The need for a diverse and inclusive workplace is becoming well-recognized by the tech industry. The integration of underrepresented groups in computing is not only an issue of equity, but also an issue of our collective ability to do quality and sustained engineering work. Many tech companies (including giants like Google, Intel, and Microsoft) and many Colleges and Universities have created targeted programs and initiatives to promote diversity and inclusion. But how can an individual computing instructor contribute to these initiatives within the context of the classroom? This study looks at ways to incorporate diversity and inclusivity activities into the context of a required lower-division undergraduate computer design course. These activities include facilitating ice breakers and seat rotations, presenting stories and images of computing contributors from diverse backgrounds, and giving an under-represented computing contributor writing assignment to the students. We examine how these efforts affect students’ perceptions of the need for diversity in the field of computing as well as the students’ feelings of inclusion within the computing classroom.
Bridget Benson received a Bachelor's degree in Computer Engineering at California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obipso in 2005, a Master's degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of California Santa Barbara in 2007 and a PhD degree in the Computer Science and Engineering at the University of California San Diego in 2010. She is currently an Associate Professor in the Electrical Engineering Department at California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obipso. Her research interests span engineering education, embedded systems, and ecological monitoring.
Joseph Callenes received his PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and is currently an Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo.
Professor Malek Mohammadi is a fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy (FHEA) and a Senior Member of IEEE, Member of Engineering Council (CEng), IET and Optical Society of America (OSA) and has published over 90 Scientific Research Papers and a Postgrad
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