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Professors help shrink gender gap in computer science

August 21, 2013

  • Associate Professor of Computer Science Peter Drake
    Copyright, Steve Hambuchen

“Nationwide, there is a severe shortage of computer scientists, and our field has the worst gender imbalance in the sciences.”

So said Associate Professor of Computer Science Peter Drake while discussing his field at the Females Advancing Computing and Technology (FACT) Camp this summer. The camp, started by Robotics and Programming Instructor Jason Galbraith of Beaverton’s Sunset High School, aims to inspire girls’ involvement in computer science. Galbraith hopes to break through the social stigma that can come with being a female scientist by providing an encouraging environment.

Drake, who also advocates for including more women in the sciences, presented a lecture for the FACT campers and connected them with college-level researchers.

“Beyond the social justice issue, we can’t afford to leave out half of the population,” Drake said. “Programs like FACT are working to turn more girls into computer professionals. I enjoyed the opportunity to talk with these rising scientists and introduce them to some of my students.”

Said Galbraith, “We are creating a pathway for girls to succeed in technology in as early as middle school. Professor Drake has always been helpful in suggestions for how to teach advanced concepts and new techniques in computer science.”

The 2013 FACT Camp received funding from the National Center for Women & Information Technology with help from Lewis & Clark and Professor of Computer Science Jens Mache.

Department of Mathematical Sciences

Zibby Pillote ’14 contributed to this story.


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