Women in Computer Science April 18, 2007Posted by gordonwatts in physics life.
Another article I saw yesterday in the NYT discusses the lack of women in computer science (you might get the feeling I end up reading only the NYT – I do read the Economist too, but I don’t have online access, so I almost never write about it…). I initially started reading it because of the picture of Ed Lazowska – a faculty member of the U of W (and someone I’ve actually met). I liked this line:
For decades, undergraduate women have been moving in ever greater numbers into science and engineering departments at American universities. Yet even as they approach or exceed enrollment parity in mathematics, biology and other fields, there is one area in which their presence relative to men is static or even shrinking: computer science.
Uh.. Physics too!
The big problems, these and other experts say, are prevailing images of what computer science is and who can do it.
“The nerd factor is huge,” Dr. Cuny said. According to a 2005 report by the National Center for Women and Information Technology, an academic-industry collaborative formed to address the issue, when high school girls think of computer scientists they think of geeks, pocket protectors, isolated cubicles and a lifetime of staring into a screen writing computer code.
Yes. Yes. We know we are nerds… But I’m sure it goes beyond that!