are not so disparate (see the full report
for supporting plots).
Figure 6 shows the proportions of
female students receiving a bachelor’s
degree in private and public institu-
tions, with the left panel showing the
proportions for all institutions ranked
1–36 and the right panel for insti-
tutions 37+. The declining trend in
proportions starts at different times,
with public institutions experiencing
it earlier than the private ones. Since
2004, the private institutions in group
1–36 have an increasingly higher per-
centage of female undergraduates
than public ones. The relatively low
response rate to the Taulbee Survey
from departments in group Private
37+ most likely impacts the irregular
shape of the corresponding line. The
full report indicates B.S. enrollment in
Ph.D.-granting departments appears
to have stabilized, but no significant
overall increases can be observed.
We have examined the last 10 years
of Taulbee Survey data to investigate
claims about gender representation
in U.S. computer science departments, at all stages of the pipeline.
The data shows increases in both
female faculty (tenured and tenure-track) and female Ph.D. graduates,
but a decline in females receiving B.S.
degrees. In aggregate, these findings
are consistent with current views of
the state of CS. However, surprisingly,
our analysis also shows the changes
are not uniform with respect to department type. This leads to a number
of interesting questions.
First, there are two questions related to the representation of females:
of trends should
than just rank in
order to gain a better
figure 5. total number of males (dashed) and females (solid) awarded bachelor’s degrees
in public and private schools.
total Number of males and females awarded Bachelor’s Degrees
2002 2004 2006
males in Dashed Line, females in solid Line
figure 6. Proportion of female students awarded bachelor’s degrees in private versus public
Proportion of females awarded Bachelor’s Degrees
by Public/Private status
Why do many top-ranked departments have so few female assistant
professors? Why do lower-ranked
departments graduate a higher percentage of female Ph.D.’s? Second,
the analysis highlights the groups
that have successfully improved gender representation: What strategies
did departments in Public 1–36 2nd
have to successfully hire female faculty? Did they attract more female
applicants or did they approach the
process of hiring differently? What
strategies did Private 1–36 departments use to increase the proportion
of female undergraduates? Did they
attract new students to CS or did they
attract existing CS students to their
Our overall analysis illustrates that
future studies of trends should differentiate Ph.D.-granting departments
on more dimensions than just rank in
order to gain a better understanding of
Douglas Baumann ( firstname.lastname@example.org) is a
research assistant in the department of statistics at
Purdue university, west lafayette, In.
Susanne hambrusch ( email@example.com) is a
professor of computer science at Purdue university,
west lafayette, In.
Jennifer neville ( firstname.lastname@example.org) is an assistant
professor of computer science and statistics at Purdue
university, west lafayette, In.
2004 2006 2002 2000 2008
2004 2006 2002 2000 2008
we thank betsy bizot from Cra for generating the
underlying data sets. without her support and guidance in
understanding the data, the report on which this Viewpoint
is based could not have been developed.