Paving the road for women in computer science at BYU

It was her first day at her internship at Microsoft, and Christine Kendall thought sharing her Taekwondo experience would make her stand out during the “get to know you” session, The Digital Universe reports. It turned out that nine of the 10 girls there had experience in martial arts. And even though Kendall stopped Taekwondo when she was 11, she said it helped her have the confidence to pursue a career in a predominately male discipline. Kendall is now a junior at BYU and is working with clubs and faculty to make the computer science program more accessible to women. In February, Kendall and computer science assistant professor Jay McCarthy met with Introduction to Computer Programming instructors and the department chair about restructuring the course so students could group themselves by experience level. The experience gap between women and men is a problem even at the introduction level, Kendall said.

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