Dr. Roman Yampolskiy receives Faculty Research Grant from the UofL’s Cultural Center to fund his work on Increasing Representation of Underrepresented Groups in CS
To get students interested in the course material, to improve retention and diversify student body it is proposed that the course plan for CECS130 Introduction to Programming Languages be enhanced with a number of novel additions and improvements. Over 95% of students enrolled in the course are white males making increased representation of Women, Latinas, African Americans and other underrepresented groups a primary goal for the faculty in collaboration with the Cultural Center. As the first step to increasing diversity of the student body in CECS130 on campus advertisements will be used. Dr. Yampolskiy will produce and distribute advertisement posters targeting populations historically underrepresented in engineering and computer science. To entice the greatest number of underrepresented students many of whom come from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds we also propose providing some financial incentive for students to enroll in CECS130. Specifically the advertisements will state that students from such groups will be eligible for free textbooks required to take CECS130. It is very likely that reducing enrollment costs associated with taking this course will lead to increased enrollment amongst underrepresented and underprivileged students. We propose to seamlessly integrate Green Engineering principles and Critical Thinking into the materials covered in the course. Via inclusion of additional support provided through Online Resources we will make it possible for a larger number of students to succeed in the course. In order to assess how students’ critical thinking has improved by the end of the semester we intend to use an anonymous online survey with questions about students meta-thinking and problem solving approaches. Finally, retention improvements will be evaluated based on the percentage of students who pass the course in comparison to prior semesters. Underrepresented group recruitment success will be assessed in terms of the total number of students recruited from each underrepresented group. Retention improvements will be evaluated based on the percentage of students who pass the course in comparison to prior semesters.