Our Mission

The mission of the UR Women in Computing is to bridge the gender gap in computer science at the University of Rochester. We are dedicated to recognizing and supporting women in computing, both at our institution and all others around the world. We are taking measures to increase the enrollment of female computer science students through our flexible interdisciplinary BA program that allows women of other disciplines to easily incorporate a CS degree into their undergraduate studies, the creation of an inclusive community, modified introductory CS courses, and regional outreach programs.

About Us

UR Women in Computing is a subcommittee under the Computer Science Undergradute Council. Our members include the women from the Computer Science Department as well as the Data Science Department. Our Executive Manager holds a position on the executive board of CSUG and represents the women in the CS department in all CSUG meetings and projects. We are also involved with the Society for Women Engineers at the University of Rochester, a group on campus dedicated to helping women achieve full potential in careers as engineers and leaders, expanding the image of the engineering profession as a positive force in the quality of life, and demonstrating the value of diversity at the UR campus.

The Computing Research Association's Committee on the Status of Women in Computing Research (CRA-W) is an action oriented organization dedicated to increasing the number of women participating in Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) research and education at all levels. In addition to increasing the number of women involved, they also seek to increase the degree of success they experience and to provide a forum for addressing problems that often fall disproportionately within women's domain. The 2015 Grad Cohort in San Francisco was attended by our female graduate students and our department Chair, Sandhya Dwarkadas, was a conference organizer and gave a presentation.

Read about our BRAID Involvement

Introductory CS courses

Below is a list of the introductory courses we offer. Extensive course descriptions can be found on the UR CS website.

CSC 170 This course is an introduction to Internet and Web technologies. Emphasis is placed on front-end web fundamentals, design concepts and industry standards without programming
CSC 161 This course offers a self-contained introduction to the programming language Python, which can be used for practical problem solving in the sciences and humanities. Although Python is significantly easier to learn and use than Java, the concepts learned in this course also provide a good background for students going on to learn Java in CSC 171. This course is a good choice for students who intend to pursue a B.A. in Computer Science, or who are undecided about their major.
CSC 171 This course introduces students to Java, a powerful programming language used in most of our advanced courses. Students who know from the start that they plan to complete a B.S. in Computer Science usually begin with this course.
CSC 172 This course introduces notions of abstraction and modularity in programming. Students who have had a strong course in Java programming in high school usually begin with this course. This course is required for both the B.S. and B.A. degrees.

Cultivating Interpersonal Communities

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Through the creation of the 'UR Women in Computing' group as a subcommittee under the Computer Science Undergraduate Council, we are fostering the development of a community among the women in the CS Department. Through the organization of social events, coding parties, hackathons, potlucks and workshops among the members of UR WIC, we hope to instill a sense of bonding among the women in the CS department that is inclusive, welcoming and supportive.

Degrees & Interdisciplinary Studies

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The majority of our students earns a B.S. degree, which is structured to develop strong research and problem solving skills needed both in industry and graduate school. The B.A. curriculum is a choice for some because it is highly flexible, and can be customized to support students interested in the intersection of computer science with other disciplines, such as mathematics, digital media studies, financial economics or linguistics. The B.A. is often chosen by students adding a second major later in their studies due to time constraints. Because the B.A. has fewer requirements than the B.S., it is a good option for students who wish to double-major in computer science and another subject, or who wish to specialize in a particular area of computer science.

Regional Community Outreach

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We sponsor and organize community outreach to local organizations and school districts to inform students about the exciting work and opportunities in CSC. Some examples of previous outreach programs are Girl Scout Badge events where students plan activites to complete badges. We have also had students go into local middle-school classrooms for Hour of Code. With the inception of a new Outreach officer on our UR WiC e-board, we plan to expand these outreach events throughout the year.