A reboot in recruiting women into computer science

By Associated Engineering Press

Cassidy Lamm, who grew up loving Disney movies like The Lion King, hopes to help create the next generation of animated films. When she checked into the credentials of current special-effects artists at Disney, she learned that many had majored in computer science. Now in her sophomore year at the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa, Ms. Lamm is among an increasingly rare breed—women majoring in computer science. Nationwide, women earned only 18 percent of the bachelor’s degrees awarded in computer science in 2010, according to the National Science Foundation. That’s less than half the proportion in 1985, when 37 percent of those degrees went to women … Jeff Gray, an associate professor of computer science at Alabama, says about half the kids at his weeklong summer camps for middle-school students are girls. But in his summer camps for high-school students, only 15 to 20 percent are girls. “Something weird is happening early in high school,” he says. “Stereotypes are being formed about gender roles and career goals.”

In 1837, The University of Alabama became one of the first five universities in the nation to offer engineering classes. Today, UA’s College of Engineering has more than 5,800 students and more than 150 faculty. In recent years, students in the College have been named USA Today All-USA College Academic Team members, Goldwater, Hollings, Portz, Boren, Mitchell and Truman scholars.

Author: Associated Engineering Press    /    Posted on: October 29, 2012    /    Posted in:   Computer Science, Faculty and Staff, In The News, Students    /    Features: