was that colleges and universities throughout the country were unable to hire enough faculty to meet the level of student demand. As a result, computer science departments were forced to limit the number of undergraduate majors. Although the imposition of these limits led to substantial declines in the numbers of both men and women majoring in computer science, the decline was much more dramatic for women and underrepresented minorities who often began college with less computing experience. Over the last few years, a similarly rapid increase in the number of students interested in computer science has begun to strain the capacities of computer science programs throughout the United States. Professor Roberts’ talk focuses on identifying strategies that will help to prevent the loss of diversity this time around.
Eric Roberts is Professor of Computer Science.