The Michigan Engineer News Center

CS kickStart wants first-year women to succeed in computer science

CS KickStart is a free week long summer program for incoming first-year students that aims to improve the enrollment and persistence of women in U-M’s computer science program.| Short Read
EnlargeKickstart women in the lab
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The second annual CS KickStart took place August 27 – September 1, 2017, on North Campus in the Bob and Betty Beyster Building. CS KickStart is a free week long summer program for incoming first-year students that aims to improve the enrollment and persistence of women in U-M’s computer science program.

The organizers of 2017 program were co-founder Katie Hennells, Rebecca Andrews, Sage Renstorm-Richards, Meghana Somsaale, and Sree Jambunathan. Through the program, they strive to give women a voice in shaping the future of technology, level the playing field in terms of academic and career opportunities, and benefit the field of computer science through the development of a talented and diverse workforce.

During the week, the program organizers facilitated conversations about diversity, helped build a community for the incoming freshmen, taught participants how to program, provided them with campus resources, and showed them the applications of computer science in academia and industry.

The program also included lab tours and research talks from a number of CSE professors, including Walter Lasecki, Jenna Wiens, Jia Deng, Ed Olson, and Rada Mihalcea.

Lecturer Mark Berhob taught an Arduino lab session where students programmed LEDS, and Prof. Reetuparna Das taught a computer architecture lab where she challenged students to take apart old computers and find items like the CPU, memory DIMMs, and graphics.

On Wednesday, August 29th, there was an industry panel that consisted of women engineers from various companies including Google, GE, and Clinc. The panelist offered insights on what it is like to be a woman in technology, and provided advice on how to get jobs in the industry.

The number of women in computer science has steadily declined since the 1980s, and even though the number of women in computer science at Michigan has risen slightly in recent years, there’s still more work that needs to be done to increase enrollments. CS KickStart was created to address some issues that may contribute to the low enrollment of women, including low exposure to CS before attending U-M, being in a competitive and unwelcome environment, and not being able to visualize themselves in a career with computer science.

The organizers addressed these issues during the program, and they provided the participants with the resources, knowledge, and community that will help them succeed in CS.

There were many success stories from the 2016 program, and they are hopeful for the same result from the 2017 program. They plan to continue and expand the program in the coming years.

Below are photos from the 2017 program.

  • CS Kickstart participants program their own arduino in a lab led by Mark Brehob, Collegiate Lecturer and Lecturer IV, in the Bob and Betty Beyster Building on North Campus of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI on August 30, 2017. CS Kickstart is a weeklong program that gives incoming women freshmen the opportunity to learn how to code and connect with current students and faculty, working on a variety of projects. Photo: Joseph Xu/Senior Multimedia Content Producer, University of Michigan - College of Engineering
  • CS Kickstart participants program their own arduino in a lab led by Mark Brehob, Collegiate Lecturer and Lecturer IV, in the Bob and Betty Beyster Building on North Campus of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI on August 30, 2017. CS Kickstart is a weeklong program that gives incoming women freshmen the opportunity to learn how to code and connect with current students and faculty, working on a variety of projects. Photo: Joseph Xu/Senior Multimedia Content Producer, University of Michigan - College of Engineering
  • CS Kickstart participants program their own arduino in a lab led by Mark Brehob, Collegiate Lecturer and Lecturer IV, in the Bob and Betty Beyster Building on North Campus of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI on August 30, 2017. CS Kickstart is a weeklong program that gives incoming women freshmen the opportunity to learn how to code and connect with current students and faculty, working on a variety of projects. Photo: Joseph Xu/Senior Multimedia Content Producer, University of Michigan - College of Engineering
  • CS Kickstart participants program their own arduino in a lab led by Mark Brehob, Collegiate Lecturer and Lecturer IV, in the Bob and Betty Beyster Building on North Campus of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI on August 30, 2017. CS Kickstart is a weeklong program that gives incoming women freshmen the opportunity to learn how to code and connect with current students and faculty, working on a variety of projects. Photo: Joseph Xu/Senior Multimedia Content Producer, University of Michigan - College of Engineering
  • Mark Brehob, EECS Collegiate Lecturer and Lecturer IV, helps CS Kickstart participants program their own arduino in a lab as part of the CS Kickstart program in the Bob and Betty Beyster Building on North Campus of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI on August 30, 2017. CS Kickstart is a weeklong program that gives incoming women freshmen the opportunity to learn how to code and connect with current students and faculty, working on a variety of projects. Photo: Joseph Xu/Senior Multimedia Content Producer, University of Michigan - College of Engineering
  • Mark Brehob, EECS Collegiate Lecturer and Lecturer IV, helps CS Kickstart participants program their own arduino in a lab as part of the CS Kickstart program in the Bob and Betty Beyster Building on North Campus of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI on August 30, 2017. CS Kickstart is a weeklong program that gives incoming women freshmen the opportunity to learn how to code and connect with current students and faculty, working on a variety of projects. Photo: Joseph Xu/Senior Multimedia Content Producer, University of Michigan - College of Engineering
  • CS Kickstart participants program their own arduino in a lab led by Mark Brehob, Collegiate Lecturer and Lecturer IV, in the Bob and Betty Beyster Building on North Campus of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI on August 30, 2017. CS Kickstart is a weeklong program that gives incoming women freshmen the opportunity to learn how to code and connect with current students and faculty, working on a variety of projects. Photo: Joseph Xu/Senior Multimedia Content Producer, University of Michigan - College of Engineering
  • CS Kickstart participants program their own arduino in a lab led by Mark Brehob, Collegiate Lecturer and Lecturer IV, in the Bob and Betty Beyster Building on North Campus of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI on August 30, 2017. CS Kickstart is a weeklong program that gives incoming women freshmen the opportunity to learn how to code and connect with current students and faculty, working on a variety of projects. Photo: Joseph Xu/Senior Multimedia Content Producer, University of Michigan - College of Engineering
  • CS Kickstart participants program their own arduino in a lab led by Mark Brehob, Collegiate Lecturer and Lecturer IV, in the Bob and Betty Beyster Building on North Campus of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI on August 30, 2017. CS Kickstart is a weeklong program that gives incoming women freshmen the opportunity to learn how to code and connect with current students and faculty, working on a variety of projects. Photo: Joseph Xu/Senior Multimedia Content Producer, University of Michigan - College of Engineering
  • CS Kickstart participants program their own arduino in a lab led by Mark Brehob, Collegiate Lecturer and Lecturer IV, in the Bob and Betty Beyster Building on North Campus of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI on August 30, 2017. CS Kickstart is a weeklong program that gives incoming women freshmen the opportunity to learn how to code and connect with current students and faculty, working on a variety of projects. Photo: Joseph Xu/Senior Multimedia Content Producer, University of Michigan - College of Engineering
  • CS Kickstart participants and program directors in the Bob and Betty Beyster Building on North Campus of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI on August 30, 2017. CS Kickstart is a weeklong program that gives incoming women freshmen the opportunity to learn how to code and connect with current students and faculty, working on a variety of projects. Photo: Joseph Xu/Senior Multimedia Content Producer, University of Michigan - College of Engineering
  • CS Kickstart participants and program directors in the Bob and Betty Beyster Building on North Campus of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI on August 30, 2017. CS Kickstart is a weeklong program that gives incoming women freshmen the opportunity to learn how to code and connect with current students and faculty, working on a variety of projects. Photo: Joseph Xu/Senior Multimedia Content Producer, University of Michigan - College of Engineering
Kickstart women in the lab
Portrait of Steve Crang

Contact

Steve Crang
CSE Marketing and Communications Manager

Michigan Engineering

(734) 763-9996

3832 Beyster Bldg

Researchers
  • Walter Lasecki

    Walter Lasecki

    Assistant Professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Assistant Professor, School of Information

  • Jenna Wiens

    Jenna Wiens

    Assistant Professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

  • Jia Deng

    Jia Deng

    Assistant Professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

  • Edwin Olson

    Edwin Olson

    Associate Professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

  • Rada Mihalcea

    Rada Mihalcea

    Professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

  • Mark Brehob

    Mark Brehob

    Kurt Metzger Collegiate Lecturer Lecturer IV, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

  • Reetuparna Das

    Reetuparna Das

    Assistant Professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

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