Ed Lazowska

Ed Lazowska

Ed Lazowska
Seattle, Washington


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NCWIT Pacesetters University of Washington - Ed Lazowska I'm Ed Lazowka and I'm a professor of computer science and engineering at the University of Washington in Seattle. Here's our philosophy at the University of Washington. Yes, including more women is important from an equity point of view, and yes, it's important from a work force point of view. It's particularly important from a quality point of view. We're producing computer systems that the whole world is going to use and we have to have the whole world in its full diversity involved in creating those systems. At the University of Washington, students enroll in majors after they've been there for a year and fulfilled a set of prerequisites. What we particularly do is to target freshmen and students in our introductory courses. A few of the things we've done are to introduce a new freshman honors course that looks at the societal, and economic, and technological impact of computing. Sort of the full breathe of impact of the field. We have a special new honors freshman seminar, it's called Brave New World, Scientific, Economic and Social Implications of Computing. We send emails that encourage the high performing students to consider the major. A set of social events that get, particularly women, together with faculty, with other students, with graduate students, with industry professionals, to understand what the field in like. A forum where they can discuss what their experience has been in the classes. In general, provide a really encouraging and supportive environment for prospective students in hope that they chose to join the major. One of the indications of the impact of this is we've learned through watching things carefully over the past few years that close to half of the students who chose to become majors in computer science or computer engineering at the University of Washington, enrolled in the introductory course with no intention at all of becoming a computer science major. This encouragement plays a huge roll in reaching out to these students and causing them to climb on board and realize that they can contribute to this field and it's a great place for them to work. We've added these new initiatives to a set of existing programs, for example, a Google sponsored summer institute for high school teachers of math and science. An inspirational teacher event, in which we invite teachers who've been nominated by our students, and their partners, in for a dinner with those students, where we talk to them about what computer science and computational thinking do, a set of other programs like this. We haven't met our Pacesetter goals yet but we're well on the way and we're absolutely committed to it. [music] Transcription by CastingWords

My Story...

I sat to share progress on our work to, 1) create a new course called "Brave New World: scientific, economic, and social impact of CS", and 2) create honors sections to intro to programming courses, which attracted higher numbers of female students, and 3) increase female student networking opportunities with faculty.