Wednesday, March 24, 2010
So, I have been conducting interviews of students who started as CS majors, but later transferred out to another major at CMU. I have interviewed 4 students so far, all women, from varying backgrounds. One person switched first semester junior year, another, second semester freshman year. Some had 3 CS courses in high school, some had none. Some felt they fit in socially, others did not. One of these women attended a very unusual boarding school for high school, others had more traditional high school educations. But 3 out of the 4 women that I've interviewed so far had poor math skills, or didn't like math, or weren't the best at math in high school or the math courses they took at CMU. These 3 women are also the ones who didn't perform well in CS courses, which was a contributing factor to their decision to leave the CS major. I look forward to interviewing more people and finding out if this trend continues for both men and women.