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Computer Science a "Promising Field" for Female Students, Prof. Gloria Townsend Says in Nationally Syndicated Article

August 6, 2012

townsend gloriaAn article that appeared in a number of newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune, asks, "It’s clear women aren’t pursuing technology careers, but why? According to Gloria Townsend, a computer science professor at DePauw University, it’s one of the most promising fields for female students to study."

Kristyn Schiavone of Tribune Media Services writes, "Townsend is also the principal investigator for a National Science Foundation grant aimed at encouraging more women to explore computing as a career. She says the reasons that few women pursue technology are 'complicated and varied,' but that the big picture is that the pipeline from elementary school to a computing career shrinks with each higher level of education."

"There is a predicted shortage of technology workers by 2018, and women are especially courted D2X 7754for their ability to manage projects and teams successfully," Dr. Townsend says. "Just as the early 1980s was a wonderful time for women to enter the field of computing, 2012 holds even more promise as a stepping stone to a technological future."

The professor notes, "My own NSF grant works at the undergraduate and graduate school portions of the pipeline to create a number of regional areas where women in computing ... meet biennially at a conference to gain experience speaking and sharing research, networking with each other, interacting with industry sponsors who offer internships and jobs and listening to speakers who share realistic information about life in computing."

However, as Schiavone reports, Thompson says that "early intervention is critical to reversing the decline of women in technology careers. Lack of K-12 computing courses and dull computing courses at the middle school level, lack of accurate career information about computer science and the absence of female mentors in the field all play a role in inadvertently turning young women away from the industry."

Access the complete story at the Tribune's website (a subscription may be required).

Learn more about Gloria C. Townsend, Tenzer Family University Professor in Instructional Technology and professor of computer science, in this previous summary.

Source: Tribune Media Services

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