This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Innovation, leadership, and impact, especially in engineering, science and mathematics


INNOVATION IS IMPACTING COMPUTER SCIENCE MAJOR


Sometimes diversity isn’t about opportunity so much as perception. Such was the case for the gender gap between male and female computer science


majors at Harvey Mudd College. Although plenty of opportunities existed for female students, few opted to pursue the major. When the HMC Computer Science Department tackled the issue, it resolved


to give first-year women students a broader view of computer science, a glimpse of women working in the field, and a chance to discover they could understand and apply the science. To achieve these goals, CS faculty created a new introductory CS course, took students to a conference that celebrates women computer scientists and offered sum- mer research suitable for students with only one or two CS courses under their belts. “The three initiatives work together in a synergistic way,” says Christine Alvarado, associate professor of computer science. “Our new CS5 gives students a broad view of what computer science really is, summer research helps them gain confidence in what they can do with the knowledge they learn in the classroom, and trips to the Grace Hopper Celebration show them there are interesting jobs in CS and interesting people who do them.” Faculty harnessed the role model power of the Grace Hopper Celebration of


Women in Computer Science and used it as a recruitment tool. E-mails were sent to first-year women and funding from multiple sources helped cover the costs. Eight first-year students attended the inaugural trip in 2006. By 2010, that number rose to 35. The three-part approach has shifted the percentage of women CS majors at HMC from 12 percent to 35 percent—most recently 40 percent for the class of 2010. (The class of 2013 has an overall lower percentage of women—36 percent— which affects the average for the major.) Revamping HMC’s introductory CS course involved changes to both its content


and structure. Efforts focused on demystifying the science and getting students im- mediately immersed in writing programs they would enjoy using. Content was bro- ken into a series of five modules on core topics, such as functional programming and computer organization. More advanced topics include object-oriented programming, with applications based around ideas from Artificial Intelligence. One module steps away from programming entirely to examine what computers can and cannot do, introducing students to the concept that a program’s limits may be set by something other than their programming ability. The course was refined into two tracks to ac- commodate students’ CS experience level—Black for those with some experience and Gold for those with none. Both cover the same core content using the same science and engineering themes, but the Black track goes into a little more depth and looks at some more advanced applications and ideas. More recently, a CS5 Green was added to introduce the same core content but in a biology context. Shedding the belief that “students had to complete at least three CS classes to


have meaningful research experiences,” in 2007, CS faculty created research projects suitable for students who had completed only one or two CS courses. This gave more women, who typically don’t have CS experience prior to college, an opportunity to do research after their first year. In operation for the past four summers, the program offers rising sophomore women (and men) the chance to practice their new skills working with ongoing projects in artificial intelligence, robotics and games.


–Koren Wetmore


STRA TEGIC VISION


Milestones 2006–2011


20 06


Maria Klawe named fifth HMC president (July 1)


HMC named “One of New Ivies,” Kaplan/Newsweek


No. 1 undergraduate engineering program, U.S.News and World Report


Global Clinic Program begun to prepare students for the challenges of functioning as innovative engineers and scientists in a global context


West Dorm renovated


Strategic planning process begins. Over six months, HMC community strategizes size, structure, curriculum, student body makeup, and impact upon society. Meetings, roundtables, workshops, debates result in six themes.


Campus sustainability audit at The Claremont Colleges spearheaded by Richard Haskell, professor of physics


HMC noted as a Top Design School, BusinessWeek


Science Bus volunteers inspire youngsters at local elementary


schools with hands-on science lessons.


Clinic project for The Aerospace Corp., launched into space. Original design of camera circuitry boards on picosats were developed by 2003–04 Clinic team.


Lead Project led by chemistry Professor Hal Van Ryswyk. First-year chemistry lab students and local elementary students study lead poisoning in children.


20 07


HMC 2020 funds awarded to campus community enables programs and initia- tives addressing strategic vision themes


New student organizations created: Mudders Organizing for Sustainability Solutions and Engineers for a Sustain- able World


SUMMER 2011 Har vey Mudd College 21


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44