Committed to Progress
In the UT Austin Computer Science department, our goal is to welcome, include, and celebrate all people, regardless of race, nationality, gender, sexuality, religion, societal or educational class, marital or parental status, or physical abilities. We seek to establish a just and equitable education for all, and we seek to make our halls reflect the population of Texas. We intend to achieve these goals, which we recognize will require constant vigilance against the status quo, through the education of our members, recruitment and outreach to students from underrepresented populations, and the encouragement and support of our students, faculty, and staff.
To that end, we will work to achieve the following enrollment goals:
*Black includes both “Black or African American Alone” and “Black or African American Multiracial (excluding Hispanic)”.
**Students are classified as “International” if they are not U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents.
Categories as provided by UT.
Overall Fall 2020 Data
Welcoming Environment Trainings
UT Computer Science is working to provide ongoing training to all faculty, staff, and students to foster and participate in welcoming environments. In doing so, we discuss implicit bias, microaggressions, and stereotype threat, and we are learning to recognize and respond to unwelcoming events. These trainings are continually expanded and updated.
The following initiatives are currently being developed and will be available to students in future semesters.
Cultural Competency Curriculum Integration
We recognize the need to integrate cultural competency throughout our curriculum. Creating and integrating materials to that end is a priority focus of our undergraduate curriculum committee alongside a related focus to integrate ethics training. Our cultural competency work is being supported through the Cultural Competence in Computing (3C) Fellows Program by the Identity in Computing Group at Duke University.
Departmental Book Clubs & Summer Reading Assignments
As we seek to understand the experiences of others and learn to incorporate others’ perspectives, we are organizing book clubs of interested faculty, staff, and students who will meet regularly to learn about experiences of people from underrepresented groups and how those experiences intersect with the technology we are creating. In addition, we plan to have a single book selected for summer reading by the whole department, which will then be discussed in small groups upon our return to campus the following fall.
Hosted by the Department of Computer Science since 2003, UT Computer Science Academies (formerly First Bytes and Code Longhorn) offer a computer science curriculum to introduce high school women and students from underrepresented groups to computer science. UT Computer Science Academy for Women is a one-week residential program geared towards high school women. UT Computer Science Academy for All is a one-week residential program for students from historically underrepresented groups in the field of computer science (Black, Latinx, and Native American students). Students learn coding, tackle a group project, visit local tech companies and gain exposure to the wide variety of career opportunities open to students in tech through faculty and industry speakers. All students, who are admitted through a competitive application process, receive a full scholarship to attend the camp. These camps have increasingly served as a powerful admissions pipeline for UT Computer Science.
The UT Computer Science Endowment for Change was established to support diversity efforts by funding opportunities for students from underrepresented backgrounds with a demonstrated passion for computer science. Scholarships through the Texas Computer Science Endowment for Change are available to incoming and current undergraduate computer science students who have participated in Texas Computer Science Academy for All or are current or future members of the Association of Black Computer Scientists (ABCS), or the Hispanic Association of Computer Scientists (HACS).
The department hosts four campus outreach programs:
Coding in the Classroom is typically a series of in-classroom workshops over a period of 6-8 weeks. Working in teams of five, volunteers introduce children to coding through hands-on activities and open-ended projects that capture their imaginations.
Our Code Orange volunteers meet weekly with students one-on-one at city after school programs, where they help the students design and create a coding project through the course of the school year.
CS Roadshow provides hour-long introductions to computer science in local classrooms, libraries, and STEM festivals.
Hour of Code is another opportunity for students to volunteer at local grade schools by providing an hour-long lesson on coding or providing support to teachers as they do so. The goal of the program, sponsored by Code.org, is to expose young non- programmers to computer science to increase their understanding of the field and their interest in computer science as a career path.
Diversifying LEAdership in the Professoriate (LEAP) Alliance
UT Computer Science is a founding member of the Diversifying LEAdership in the Professoriate (LEAP) Alliance. The LEAP Alliance is working to increase the diversity of the future leadership in the professoriate in computing at research universities as a way to achieve diversity across the field.
Identity-Based Student Organizations
The department hosts five identity-based student organizations, where students who identify with a particular group and their allies can socialize, study, and support each other. To learn more about these groups, please visit their websites:
- Association of Black Computer Scientists (ABCS)
- Hispanic Association of Computer Scientists (HACS)
- Women in Computer Science (WiCS)
- Graduate Women in Computing
- Academic Support Programs
- Mentoring Programs
- Annual Trips to Grace Hopper, Tapia, and AfroTech
- Targeted Course Interventions