This award is a travel grant to fund underrepresented groups to attend the 2012 Software Engineering Educators Symposium (SEES12) and the 2012 ACM SIGSOFT Conference on Foundations of Software Engineering (FSE12). This proposal aims to help address problems of the low representation of women and minorities in computer science graduate degree programs in the United States. It will supply travel awards to educators from minority-serving institutions (MSIs), liberal arts colleges, and primarily teaching universities to attend the 2012 Software Engineering Educators? Symposium (SEES12) and the 2012 ACM SIGSOFT Conference on Foundations of Software Engineering (FSE12). SEES12 aims to (1) expose educators to tools and techniques for teaching software engineering and programming that they can use to interest their students and better prepare them for graduate work in SE; and (2) establish connections between educators at PhD granting research universities and those at target institutions that will serve as avenues for recruitment of underrepresented minorities and women.

Project Report

Our nation's future prosperity and security depend on having a technologically savy populace. If current trends continue, workforce demands for employees skilled in computing are predicted to be three times more than the number of graduates trained in computing by US colleges and universities by 2020. To address this problem, computing departments at US colleges and universities must begin drawing from the full talent pool---both men and women, and all ethnicities. This project has helped address this need by funding 21 educators from colleges and universities that serve minorities and women students to attend the 2012 Software Engineering Educators' Symposium (SEES12) and the 2012 Conference on Foundations of Software Engineering (FSE12). At SEES12, these educators learned latest pedagogy for teaching software engineering in a manner that appeals to students with diverse backgrounds, as well as the importance of doing so. They were also provided access to resources to use in informing educational decision makers in their communities of the need educate more diverse students in software engineering. At FSE12, these educators from primarily teaching colleges and universities were exposed to latest research in software engineering. They also established contacts with educators at leading Research One institutions, which can serve as avenues for promising undergraduate women and underrepresented minorities to obtain research internships and learn about opportunties for graduate education. A longitudinal survey of all past recipients of travel awards for the SoftwareEngineering Educators’ Symposia (SEES 08, SEES 10, SEES 12) was also conducted. Results of this survey show the effectiveness of SEES in disseminating information that can be incorporated in courses at minority ­serving instutions and teaching universities to help improve their software engineering and introductory programming offerings. The project has likely had an impact on developing better trained programmers and software engineers. It likely has also had an impact in increasing interest among undergraduate students at these institutions in pursuing careers in computing.

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Michigan State University
East Lansing
United States
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