UC Berkeley’s ‘Intro to Computer Science’ Course Has More Women Than Men for the First Time

UC BerkeleyFor the first time in its history, Berkeley saw an introductory computer science course with predominantly female students – 106 women vs. 104 men. This slight turnaround signals a promising trend in the male-dominated STEM world. To be sure, Berkeley is an exception: according to the National Science Foundation, just 18.4% of computer science degrees were given to women (as of 2010), a trend that has been steadily decreasing since 1991, when it was a more impressive 29.6%. In an email, Professor Dan Garcia, who taught the Berkeley course last Spring, tells us that he attributes the gender flip to a drastic transformation in the curriculum, including team-based project learning, opened-sourced materials, and opportunities to become research assistants. “The course & curriculum really does capture the “Beauty and Joy” of computing; learning can be a lot of fun,” he writes.

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