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

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women in CMU's computer science program at a monthly luncheon meeting

Philip G. Pavely / Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) computer science education graduate student Leigh Ann Sudol says computer science suffers from the lack of female participation and increasing the number of female computer scientists is crucial. "Otherwise, we're losing a huge percentage of smart people in the country to other interests," Sudol says. That loss is not an option in a society that depends on computers, says Brina Goyette, a CMU robotics master's student.

CMU and the University of Pittsburgh are working to get more women interested in computer science, including launching organizations and hosting events to generate interest among young women. For example, during Computer Science Day, high school students, undergraduates, and graduate students can meet potential employees, play games, and compete in events.

CMU and Pittsburgh professors and students have become more active in showing girls the opportunities computer science can provide, says Pittsburgh professor Diane Litman, who coaches girls in middle school during robotics competitions. "The more we can bring computer science activities to younger students, the more kids will get excited about entering the field," Litman says.

From Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
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