Friday, July 18, 2008

UW CS enrollment up and invest in students

i just read an interesting post; Computer Science Enrollments: The Real News by Ed Lazowska. he talks about a few things but i particularly liked the sections about enrollment and students.

One place where we can easily measure changes in student interest is in the enrollment in our first introductory course, which serves the entire university. Between 2003-04 and 2007-08 (a 4-year period), enrollment in this course is up by 27%. Enrollment by women is up by 45%. (Annual enrollment of women into the major is up by 64% over that same interval.)

thats good news. i'm especially impressed by the women enrollment increase.

Here is a spreadsheet with charts showing Bureau of Labor Statistics projections for employment between 2006 and 2016 for all fields in the sciences and engineering (including the social sciences). What it shows is that of all of these fields, between now and 2016:

  • 70% of all newly-created jobs will be in computer science.
  • 62% of all job openings (both newly-created jobs and jobs available due to retirements) will be in computer science.

  • wow thats good news again!

    here is some great comments about attracting students to computer science:

    What do we do at UW to attract students? Many many things. As one example, starting tomorrow at UW we’re running an annual 3-day workshop for high school teachers of math and science, sponsored by Google. The goal is to show these teachers that computer science is important to their fields, and is a great field to send their smartest students into. Information is available at (We do this jointly with Carnegie Mellon and UCLA.)

    We have a set of terrific videos that illustrate several important points:

    1. People enter the field of computer science for all sorts of aspirational reasons.
    2. People do all sorts of things with their computer science degrees in addition to working in the software industry.
    3. Working in the software industry is highly exciting and creative and interactive.

    You can take a look at these videos at

    Most importantly, we really invest in our students. Word gets out. At the University of Washington, we have the strongest undergraduates, because students know they can get a great education here.

    How do we “calibrate” our program — make sure our students are ready for careers? Here is a Word document I prepared recently for another purpose. Every year we are a top-5 supplier to Microsoft, Google, and — our students are fantastic.

    two things jump out at me; "we invest in our students" and "we make sure our students are ready for careers". thats awesome!

    when i was in school i often felt the complete opposite. i was really clueless. i wasn't connected to the department; i certainly never felt an investment from the department into my education and i certainly didn't feel like getting me ready for my career was a department goal. luckily, i found a few professors and students that got me out of the motions, paid attention to me, motivated me, and put me in the right direction. i was really lucky.

    i always bring up students and their educational experience... i think its really important:
  • interview with ka yee
  • engineering banquet
  • interview with randy cox
  • ics alumni association
  • making students awesome
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