Diversity is a source of strength, creativity, and innovation for UW–Madison. We value the contributions of each person and respect the profound ways their identity, culture, background, experience, status, abilities, and opinions enrich the university community. We commit ourselves to the pursuit of excellence in teaching, research, outreach, and diversity as inextricably linked goals.
The University of Wisconsin–Madison fulfills its public mission by creating a welcoming and inclusive community for people from every background — people who as students, faculty, and staff serve Wisconsin and the world.
New College of Letter & Science Podcast!
L&S Elevate is dedicated to elevating and celebrating UW-Madison DEI champions who are driving change in our community and beyond, to create a more inclusive culture and climate. Host DeVon Wilson encourages guests to share their challenges and triumphs, with some takeaways that you can implement in your own work setting.
Report an incident
Any student at UW–Madison who feels that they have been treated unfairly has the right to voice a complaint and receive a prompt hearing of the grievance. The basis for a grievance can range from something as subtle as miscommunication to the extreme of harassment.
Anyone in the Department of Computer Sciences—faculty, staff, students, visitors—may file a report.
Supporting Student Success
The WISCERS program is a new mentorship program focused on fostering CS research participation among undergraduate students at UW-Madison. This program will expose students to research areas in Computer Science, facilitate peer mentorship from graduate students working in different areas, and match students with faculty for summer research internships. Our broad goal is to encourage undergraduate students to apply for research-based graduate programs and specifically help support students from historically underrepresented groups in computing. This program is partially funded by an exploreCSR award from Google. Part of the funding for the summer research internship program is generously provided by the Computer Sciences Department at UW-Madison.
Wisconsin Emerging Scholars (WES-CS)
WES-CS is a set of fun, interactive study groups for students who are enrolled in CS 200 (Programming I) and CS 300 (Programming II). All students currently enrolled in either CS 200 or CS 300 may apply. WES-CS especially welcomes and supports students from groups underrepresented in computer science and students who are new to programming or the computer sciences. Through weekly meetings led by peers, you’ll earn one additional credit and gain greater mastery of introductory computer science course material. It’s a great way to enhance your introduction to the challenging, exciting, and varied field of computer science.
The Computer Sciences Learning Center (CSLC)
The Computer Sciences Learning Center (CSLC) offers FREE drop-in tutoring for select CS intro courses. Students can get help from our CSLC peer tutors, but are also welcome to use the space as an open and comfortable study environment.
Tutoring Partnership with the UW-Madison Multicultural Learning Center
The CS Department expanded the CS Learning Center to offer tutoring sessions in partnership with the Multicultural Learning Center and the Multicultural Student Center. The CSLC is possible through the generous gift of Sheldon and Marianne Lubar.
Travel Funding for Conferences
The Computer Science department sends faculty, students, and staff to conferences focused on improving diversity and inclusion in computing and supporting students from underrepresented groups.
The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing is a series of conferences designed to bring the research and career interests of women in computing to the forefront. It is the world’s largest gathering of women in computing. In fall 2020, we funded 64 students to participate virtually. The Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing Conference is a conference designed to promote diversity, connect undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, researchers, and professionals in computing from all backgrounds and ethnicities.
Creating an Inclusive Climate
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Inclusive Teaching Fellows
UW CS Teaching Fellows are CS Faculty who have committed to developing and practicing new approaches to inclusive and equitable teaching in their classrooms. Fellows participate in an inclusive teaching seminar, develop and implement an innovative approach to increasing inclusion in the classroom, and share their progress and findings with the larger CS instructional community.
Inclusive Teaching for Teaching Assistants & Peer Mentors
Graduate Teaching Assistants and Peer Mentors play a vital role in the education of CS students. All Graduate Teaching Assistants and Peer Mentors participate in Inclusive Teaching Trainings in Fall and Spring semesters and further develop their skills through regular conversations with their designated course instructor(s). Training topics include fostering student belonging, responding to microaggressions, and positive teaching techniques to encourage student growth and success.
Faculty & Staff Diversity & Inclusion Workshops
CS faculty and staff participate in a variety of trainings and workshops to learn new skills, including on the topics of fostering student belonging and success, understanding diversity, equity, and inclusion, and developing inclusive hiring practices and addressing bias.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Speaker Series
The Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Speaker Series features presentations from experts on ways to advance diversity and inclusion in computer sciences. Members of the UW-Madison community are welcome to attend and learn.
Featured speakers in the 2021-2022 academic year included Dr. Carla Brodley, Executive Director of the Center for Inclusive Computing and Dean of Inclusive Computing at Northeastern University; Dr. Christine Alvarado, Associate Dean for Students and Chair of Computer Science at UC-San Diego, and Dr. Markus Brauer, professor in the Department of Psychology and Director of the Brauer Group Lab at UW-Madison.
Mercile J. Lee Mentor-Friends
With a guiding philosophy of “Excellence in Scholarship, Leadership, and Service,” the mission of the UW-Madison Mercile J. Lee Scholars program is to help academically talented and outstanding young people further the development of their intellectual gifts, abilities, skills, and potential. In addition to providing Scholars with a substantial financial award, the programs’ components allow Scholars to build meaningful relationships with faculty, staff, and peers in the campus community. Nine members of the CS department (faculty and staff) signed up and were selected as Mercile J. Lee mentor-friends.
Center for Inclusive Computing Partnership
The University of Wisconsin-Madison received a “Best Practice” grant from the Center for Inclusive Computing to increase the number of women graduating with bachelor’s degrees in computer sciences. Funding from the grant will allow the computer sciences department to expand pathways for students including strategies to encourage students to enroll in entry level classes, augmenting curricula to create smoother transitions from entry level to more advanced coursework, and providing staff support and funding to develop community and cohorts.
Data Buddies Survey
The Data Buddies survey, conducted by the Computing Research Association, is a national survey used to gain insight into students’ experiences in their computing degree programs at their institutions compared to students at similar institutions.
Women’s Association for Computing Machinery (WACM)
WACM is the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s student chapter of ACM-W, ACM’s Women in Computing. We provide social, educational, and outreach activities for women in the Computer Sciences department, in the university, and in the surrounding community.
Color Stack UW
The UW-Madison chapter of Color Stack aims to help Black, Latinx, and Native American students studying computer science complete their degrees and get hired after graduating. The student organization host professional development and social events to build community and foster support.
Girls Who Code
Girls who Code at UW Madison aims to build a supportive sisterhood of peers who help each other succeed. We offer learning opportunities for our members to deepen their skills in Computer Science. Our aim is to encourage women in technology to engage in collaboration, networking and sisterhood.
Involvement in student organizations is a great way to meet peers, build community, and develop professional skills.
Learn more about all CS-affiliated student organizations here.