According to the National Science Foundation, the percentage of women receiving Bachelor’s Degrees in the field of Computer Science (CS) from 2004 to 2014 dropped 7 percent and it mathematics there was a 3.1 percent decline in the same time span. The data is also grim for racial/ethnic minorities: while the number of Hispanics/Latinos receiving Bachelor’s Degrees in CS grew a few percentage points from 2004 -2014, there was a decline in the number American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Pacific Islander/Native Hawaiian, and Black/African Americans. A growing need and dropping enrollment does not make for good picture for the future workforce. The statistics for the CS and Mathematics workforces are also grim: in 2015, the percentage of women in CS careers was only 24.5%, while the percentage of non-white individuals in CS careers was a mere 38% and for Mathematics careers the percentages are 43.5% and 36.1%, respectively. These statistics are harsh. They show an unfortunate inattention for diversity and inclusion in STEM fields. These statistics are also why our programs, namely, the Broader Engagement (BE) Program, are so important.
The Broader Engagement (BE) Program, piloted in 2007 at the Supercomputing (SC) Conference, was created as a method to engage populations of people consistently underrepresented in computational science and engineering. Not only does the BE Program support underrepresented and underprivileged individuals, but BE also strives to change the community’s perspective of who belongs in STEM, leading to more diversity and inclusion. In 2015, Dr. Leung decided to expand the BE Program to other conferences, and thus, the BE Program was held at the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) Conference on Computational Science and Engineering (CSE15). SHI is excited to be preparing for the third biennial Broader Engagement Program, which will be held at SIAM CSE19!
BE alumni participants frequently share their stories with us. Their remarks show the true purpose of our program and incredible stories of their life altering experiences. Read on to learn firsthand accounts of a few of these remarkable stories.
And in honor of Giving Tuesday, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to the SIAM CSE19 Broader Engagement Program’s fundraising campaign. Change a life and donate today!