Gender, Computing, and Modeling


Computer science and engineering as a field doesn't have that great of a track record when it comes to gender balance. While I was Director of Digital Arts & Sciences (DAS) at the University of Florida in 2012, I published a piece in Leonardo demonstrating that a core computer science degree can indeed achieve a better balance. The DAS program encompasses an undergraduate (BS) and graduate (MS) degree in computer science with a strong shell of human-centered computing (HCC) surrounding the CS/Math/Science core. The paper represented a 10-year comprehensive summary of what worked, and what didn't, along with statistics. There are others around the country that have tried similar programs involving media and the arts. At the University of Texas at Dallas, we have computer scientists, engineers, designers, and artists working in the same building (Arts and Technology). The gender situation is complex and it isn't clear what works and what doesn't work in every situation. However, there appears to be hope on the horizon in the form of programs that have a strong social/human-centered approach to computing.