In Computer Science, a Little Mentoring Goes a Long Way (PRI)



Neha Narula ’03, who recently earned her PhD at MIT and now works there, tells Public Radio International (PRI) that her success in navigating the male-dominated world of computer science is thanks in large part to the mentoring she received as an undergraduate at Dartmouth. One mentor in particular, Professor of Computer Science Thomas Cormen, stood out, she tells PRI.

“Tom was always willing to talk,” Narula says. “He really, really cared about his undergraduate students. He cared about them tremendously.”

“Cormen says back when he was an undergraduate, studying computer science, he knew there was a gender gap, but he didn’t really care,” reports PRI. “Later, in graduate school, a female colleague opened his eyes to how bad it was. Ever since he started teaching, he’s been trying to recruit women to computer science.”

Cormen tells PRI that his mentoring is intentional. “I definitely do it consciously. There are students who might be wondering if it’s really the right thing for them, especially if they’re from a group that’s underrepresented in computer science, if they look around and don’t see faces like theirs.”

Read the full story, published 6/15/15 by PRI.

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