Diversity and Inclusion

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.

Supporting Student Success

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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.

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.

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.

CS Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee

The CS Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee is comprised of faculty, staff, and student members from the Computer Sciences Department. The committee identifies and addresses departmental needs and gaps related to DEI; assesses and discusses current DEI activities and topics; and sets goals and key milestones for advancing representation and inclusion.

2021-2022 Committee Members

Andrea Arpaci-Dusseau, Faculty
Jelena Diakonikolas, Faculty
Sakuni Egodawatte, Undergraduate Student Representative
Kayla Gross, Inclusion Program Manager
Lynn Liu, Undergraduate Student Representative
Michael Radloff, Undergraduate Advisor
Michael Swift, Faculty & Committee Chair
Angela Thorp, Graduate Program Manager
Shivaram Venkataraman, Faculty

Student Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee

The Computer Sciences Student Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee is a collective of graduate and undergraduate students who are committed to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the Department of Computer Sciences. The group serves as a key source of feedback and insights on departmental initiatives and spearheads new efforts to enhance and improve the student experience.

Diversity & Inclusion Staff

Michael Swift

Director of Undergraduate Studies & Professor



Kayla Gross

Inclusion Program Manager