вторник, 9 октября 2007 г.

dripster66: ECSS: Women in computing

Just listened to a presentation by Allan Fisher from Carnegie Mellon who managed to increase the number of women on their computer science courses from 7% to 40% (although it's dropped back now).

The thing is it didn't seem that they did anything radical, although they've managed to publish a book on it.

I wonder what the external factors where at the time? One of the problems is that we operate in the real world and there are so many variables that finding the real cause for things is virtually impossible.

A few years back, archeology courses had a dramatic increase in applicants. Whilst I'm sure that many departments patted themselves on the back that their recruitment activities were bearing fruit, there was also the programme "Time Team" riding high in the viewing charts. When this slipped back, archeology also slipped from the consciousness of potential students and applications fell back too.

I'm not sure what point I'm trying to make here. Certainly not that we should sit back and say "what's the point", but we have to be very aware of external influences beyond our control.

Maybe what we need is a character in the next series of "Heroes" that is female and has the ability to write bug-free code when on smack.

Of course by then Heroes will be old hat...

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