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Educating for equity and access in computer science
UCLA duo aims to make the next generation of programmers and coders more diverse. Jane Margolis, senior researcher at UCLA's Center X, brings her firsthand experience of inequities in a technical field to her work on bringing computer science education to all students. Margolis emphasizes that her work around computer science has always been about inequality and how fields become segregated. As a researcher at Carnegie Mellon University in the mid-1990s, she was asked to conduct a research study on the lack of female students in what was one of the top computer science departments in the nation. Her findings resulted in her first book, ''Unlocking the Clubhouse: Women in Computing,'' which she co-wrote with Allan Fisher. Margolis' work led to more research funded by the National Science Foundation, on why so few African-Americans, Latinos and females were learning computer science in Los Angeles public high schools. The findings revealed the disparities in learning opportunities that fell along race and socio-economic lines, resulting in her second book, ''Stuck in the Shallow End: Education, Race, and Computing,'' with she authored along with Rachel Estrella, Joanna Goode, Jennifer Jellison Holme and Kim Nao. In response to the findings, Margolis and colleagues founded the Exploring Computer Science curriculum and teacher professional development program, which is housed within UCLA Center X's Computer Science Project.
Posted on 10 Feb 2018
Beyond Headlines and Hashtags: How We Can Actually Help Women in the Workplace
Businesses need to go beyond paying lip service to gender equality if we are to make meaningful change. The current 'MeToo' moment is a rare inflection point for women in society, as we find ourselves in a broad and potentially game-changing conversation about how women are faring in the workplace and beyond. Everyone - from investors, board members, business leaders and employees to customers and suppliers of businesses large and small - is aligned on the issue that the pace of change and the results are simply not acceptable. Despite the headlines and the hashtags, leaders and organizations are asking themselves the tough questions: ''Are we making progress or creating an echo chamber?'' When it comes to gender equality, the data remains stark, according to the World Economic Forum's 2017 Gender Gap Report, which captures the the magnitude of gender-based disparities across economies, education, health and political engagements.
Posted on 10 Feb 2018 is bringing computer education to Alaska Airlines' in-flight entertainment has partnered with Alaska Airlines to offer free educational videos on how computers and the Internet work, CEO Hadi Partovi wrote in a blog post.. The video series, which stars Microsoft founder Bill Gates and other industry leaders, will be available beginning in April on Alaska Airlines flights. The series entails short lessons on binary and data, circuits and logic, CPU, memory, input and output, and hardware and software. The series is designed to be easy for everyone to understand, Partovi wrote. In addition to making them available on airlines, will integrate the videos into its middle and high school curriculum. They will also be available on Khan Academy, a startup that offers computer science education, and tools for parents and teachers.
Posted on 10 Feb 2018
Student of Vision Abie Award - Nominations are open until March 1, 2018 5 p.m. PT
The Student of Vision Abie Award honors young women dedicated to creating a future where the people who imagine and build technology mirror the people and societies for which they build. Undergraduate or graduate students may self-nominate for the Student of Vision Abie Award. All submitting participants must be 18 years or older on September 26, 2018. Recipients are honored by the technical women's community at the Grace Hopper Celebration. The award includes a prize of $7,000.
Posted on 29 Jan 2018
Shattering Perceptions (and Records) with GHC 17
Last year's Grace Hopper Celebration (GHC) was a huge success! 18,000 people from 81 different countries joined us in Orlando, Florida for three days of learning and networking, making this the biggest GHC yet. They also had over 800 speakers, all of whom are dedicated to shattering perceptions and supporting women in tech. And don't forget the hundreds of organizations that participated in our Career Fair and Expo. With so many great opportunities available, it's no wonder GHC earned a 95% approval rating from attendees.
Posted on 29 Jan 2018
WiDS Datathon
The WiDS Datathon is a new feature of the WiDS conference for 2018, and will take place February 1-28, 2018. Winners will be announced at the WiDS Stanford conference on March 5, 2018. The WiDS Datathon is a joint effort with InterMedia Survey Institute, a grant recipient of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in their Financial Services for the Poor program, as well as Stanford ICME, Intuit, Kaggle, and West Big Data Innovation Hub. The data has been collected by InterMedia to alleviate global poverty by learning how to help the world's poorest people take advantage of widely available mobile phones and other digital technology to access financial tools and participate more fully in their local economies. InterMedia's Financial Inclusion Insights program includes annual nationally representative surveys on financial behaviors and attitudes in eight countries in Africa and Asia. This competition seeks to encourage women data scientists to engage in social impact solutions by participating in a predictive analytics challenge.
Posted on 29 Jan 2018
A lobbying group for Amazon, Facebook and Google is kicking off a new diversity initiative thanks to pressure from Congress
The Internet Association told lawmakers this week that its new campaign aims to ''improve diversity and inclusion in the tech industry.'' A key voice for Amazon, Facebook, Google and other tech giants in the nation's capital is kicking off a new initiative to try to diversify the industry's predominately white, male ranks. For years, Silicon Valley and other tech hotspots around the country have faced constant condemnation for failing to hire and retain employees from underrepresented groups. Among the critics is the Congressional Black Caucus, a powerful group of lawmakers that has even threatened regulation if tech doesn't make major changes. In response to that political pressure, a key lobbying group for the industry, the Internet Association, told lawmakers this week that it would create a new role to focus on those issues - and kick off a campaign that aims to ''improve diversity and inclusion in the tech industry.''
Posted on 29 Jan 2018
New Study Reveals Perceived Gender Bias Against Women is Dominant Factor in College Major Choice for Females
College-bound women are less likely to enter specific fields because of the gender discrimination they are likely to encounter in those fields, finds a new study published in the American Educational Research Journal by Joseph R. Cimpian. College-bound women are not less likely to enter specific fields because more math or science is required, but rather because of the gender discrimination they are likely to encounter in those fields, finds a new nationally representative longitudinal study published in the American Educational Research Journal. Women are often underrepresented in many science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) majors and some non-STEM majors, such as philosophy and criminal justice. Rather than dividing majors into STEM and non-STEM, this new study looks beyond the STEM/non-STEM dichotomy to understand the underlying attributes of majors that may attract or repel women - in an effort to learn how to achieve gender equity in all fields.
Posted on 29 Jan 2018
Google CEO: Tech education should be more than just coding
Coding is a vital component of tech education, but it won't be enough to sustain the next generation of workers. With a rapidly evolving tech world, employees will require continuous training in basic digital skills, according to Sundar Pichai. The Googlechief executive explains in an opinion piece published Thursday by NBC News THINK that the notion of getting a traditional education that will provide a lifetime of job skills is a remnant of yesteryear.
Posted on 29 Jan 2018
Half of Americans think young people don't pursue STEM because it is too hard
When Americans are asked why more students don't pursue a degree in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM), they are most likely to point to the difficulty of these subjects, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. About half of adults (52%) say the main reason young people don't pursue STEM degrees is they think these subjects are too hard. Policymakers and educators have long puzzled over why more students do not pursue STEM majors in college, even though those who have an undergraduate degree in a STEM field of study earn more than those with other college majors - regardless of whether they work in a STEM job or a different occupation. Yet only a third of workers (33%) ages 25 and older with at least a bachelor's degree have an undergraduate degree in a STEM field, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis.
Posted on 29 Jan 2018

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