Female students in CS

Increasing Female Participation: A CS Project Team Experience With a Difference

ACM-W Council Women in Computing News Blog, June 17

According to an ACM-W Ambassador in Turkey, one way to increase female participation in the computer science field is through the creation of international student teams that work together on computing projects. Based on the success of a similar type of international project course in Sweden, computer science professors at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology have been working with a team in Turkey to increase female participation in computer science. In this example, the female-led project resulted in three products: a web page to teach children about their rights, a Google tool for following up the events related to child rights and games for children age 10-12 to teach them about their rights.

As part of the project, students worked in teams to analyze, design and develop software solutions for a “Child Rights” project for the International Children’s Center (ICC). Students visited with their supervisor two times during the semester for face-to-face meetings. At other times they communicated online using Internet tools like Skype, Facebook and email. The second visit was at the end of the semester to present the final products. In addition to the successful results, the project was noteworthy for its representation of female CS students on the team: six of the eleven participants were female. Going forward, computer science will become more attractive for female students when the impact of computing in a global community is emphasized.


ACM-W Council Women in Computing News Blog


Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Indiana, USA

Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey

Questions I have

  • What is the situation in your country’s University?
  • How many women are in your computing classes?
  • How do they perform? How are they welcomed by class mates and faculty?
  • What do you think of projects like the one mentioned above?
  • Do you think female students need different projects?
  • Which topics are specifically interesting for women in CS?
  • What do you think is a good approach to raise the number of female students in technical programs, especially in Computer Science?

I appreciate your thoughts and comments.

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