Pitt, CMU Try to Buck Sliding Trend of Women Studying Computer Science

By Cronin, Mike | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, April 2, 2009 | Go to article overview

Pitt, CMU Try to Buck Sliding Trend of Women Studying Computer Science


Cronin, Mike, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


Her presentation to teenage girls in Point Breeze covered the coolness of computer science.

"It encompasses so many things," Heather Friedberg, 19, a sophomore computer science major at the University of Pittsburgh told them. "You can integrate it into everything."

Cars, special effects in movies, cell phones -- computer science improved all.

Yet at the end of her talk, Friedberg said, one girl asked her: "Are you sure this is what you really want to do with your life?"

Thousands more girls and women today say no to that question than in 1985, National Science Foundation data show. Women received 36.4 percent of computer science bachelor's degrees that year. By 2005, women accounted for 22.2 percent of bachelor's degrees awarded in computer science.

"Computer science is the only science where the percentage of women earning undergraduate degrees has dropped significantly since the early '80s," said Jan Cuny, 57, director of the foundation's Broadening Participation in Computing program, which spends about $14 million a year to attract women and minorities to computer science.

Why women turn away from the field baffles computer scientists. Some say the geeky computer scientist stereotype turns off girls when they're in elementary school. Others argue that few female peers causes girls to follow other academic and career paths. The myth of the isolated computer scientist who has no social interaction could steer women away.

Increasing the number of female computer scientists is crucial, said Leigh Ann Sudol, 33, a Carnegie Mellon University graduate student earning her doctorate in computer science education.

"Otherwise, we're losing a huge percentage of smart people in the country to other interests," said Sudol of Squirrel Hill, who taught high school computer science in Bedford, N.Y., for eight years.

That's not an option in a society that relies on computers, said Brina Goyette, 23, a CMU master's student focusing on robotics.

"Computers are what allow us to do so much of our banking -- use ATMs, go to any branch and get money, make credit cards work," said Goyette, a native of Alberta, Canada, who lives in Squirrel Hill. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Pitt, CMU Try to Buck Sliding Trend of Women Studying Computer Science
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.