So What?
Subject:   pairing CS with other programs is a great idea
Date:   2007-09-06 10:32:53
From:   sdeckelmann
I really like the idea of changing the nature of computer science degrees - pairing the theory and tools with a discipline. A friend of mine chose to basically do that. She started out in chemistry and biology, switched her degree to CS and wrote an classification application for botanists for her thesis.

Still, I think there is value in in the study of computer science in a concentrated and separate way (disclosure: I have a CS degree). For example, I think that, despite many obvious similarities, there are important and fundamental differences between programming and human communication languages. And there is enough difference that academic study of programming languages just doesn't seem to fully fit in linguistics departments. I think you can argue the opposite - but academics have already separated the departments and degrees. An interim step may be to encourage more dual degree programs like this:

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  • pairing CS with other programs is a great idea
    2007-09-06 10:41:43  dmarsh26 [View]

    Yes thats a very good point, an ex gf did a Chemistry degree, alot of her friends were on combined Chemistry/IT degress, as guess what ? The proportions of male to female students were pretty similar to a CS course.

    Yes women may use technology just as much as men, they drive cars, they use the internet. Do they use them in the same manner, do they use social networking sites more than men ?

    Using a computer is often a fairly anti social pursuit, women being naturally more social might explain why they dont like it as much.

    How much of this is to do with society ? Research shows that children below the age of 5 have already formed opinions on what they are good at and hence what they like. If more young girls were given mercano/lego/airfix or a computer then we might see a different situation.
    • Selena Deckelmann photo pairing CS with other programs is a great idea
      2007-09-06 10:53:03  Selena Deckelmann | [View]

      I don't think I agree that using a computer is inherently anti-social, but it certainly can be.

      I think that the social aspects of learning about computer science, choosing a discipline and then getting a job are the issue -- not the tool itself (to echo Shelley's point :).

      Early exposure certainly is a huge factor, and today's other author has started organizations that are trying to address that. And there's certainly room for more help! I hope that your enthusiasm for this thread inspires you to volunteer and encourage young women to explore our field.