Recruiting Young Women into & Retaining Them in Computing Majors

If you are in the New Jersey area and interested in seeing more young women in computing majors this may be of interest to you. This seminar is designed for both educators and parents.

NJIT and Stevens Institute of Technology

are pleased to invite you to

A Real World Connections

Parents and Teachers Seminar

Recruiting Young Women into, and Retaining Them in Computing
Majors: A High School and College Level Initiative (ACM-W Project) Based
Upon a 35-Year Psychological Study
       Dr. David Klappholz

Stevens Institute of Technology

DATE:                        Thursday, July 9, 2009

REFRESHMENTS:    4:30 – 5:00 PM

TIME:                          5:00 – 7:00 PM

LOCATION:               GITC Building 4415

       Gender equity in computing has long been a national goal advanced by those concerned with fairness and by those who know that the  female point of view improves the design and development of software systems. Unfortunately, though, the percentage of young women entering computing-related majors keeps falling, and the female dropout rate is higher than the very high male dropout rate.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a large increase in the need for B.S. and M.S. computing graduates in the next decade. The largest untapped pool of potential computing majors and, eventually, computing professionals, is science- and math-talented high school students, but only about 10% of entering undergraduate majors in computing majors are female.

Despite the many initiatives aimed at attracting young women, the number of female computing majors keeps dropping. In this talk we will discuss results of an extensive psychological research study that followed thousands of science- and math-talented students from middle school to middle age and that explains why many previous initiatives have failed. We will also discuss a new high school and university level initiative that is supported by these psychological studies, and that has recently been designated an ACM-W project. We will invite interested attendees to personally participate in, and encourage their high schools, universities, and/or employers to participate in this initiative.

       Dr. David Klappholz is an associate professor of computer science at Stevens Institute of Technology, where his specialty is software engineering. Dr. Klappholz spent a Fall 2002 sabbatical with Barry Boehm at USC and has worked with Prof. Boehm every summer since then. In addition to his interest in empirical software engineering research, Prof. Klappholz works, under NSF funding, with an educational psychologist on issues relating to engineering education pedagogy. He is also a member of a Stevens-based, DoD-supported, team that is crafting a reference standard M.S. curriculum in software engineering, a curriculum with a heavy systems engineering slant. In a previous incarnation Prof. Klappholz did research, supported by NSF, IBM Research, DoE, and others, on parallel machine architecture, automatic code parallelization, compiler optimizations, and, in his professional infancy, on natural language understanding and translation.

Directions to NJIT

GITC Building is number 13 at the following map

Parking information at NJIT can be found at

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