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.

Continue reading →

On college journalism critics

Several students at my school have a problem with the way our student-run newspaper, The Statesman, and I reported on a recent car accident on campus involving one of our staff photographers. We received a letter to the editor that said my work was “offensive.”  Someone on Facebook said “we had no problem throwing one of our own under the bus.”

So I’d like to tell my side of this story. Continue reading →

On Reporting Death

Being a journalist is a thankless job. It often seems like the only type of feedback reporters get are strongly-worded messages saying how terrible they are, or how biased the story is. But rarely do we hear a simple “thank you” for getting them the news they wanted to hear, for organizing and breaking down the facts so they don’t have to. So as you can imagine if being a journalist in the “real world” is this hard, being a student reporter is not for the faint-hearted. If you want to be taken seriously in the “real world” you have to start somewhere and take yourself seriously as a professional.

Continue reading →