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 opinion 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.
Supporting the Student Experience
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.
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.
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The Grace Hopper Celebration
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 Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Faculty and Inclusive Teaching
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.
Inclusive Teaching Trainings: CS Faculty participated in several department-organized trainings throughout the academic year and workshops provided by external units, such as the Breaking the Bias Habit workshop facilitated by the Women in Science and Engineering Leadership Institute and the Delta Program.
Department Initiatives and Externally Funded Projects
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.
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.
To increase faculty diversity and representation in the CS department, the department has prioritized the
hiring and recruitment of female faculty. The department welcomed four new female faculty members in
2019 and 2020, of whom one joined in Spring 2020, two in Fall 2020, and one will join in Fall 2021.