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Making Computer Science More Inviting: A Look at What Works

That is why the university gave its introductory courses a makeover a few years ago. The goal was to make computing more accessible and inviting to a broader range of people, Mr. Lazowska said. The courses showed students that they can succeed through hard work and do not need esoteric knowledge or an innate gift. The new program includes small group sessions with faculty members, classes that connect software programming to philosophy or biology and an emphasis on real-world applications. Forty percent of the teaching assistants are women, and there is a seminar on women in computing.