New York Times Story on the Low Number of Women Earning Computer Science Degrees

[…] when high school girls think of computer scientists they think of geeks, pocket protectors, isolated cubicles and a lifetime of staring into a screen writing computer code.

This image discourages members of both sexes, but the problem seems to be more prevalent among women. “They think of it as programming,” Dr. Cuny said. “They don’t think of it as revolutionizing the way we are going to do medicine or create synthetic molecules or study our impact on the climate of the earth.”

Um, maybe they think about computer science as programming because it is programming? Without programming, how exactly are computer scientists going to revolutionize anything at all? It’s like saying that people are discouraged from becoming surgeons because they think of it as “cutting people open”.

Tuesday, 17 April 2007