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WiCSE: Impact of a Women’s Support Group on Increasing the Percentage of Women Students in a Department of Computer Science and Engineering

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Conference

2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

Women in Engineering Division Technical Session 3

Tagged Division

Women in Engineering

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

14

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/33561

Download Count

22

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Paper Authors

biography

Jing Wang University of South Florida

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Dr. Jing Wang is an Instructor II in the department of Computer Science and Engineering at University of South Florida. Dr. Wang is the faculty advisor of the student organization Women in Computer Science and Engineering (WiCSE). WiCSE focuses on gathering together female students who are majoring, or interested, in computer science and engineering to provide support, career guidance, opportunities to discuss relevant topics, and social outings.

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Dmitry Goldgof University of South Florida

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Dmitry B. Goldgof is an educator and scientist working in the area of Medical Imaging, Image and Video Processing, Computer Vision and AI, Ethics and Bioengineering. He received Ph.D. from University of Illinois and M.S. from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Dr. Goldgof is Distinguished University Professor and Vice Chair in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of South Florida. Dr. Goldgof has graduated 29 Ph.D., 45 MS students, published over 100 journal and 200 conference papers (over 11,000 citations, h-index 53). Professor Goldgof is Fellow of IEEE, Fellow of IAPR, Fellow of AAAS and Fellow of AIMBE.

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Ken Christensen P.E. University of South Florida

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Ken Christensen (christen@cse.usf.edu) is Professor and Associate Chair of Undergraduate Affairs in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of South Florida. Ken received his Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from North Carolina State University in 1991. His research interests are at the intersection of networks and energy in the area of energy-efficient computing and communications systems, and application of communications to improving the storage, distribution, and use of energy in small grids. Ken is a licensed Professional Engineer in the state of Florida, a senior member of IEEE, and a member of ACM and ASEE.

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Abstract

This paper is an experience report describing the creation and expansion of a CSE women’s student support group. In 2013 we started WiCSE (Women in Computer Science and Engineering) in order to improve recruitment and retention of women in computer science, computer engineering, and information technology. This support group has provided significant support and benefits (including career guidance, career opportunities, and social outings) to women CSE students.

The key contributions of this paper are the description of the mentoring programs, student-led outreach programs for K-12 students, and recruitment of officers. Specifically, we share our experience of growing from a small informal group of women students to an official student organization of about 300 members; forming long term relationship with industry partners through an industry mentoring program and technology-focused workshops; lessons learned in the K-12 outreach program; organizing trips to the Grace Hopper Celebration and ACM Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing conferences.

Our Department has seen significant growth in the percentage of degrees awarded to women students. In 2012-2013 academic year, the percentage of degrees awarded by the department for women students was 9.79%. In 2017-2018 academic year, the percentage of degrees awarded by the department for women students was 14.86%. The percentage of degrees awarded for women students has increased 52% in the past 6 years. These numbers indicate the success of efforts of WiCSE on increasing the percentage of women students.

Wang, J., & Goldgof, D., & Christensen, K. (2019, June), WiCSE: Impact of a Women’s Support Group on Increasing the Percentage of Women Students in a Department of Computer Science and Engineering Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. https://peer.asee.org/33561

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