Monday, October 09, 2000
Jessica Bayliss, Yinhe Cheng, Myroslava Dzikovska
Computer Science Dept., U. Rochester
A Panel on Women in Computer Science
Computers have become pervasive in our society and those who know computers have a wealth of choices in front of them. Unfortunately, Computer Science is one of the few fields where the percentage of women has been steadily declining. At the Grace Hopper Conference on Women in Computing in 1997, Anita Borg posed a challenge to us all that by the year 2020 there should be 50% women in the field. Is this a reasonable challenge and if so how can it be accomplished? At this yearUs Grace Hopper Conference, three students from the department went for inspiration and to hear the story of what has happened since AnitaUs challenge. Recent studies show that women leave our field for reasons that have little to do with interest in CS. How can we halt the exodus? Carnegie Mellon University has apparently found a way because the percentage of undergraduate women in their department has risen from 8% to 45% over the last five years. Come learn how Carnegie Mellon has accomplished this without using gender as an admissions criterion and discuss how we can leverage the strengths of our department in order to encourage diversity.