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Bridging the Gap: NJIT Aims to Increase Diversity in Computer Science

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, by 2020, women will fill only 3 percent of the 1.4 million jobs in the computing field.

To help more women advance in computer science, the Harvey Mudd College and the Anita Borg Institute formed the Building Recruiting and Inclusion for Diversity (BRAID) initiative, and NJIT is one of 15 universities to participate in BRAID’s three-year effort to expand outreach to high school teachers and students to modify introductory computer science courses and broaden participation among women and students of color.

“The field of computer science provides great jobs yet far too few young women pick up on the opportunity due to misperceptions,” says NJIT professor James Geller, who recently returned from the annual BRAID conference at Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, Calif., where he offered insight on ways to simplify explanations of how computers work to high school students.

Already approved for a second year of funding, NJIT will receive $30,000 per year to implement programs that offer creative, interdisciplinary approaches to the modern discipline of computer science and provide data for a research study documenting the progress.

“NJIT's computer science department is thrilled to take part in the BRAID initiative to help break down barriers and ensure that women and underrepresented groups not only understand the importance of computer science,” says Geller, “but also have a fair shot at one of the most lucrative professions in the country.”