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Computer Science Has a Racism Problem: These Researchers Want to Fix It

a student and Freeman Hrabowski pose for a selfie

Freeman Hrabowski (right) is among the many educators and computer scientists working to boost the number of under-represented students in STEM fields.

Credit: Michael A. McCoy / The New York Times

There are diversity gaps in computer science and in STEM subjects in many countries. The problem is particularly acute in the United States, which spends much more than any other country on research and development and is home to many of the largest technology companies. Despite being a global leader in computer science, the United States has long struggled to increase diversity in this area.

The diversity gap is growing at universities. That's a problem for computer science, says Juan Gilbert, chair of the Department of Computer & Information Science & Engineering at the University of Florida, who has pledged to help create a more supportive and inclusive computer-science environment for Black students.

"Computing is in health, transportation, education, finance, you name it — computing is there," he says. "And recent reports have found that, when you have a lack of diversity, computing implementations can have a bias that disproportionately affects certain [marginalized] people in a very dramatic way."

From Nature
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