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«Gloria Childress Townsend Professor of Computer Science Stephanie Ball Laura Kuh Computer Science Majors DePauw University SIGCSE Original 2005 ...»

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96. Professional Professional & Social Description: Invite professionals from various fields (databases, software engineering, project management, etc.) to speak to students during lunch time. More students are likely to attend the lecture in this informal setting where lunch is provided.

Benefits: Attending luncheons can benefit students by creating opportunities for networking.

Luncheons also provide students with new views of computing careers that dispel the myth of the isolated programmer. Career women give special insight, regarding how to deal with situations unique to women.

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For more information regarding Idea #96:

Gloria Childress Townsend DePauw University gct@depauw.edu "One of our most popular luncheons featured a young professor who described her project using handhelds to monitor diabetes patient's diets. See the poster thumbnail on the right. I advise recruiting speakers who work in areas that 'help people'" Cost: The speaker did not ask for an honorarium, although we paid her a small sum. Most local speakers will visit without charge. The price of meals can be $0, if students brownbag. Our Union

Building supplied food for thirty women:

approximately $250

–  –  –

Description: Set up a luncheon date at the beginning of each school year and invite students and faculty to meet and socialize. Vicki Allan (Utah State University) organizes "how to succeed in computer science" discussions at these kinds of socials.

Benefits: Meeting the professors in a stress-free environment will initiate more open communication among students and faculty.

–  –  –

98. Role-modeling Academic & Social Description: Invite advanced students, female faculty members, and one or more young alumnae in the area to a lunch with the younger undergraduate students. Use round tables and scatter the role models among the tables, if the group is large enough to have separate tables. During dessert, ask each role model to briefly share "a computer science problem that I encountered and how I solved it" or "how I got into computing". Ask the women to share (by email with the coordinator of the event) their stories beforehand, so that the stories can be checked for overlap and so that the stories can be typed into a document to share with women who cannot attend the lunch. Bettina Bair provides a list of good


http://www.cse.ohio-state.edu/~bbair/acmw/questions/questions.html Benefits: Role-modeling is often particularly effective for younger women in their undergraduate years, especially if the model demonstrates a degree of "just-like-me" and does not appear to be "superwoman."

Group Size: Large

99. Blogs Social Description: During a lunch or other event, invite women who write blogs to share by reading an entry. Hold the event in a tech-equipped room, so that the blogs can be viewed, as well.

Distribute a handout with URLs. Ask the women to describe the process of creating a blog.

Benefits: Sharing blogs provides another means of communication and role-modeling among women with the same interests. It also provides an enjoyable way to put one’s computer science skills to use.

Group Size: Large

100. Scavenger Hunt Social Description: Start the "hunt", during a women-in-computing event. Distribute lists with items such as "Find the senior who studied abroad in Paris, when she was a junior and what happened to her at the Eiffel Tower" or “Find the sophomore who is a member of the women’s volleyball team and how many saves she made in the last game.” Begin the hunt at the event, but allow women extra time to finish their lists. Evaluate lists for winners at a subsequent meeting. Award prizes if possible. Prepare a handout with the correct answers.

Benefits: Women will naturally interact and ask questions of each other, so that they get to know one another. Additionally, women learn that other computing majors have interesting and balanced lives, dispelling the myth of the solitary programmer.

Group Size: Large

101. Summer Camps Social & Academic Description: Form a group of students and dedicated faculty members to host a week-long science summer camp for the local area grade school or high school girls. Investigate small grants. Give young girls a glimpse of "the other science: computer science", along with the more traditional sciences.

Benefits: The younger students receive an early introduction to the field of computer science, increasing the likelihood of their pursuing a science major when they reach college.

Female camp counselors also act as positive role models for the younger girls, reinforcing the idea that science is interesting and that women are capable of doing science. The college-aged students gain experience in teaching and communication skills, which can benefit them later in their careers.

Group Size: Large

DePauw Institute for Girls in Science (DIGS) DIGS is a program to encourage interest in science for middle school girls.

Approximately thirty girls from 7th, 8th or 9th grade come to campus for an intensive, hands-on science experience. There are two different formats for DIGS. During the academic year the program runs from Thursday evening until noon on Saturday.

During the summer the program runs from Sunday afternoon through noon on Friday.

The core of either format lies in intensive, hands-on exploratory lab sessions.

Sessions are held in biology, chemistry, computer science, geology, mathematics, physics and psychology. Each lab session, which lasts about three hours, has four to six DIGS students working with one faculty member and one or two DePauw University students. With funds from the university and other agencies, DePauw University has been able to offer the program (including housing and meals) free of charge. The only thing the participants have to provide is transportation to and from campus. For more information, visit the DIGS website at http://www.depauw.edu/univ/wis/digs.asp.

Citation Notes [1] Almstrum, V. L., Simons, B., Brown, C. A. and Myers, J. R. Improving mentoring for women in computer science fields. Summary of panel discussion at SIGCSE Technical Symposium (Indianapolis, IN, February 1993) ftp://ftp.cpsr.org/spsr/gender/mentor.sum.

Mentoring: The panel gives examples of current programs that provide positive mentoring in organizations. Some solutions are also offered concerning why women are losing ground in computer science fields.

[2] Camp, T. Survey says! Results on the incredible shrinking pipeline.


Surveys on mentoring: After reviewing statistics illustrating how the percent of women involved in computer science from high school to graduate school is shrinking, the article predicts what the future holds for women in the field, based upon a community survey (n = 111). The article also compiles statistics regarding gender and degrees in the computer science field from the National Center for Education Statistics and presents the results in the form of several graphs and charts. Included are 37 suggestions for combating the underrepresentation of women in computing.

[3] Camp, T. Women in Computer Science: Reversing the Trend. Syllabus: August 2001, pg. 24Support Organizations/Mentoring: Camp gives measures and resources to reverse the trend of decreasing numbers of women in the computer science field. She lists four suggestions for initiatives to bring women into computer science.

[4] Francioni, J. A conference's impact on undergraduate female students. ACM SIGCSE Bulletin, v.34 n.2, June 2002.

Classroom/Curriculum: The article evaluates how the ability, potential and opportunity for computer science students are different now from in the past. The author lists five ways to support female undergraduate students to better support their computer science and engineering education. Female students must understand that there are different options and paths to take within the field of computer science.

[5] Frenkel, K. Women and computing. Communications of the ACM, v.33 n.11, p.34-46, Nov.


Building Confidence/Curriculum/Mentor-Role Modeling: The article explores why the computer science classroom is unfriendly to women. Several suggestions examine ways to give women more self-confidence and security. (e.g. create a mandatory introduction to computer science class in high school) Other topics include race, sex-biased software and college/high school mentor partners.

[6] Frieze, C., Blum, L. Building an effective computer science student organization: the Carnegie Mellon women@SCS action plan. ACM SIGCSE Bulletin, v.34 n.2, June 2002.

Support Organization/Networking: The paper gives activity and event ideas that encourage and support a community of women in computer science. Suggestions given: faculty and institutional support, a program coordinator, meetings, council leaders, a website, rooms, distribution lists, funding and giving back to the school and community. Other ideas of encouragement for women: grants, help sessions, study breaks with food, speakers and giving advice about graduate school.

[7] Gabbert, P. and Meeker, P. Support communities for women in computing. ACM SIGCSE Bulletin, v.34 n.2, June 2002.

Classroom/Support Organizations/Networking: The article highlights five communities with resources that are available for women-in-computing organizations.

[8] Gürer, D. Pioneering women in computer science. ACM SIGCSE Bulletin, v.34 n.2, June 2002.

Role Modeling: The history of several female pioneers demonstrates their influence in programming the first electronic computers, while laying the groundwork and being role models for women's expanding involvement in computer science. The article discusses the women's excitement in design and programming, yet a concern for balancing job and family responsibilities.

[9] Gürer, D. Women in computing history. ACM SIGCSE Bulletin, v.34 n.2, June 2002.

Role Models: Historians take steps toward the goal of recognizing women's accomplishments through publishing biographies on women in technology. The article describes female programmers, practical applications, high-level languages, compilers, human machine interaction, and making software that is more accessible and easier to use.

[10] Hanchey, C. 'Women in Programming' Is Not An Oxymoron! Oklahoma Baptist University, pp. 253-256.

Role Models: In the classroom, women are not recognized for their accomplishments. The article suggests that educators must take an active part in providing role models to students. The author suggests an assignment concerning at women's history in computing, giving three recommendations for the assignment.

[11] Klawe, M. and Leveson, N. Women in computing: where are we now? Communications of the ACM, v.38 n.1, p.29-35, Jan. 1995.

Mentoring and Support Organizations: The authors conducted a survey of 117 faculty members concerning the frustrations of female faculty members. The article lists programs and activities that have been used to explore solutions to problems faced by women in computing. Projects include expanding the pipeline, a database project, mentoring and academic support, sharing advice/experience, workshops, career booklets, and a prize initiative for outstanding undergraduates.

[12] Mervis, J. NSF Searches for the right way to help women. Science. Vol. 289, 21 July 2000, pp. 379-381.

Support Organizations/Networking: The National Science Foundation creates programs that can address underrepresentation of women in computing.

[13] National Academy of Sciences. Adviser, Teacher, Role Model, Friend: On Being A Mentor

to Students in Science and Engineering. National Academy Press, Washington, DC, 1997. Also:


Role Modeling/Mentoring: The guide summarizes four features/suggestions and ten pieces of advice that are common to successful career advising/mentoring relationships. The goal is to encourage mentoring habits that are in the best interests of both parties in the relationship. The article also mentions minority, cultural, gender, family and other important issues.

[14] Pearl, A., Pollack, M., Riskin, E., Wolf. E., Thomas, B., Wu, A. Becoming a computer scientist. Communications of the ACM, vol.33 no.11, pp.47-57, Nov. 1990.

Role Models: The article focuses on pipeline shrinkage for women in computer science. One reason: lack of role models. The article points out gender biases and stereotypes in recreational and educational software programs. The authors list four other obstacles for women. The article gives seventeen recommendations for change.

[15] Pfleeger, S. et al. Increasing the Enrollment of Women in Computer Science.


Mentoring/Internships/Programs: The article contains suggestions such as adding internships and team projects. Other suggestions involve having female mentors during summer research institutions, having groups with role models and lots of opportunities, creative and enjoyable assignments, financial investment in support of underrepresented groups, networks of students, and an online community.

[16] Sandler, B. R. Women as mentors: myths and commandments.


Mentoring: The article expresses the vital importance of women mentors for female students who are eager to succeed. It also investigates eight mentoring myths and gives ten pieces of advice for mentoring relationships.

[17] Teague, G. J. and Clarke, V., A. Attracting women to tertiary computing courses. ACM SIGCSE Bulletin, vol. 25 no. 1, pp.208-212, March 1993.

Research on pre-introductory courses/actions: The article looks at an encouraging video and a one-week computer appreciation program to encourage girls to study computing. It shows tables and charts based on ratings and responses that the girls gave after the two activities. The article gives conclusions dispelling antisocial myths for computer science majors and that what they do is challenging, interesting, and fun for the girls in the study.

[18] Teague, G. J. Women in computing: what brings them to it, what keeps them in it? ACM SIGCSE Bulletin, vol. 34 no. 2, June 2002.

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