Moe and Maria take a look at Harvey Mudd College to discuss the rise in women studying computer science at the school.
Harvey Mudd College
By almost every measure, STEM education in the United States – Science, Technology, engineering, and Mathematics – is lacking. In its most recent report, The World Economic Forum ranked the U.S as 52nd in the quality of mathematics and science education, and 5th (and declining) in its overall global competitiveness. Look a bit deeper and the data will reveal that the U.S is 27th amongst developed nations in the proportion of college students who receive undergraduate degrees in science or engineering. And perhaps most alarming of all, is the fact that more foreign students earn graduate degrees from American Universities than do U.S citizens, and an overwhelming two-thirds of those completing their Ph.D’s in engineering come from outside the U.S. This isn’t a problem, it’s an epidemic.
One place that isn’t lacking for engineering talent and passion for the sciences is Harvey Mudd College, which is part of the Claremont Colleges consortium. In 2006, current President Maria Klawe took the helm of the private liberal arts college with a mission to not only build on it’s computer science tradition, but more importantly, to empower more young women to pursue an education in the sciences. Her track record is well documented, and is nothing short of remarkable with over 40% of today’s computer science major being women. In her own gentle way, she’s inspiring an entire generation to fail big, dream bigger, and delight in challenging authority. There are far too many lessons that we can all learn from her, but start here —–