Fewer women graduating with college degrees in computer science

The decline in women graduating with degrees in computer science may be due to stigmas attached to the field. (NINA LIN / THE STATESMAN)

When Jennifer Wong first started teaching at Stony Brook in 2006, she caught a male student in her CSE 220 class aiming a laser pointer at her rear.

Even though she dismissed the student from the class, she said she did not think it would have happened if she were a male teaching the course.

According to a study from the National Science Foundation, the number of women graduating with degrees in computer science has actually decreased compared to data from two decades ago.

In 2010, female students earned 18.2 percent of the bachelor’s degrees in computer science.

In 1991, that number was 29.1 percent.

In a male-dominated field like computer science, Wong said that perhaps students were not used to seeing a woman leading the lecture. Students had signed her up for random email lists and taken out personal ads in her name, filling up her voice mailbox.

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