University of Maryland Opens a Center for Women in Computing

The University of Maryland recently opened the Maryland Center for Women in Computing. The new center has set a goal of fostering a community of women who study and teach computer science at the university. The center also hopes to mount outreach efforts to increase the number of women in the field of computer science.

The center occupies three rooms on the third floor of the university’s computer science building. A lounge offers a refuge for women studying computer science and a place where they can network with other women in the field. The center’s outreach programs will include a summer camp and educational programs for girls in middle schools.

JanPlaneJan Plane, a professor of computer science is the director of the new center. She observes that “computing has some of the most creative and rewarding jobs and they’re really in demand.” But, she notes that computer science “suffers from a diversity record that is one of the worst.” Professor Plane is a graduate of Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa. She holds a master’s degree in computer science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a doctorate in education policy and leadership from the University of Maryland.

At the University of Maryland, less than 15 percent of computer science majors are women and only 27 percent of computing jobs nationwide are held by women, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Filed Under: NetworkingSTEM Fields


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