Black, Latinx and Native American students are less likely to attend a school where computer science is taught
Almost half of U.S. high schools now teach at least one computer science course. That means, however, students at a majority of high schools don’t have access to computer science, according to a new report.
And Black, Latinx and Native American students are less likely to attend a school where computer science is taught, according to “State of Computer Science Education: Illuminating Disparities” by Code.org, the Computer Science Teachers Association, and the Expanding Computing Education Pathways Alliance.
Students from rural areas and economically disadvantaged backgrounds are also less likely to have a chance to take computer science.
Students in these underrepresented groups are also less likely than are white and Asian American teeens to attend a school that offers an advanced placement computer science course or to an AP test in the subject.
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And even though female students remain underrepresented in high school computer science courses, the number of students taking AP computer science exams has been growing rapidly, the report found.
Disparities would be better illuminated if schools measured disparities by determining computer science participation by students’ specific race, ethnicity and economic status, rather than by the general term “underrepresented minorities,” the report found.
The report also recommended nine policies states and districts can implement to provide equitable access to computer science:
- Create a state plan for K–12 computer science
- Define computer science and establish rigorous K–12 computer science standards
- Allocate funding for rigorous computer science teacher professional learning and course support
- Implement clear certification pathways for computer science teachers
- Create programs at institutions of higher education to offer computer science to
Microsoft and Team Gleason, the nonprofit organization founded by NFL player Steve Gleason, today launched Project Insight to create an open dataset of facial imagery of people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The organizations hope to foster innovation in computer vision and broaden the potential for connectivity and communication for people with accessibility challenges.
Microsoft and Team Gleason assert that existing machine learning datasets don’t represent the diversity of people with ALS, a condition that affects as many as 30,000 people in the U.S. This results in issues accurately identifying people, due to breathing masks, droopy eyelids, watery eyes, and dry eyes from medications that control excessive saliva.
Project Insight will investigate how to use data and AI with the front-facing camera already present in many assistive devices to predict where a person is looking on a screen. Team Gleason will work with Microsoft’s Health Next Enable team to gather images of people with ALS looking at their computer so it can train AI models more inclusively. (Microsoft’s Health Next team, which is within its Health AI division, focuses on AI and cloud-based services to improve health outcomes.) Participants will be given a brief medical history questionnaire and be prompted through an app to submit images of themselves using their computer.
“ALS progression can be as diverse as the individuals themselves,” Team Gleason chief impact officer Blair Casey said. “So accessing computers and communication devices should not be a one-size-fits-all. We will capture as much information as possible from 100 people living with ALS so we can develop tools for all to effectively use.”
Microsoft and Team Gleason estimate that the project will collect and share 5TB of anonymized data with researchers on data science platforms like Kaggle and GitHub.
“There is a significant lack of disability-specific data that is
MADISON, Wis. — The COVID-19 testing site at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison temporarily closed Tuesday afternoon.
The Dane County Sheriff’s Office tweeted about the closure around 1 p.m. citing a computer issue.
About an hour later, the agency sent another tweet saying the computer system was up and running again, but slowly.
Testing resumed with the computer system back up, but long lines were reported.
Dane County deputies are allowing people to park and wait if they choose, the post said.
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If women are underrepresented in computer science (and they are, by a large margin), you wouldn’t know it from sitting in on the Grace Hopper Celebration. Each fall, for the last 20 years, tens of thousands of women have converged for a long weekend of collaboration, networking, mentoring and commemoration of their contributions to the tech world.
COVID-19 pushed this fall’s convention into a virtual format, but it didn’t prevent the University of Denver’s Ritchie School of Engineering and Computer Science from sending 26 students (plus seven faculty and one staff member) for free. A private donor and funds from the school’s diversity, equity and inclusion budget covered the costs.
In interviews via email and Zoom, the DU Newsroom asked Anndi Russell, a graduate student in the data science program; Izzy Johnson, an undergraduate pursuing a BS in computer science; and Scott Leutenegger, a computer science professor and the Ritchie School’s director of inclusive excellence, about their experience
What’s it like for each of you as a woman in computer science?
Anndi Russell: My program is more equal in terms of women and men than is true in the larger computing world. But before this, I worked in education for a few years — which is a very female-heavy industry typically — so I know switching into computer science and the tech world is going to be a little different. I’m grateful for having a lot of female classmates right now and people I’ve connected with. We support each other.
Izzy Johnson: As an undergrad, I think I was surprised by how many women were in my classes, but it’s definitely still weighted the other way. At DU specifically, I’ve really enjoyed how many female professors I’ve had. I’ve had some really influential female professors in the Ritchie School.
The median annual earnings for full-time working millennials in the U.S. was $40,000 in 2018, about 16 percent lower than the median for all workers of $48,000. Across major metropolitan areas, unadjusted millennial earnings ranged from a low of $25,000 per year to a high of $71,000 per year in San Jose, CA.
Of course, the cost of living varies widely by metro, from a low of 19 percent below average to a high of 31 percent above average. After adjusting for cost of living, the range in earnings narrows from a low of approximately $28,000 per year to a high just over $54,000 annually.
While locations with higher living costs tend to offer higher wages, sometimes wage gains don’t make up for the increased cost, as is the case with San Diego, CA. On the other hand, in metropolitan areas like San Francisco, CA and San Jose, CA higher wages more than make up for increased expenses.
The inverse is also true in low-cost areas. For example, wages can be so depressed that despite lower living costs, residents still experience below-average purchasing power. This is true for Memphis, TN, San Antonio, TX and Tucson, AZ. Fortunately, many low-cost cities offer strong enough wages to boost purchasing power above average, as is the case with many large Midwestern metropolitan areas, such as Minneapolis, MN and Columbus, OH.
While one might expect that cities offering the most purchasing power would attract more residents, the analysis found no significant correlation between adjusted millennial earnings and population growth. Across the best-paying cities for millennials, there’s a wide range in growth rates. For example, Austin, TX grew 15 percent over the past five years, whereas Pittsburgh, PA saw a population decline.
To determine the best-paying cities for millennials, Fabric analyzed data from the U.S.