PIMS-UBC Computer Science Distinguished Lecture: Christine Alvarado

  • Date: 02/08/2018
Christine Alvarado, Associate Teaching Professor, UC San Diego

University of British Columbia


Strategies for Bringing CS to All in Higher Education


In 2005, Harvey Mudd College made three changes that drastically increased the number of women who chose to major in computer science: a new introductory CS course, trips to the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, and research experiences for first-year students. The effect of these changes was amplified by the student-centric, close atmosphere of a small college like Harvey Mudd. However, the majority of higher education takes place in much larger settings: at large public universities and, increasingly, in massive open online courses (MOOCs). It is an open question how we can acheive similar changes in these much larger contexts, with a much more diverse student body.



In this talk, I will give an overview of the programs we implemented at Harvey Mudd College that helped lead to gender parity in the major. Then I will present recent programs and pedagogies that we have implemented both at UC San Diego and in a massive open online course to increase students' sense of community and belonging in computer science, particularly among women and men from racial, ethnic and/or socioeconomic groups underrepresented in computer science. Based on these experiences, I will reflect on the future of CS in higher education, on campus and beyond.

Other Information: 

Location: Hugh Dempster Pavilion - Room 110, 6245 Agronomy Rd.


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