Missouri S&T is one of 15 U.S. universities to receive $90,000 to help recruit women and underrepresented minorities to the computer science field through the Building Recruiting and Inclusion for Diversity (BRAID) initiative. Currently 7 percent of Missouri S&T’s undergraduate computer science students are female. The national average is 17 percent.
This past fall, Missouri S&T revamped its Introduction to Programming courses to feature assignments that focus on more contemporary, real-world problems that include domains in the natural sciences, humanities and social sciences to make them more appealing to women. That model will be expanded to other courses over the next two years.
As part of the program, Jennifer Leopold, an associate professor of computer science, accompanied a group of female computer science students to the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, held in Phoenix in October.