Rose-Hulman professor working to close the gender gap

Experts say there’s a major gap between the number of men and women in computer science fields.

Posted: Jul 13, 2018 7:22 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - Experts say there’s a major gap between the number of men and women in computer science fields.

A professor at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology is working to close that gender gap.

Professor, David Fisher, and his family just left for Ireland on Friday afternoon. While there, Fisher will study how to get people interested in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields.

He will specifically be working with the University of Limerick to learn how to boost growth in programming-related areas of study, and retaining an interest in the field. The college has had success in retaining female computer science students and faculty. "I definitely want to come up with ideas to help encourage more women to decide to participate, talk to the university about how they go about attracting female faculty members to stay with their program and see some of the things they're doing better than us,” said Fisher.

On Friday, Fisher said he thinks the problem starts with gender stereotypes at a young age. “By the time you hit college, you’re a product of the experiences you’ve had. If we can provide more of those experiences, especially at earlier ages to women, they’ll choose this field,” said Fisher.

Fisher helped created a summer camp at Rose-Hulman called Connecting with Code. It’s focused on getting young students interested in programming. Fisher wanted to put an emphasis on encouraging girls to participate.

Fisher also will teach courses in software development and assist the university in its youth education outreach efforts while at the University of Limerick.

A total of 15 Rose-Hulman professors have earned Fulbright Scholarships.

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