LONG BEACH, Calif. (Aug. 23, 2018) – Computing experts at Long Beach State University will work with Google and faculty from three University of California campuses to offer a research-focused workshop experience intended to encourage young women to study computer science.
Google awarded the $35,000 exploreCSR grant, which will fund work by faculty at the Long Beach campus, UCLA, UC Irvine and UC San Diego to implement the program.
“Helping young women who are interested in computer science to find role models, receive encouragement and obtain more information related to the subject and potential research careers can reduce the existing gender imbalance within the field,” said Shadnaz Asgari, an associate professor who oversees the Google grant. “Through these workshops, our students will work on exploratory computational problems with clear real-world applications in teams that led by expert faculties from four exemplary institutions.”
Asgari holds an appointment at the Long Beach campus' Computer Engineering & Computer Science Department and also chairs its Biomedical Engineering Department.
Google announced the grant, as well as similar awards for other universities across the United States, Thursday. Nationwide, the grants may fund workshop opportunities for some 1,200 undergraduates.
Encouraging more women to study computer science has been an ongoing effort in the tech industry and academia. Women earned fewer than one-fifth of computer science undergraduate degrees and about one-quarter of computer science master’s degrees in 2016-17, according to the Computing Research Association’s Taulbee Survey That was up slightly from the previous year.
The Long Beach State University Computer Engineering & Computer Science Department has helped encourage more inclusiveness by sponsoring female students to attend the annual Grace Hopper Celebration for female technologists, and by holding networking events for incoming female computer science students.
The College of Engineering also provides a dedicated webpage where students and faculty can remain current on the issues, and sponsors outreach programs such as Future Girls @ the Beach and Engineering Girls @ the Beach.